Making Mamak

A conversation on collective spatial practices of art communities in the Malay Archipelago
Event, in English, Papan Haus, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 April 2024, 3pm to 5pm

This event builds on the participative mapping initiative developed by our 2022-2023 Emerging Curator Clarissa Lim Kye Lee as part of her project Making Mamak: Collective Ecologies of Urban Space, which draws attention to the role of Malaysian art collectives in shaping the urban and social fabric. Art collectives will share their strategies for occupying and maintaining cultural spaces, from the scale of individual buildings to that of the city, as well as their experiments with new forms of artistic production and community engagement in the Archipelago’s large urban centres.

Participating collectives include Papan Haus (Kuala Lumpur), Little Giraffe Story House (Kuala Lumpur), Coex (Pulau Penang), Kapallorek (Seri Iskandar), and Ruang Tamu Ekosistem / Pangrok Sulap (Kota Kinabalu). They will be accompanied by independent curator and professor Yap Sau Bin and architect and lecturer Cheah Ee Von, who will bring a critical eye to questions surrounding the construction of common cultural spaces through collective action.

This event is part of the project Making Mamak: Collective Ecologies of Urban Space by curator and Ph.D. candidate Clarissa Lim Kye Lee. Its goal is to collectively develop a body of documentation that will serve as a knowledge base on the spatial strategies and collective practices of art communities in the Malay Archipelago. The project’s graphic design is realized by Constant Variable.

Papan Haus, Kuala Lumpur
17, Jalan 14/1, Seksyen 14, 46100
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

This event is free and open to the public. Register here.

Papan Haus (Petaling Jaya)
 Founded during the pandemic, Papanhaus is a collectively owned and run experimental cultural space in Petaling Jaya. A gathering space for cross-generational and interconnected conversations. The space is a playground, for creativity to flow and experimentation. Previously, the space has hosted workshops, exhibitions and talks about art, architecture and design.  

Little Giraffe Story House (Selangor)
Rebuilt in a single-storey bungalow in Batu 11, it is a community children’s library with educational and community arts activities as a place for people to gather collectively, it also has previously been the premises for cafes, rojak stalls, community art gallery, artists studios, office and a loft.

Coex @Kilang Besi (Penang)
A community hub in Georgetown that offers alternative shared-spaces for cross-collaboration to celebrate the value of hands-on creation.  As a platform, COEX hosts a plethora of arts organisations, independent bookstores, architecture firm and food and beverage initiatives. The platform hosts events ranging from music concerts, festivals, workshops and talks.

Kapallorek (Perak)
Kapallorek is an independent art space founded in 2014   It is a non-profit organization that serves as an alternative platform for emerging new media artists, inter-disciplinary arts, experimental artists, residency artists, and art researchers. The space hosts exhibitions, workshops, performances art, dialogues, and sharing sessions during which artists can share their creative practice with local communities. 

Ruang Tamu Ekosistem / Pangrok Sulap (Sabah)
Ruang Tamu Ekosistem is a community art space in Kota Kinabalu, shared by culture, art and social organizations.  The space hosts a variety events, ranging from univeristy student union gatherings, workshops, talks and artist residencies. The collective has collaborated with British Council, human rights organisations, cultural organisations and more.
Pangrok Sulap is one of the collectives of Ruang Tamu Ekosistem. They are a Malaysian collective of artists, musicians and social activists with a mission to empower rural communities and the marginalized through art. “Pangrok” is the local pronunciation of “punk rock,” and “Sulap” is a hut, or a resting place usually used by farmers in Sabah, Borneo. 

Yap Sau Bin is an educator at the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Malaysia. He is also a founding member of Rumah Air Panas Art Society [RAP], an artist initiative based in Kuala Lumpur. He had received awards in the Young Contemporaries Arts Award by the National Art Gallery, Malaysia in 2000 and 2002, and has participated at the JENESYS Residency program in Japan in 2008. His practice encompasses conceptual work, installation, mapping project, collaboration, performance and sporadic writings, and curatorial project. Initiated in 2005, MappingKLArtSpace is an ongoing project by Yap mapping the art spaces in Kuala Lumpur from the past to present.

Cheah Ee Von is a lecturer at the School of Architecture and Built Environment at UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur. Her field of research spans from participatory architecture to decolonization. Cheah has published on Architecture Malaysia Magazine and was part of the LANAI zine collective. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Taylor’s University and a Master of Architecture from AA School, London.  

Clarissa Lim Kye Lee is a cultural worker based in between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur via Penang. She is currently a PhD Candidate at the School of Architecture and received the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme and the CUHK Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship. Working in the interstices of visual culture, arts and architecture, her research reveals the urban influence of arts collectives in Malaysia. She has curated projects with the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Her writing and editing can be read on Design Anthology, Lensa Seni, Lanai Zine, Suburbia Projects, and more. She has also lectured at The University of Hong Kong, Malaysian Institute of Art, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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