Founder & Director: Jay Koh

Director for Projects:
Chu Chu Yuan


IFIMA is an international cultural organization committed to:

(i) promoting art as a cultural activity in which the creative process contributes towards people’s developmental needs on an interdisciplinary platform

(ii) forging collaborations, networking and resource-sharing across disciplines, and across cultures

(iii) promoting discourse across disciplines and sectors so as to build engagement amongst co-participating communities in arts and cultural activities

(iv) curating and organizing art and cultural events which respond to specific cultural contexts

(v) devising and facilitating context specific training and resource-building programmes with aim of promoting self-management by arts communities

IFIMA’s activities

Our activities are art-based and diverse, and designed to address specific contexts, cultural and developmental needs. As such, our projects entail study of each site and cultural context and identifying and organizing the appropriate activities. These activities ranges from curating and organising exhibitions, seminars, workshops; networking, resource-sharing and capacity-building, consultancy, management and administrative services, human resource training, advocacy, writing, publishing, research, to other necessary activities. We source and raise funds for suitable personnel to be deployed for specific projects. We channel resources to those who are lacking and in need of assistance.

Beginnings and Current Status

IFIMA evolved from a non-profit art space arting, which was founded by Jay Koh and sited at Bruesseler Strasse 29 in Cologne from 1992-1999. arting promoted contemporary art, and worked in a interdisciplinary manner with other art and cultural foundations and organizations. It has shown works of artists from over 20 countries, from Eritrea to Korea, Kurdistan to India, USA and the U.K. and was supported by the Art Council of Cologne. IFIMA developed as an international platform to coordinate arting’s then expanding cross-cultural activities. IFIMA was registered as a non-profit organisation in Cologne from 1996-2000. From 1998, Jay Koh, IFIMA’s founder and director, has been working mostly outside of Cologne, and the organisation is currently registered in Singapore as a partnership, although it remains non-profit in nature, as our accounting statements and reports would show. Due to difficulties in meeting heavy administrative, financial and legislative requirements of a registered company limited by guarantee, which is a prerequisite for obtaining a non-profit status in Singapore, IFIMA does not have the legal entity of a non-profit organisation in Singapore.

IFIMA’s work in Asia

From 1996 to 2003, IFIMA has been working with artists, groups and individuals in Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, The Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh and more actively in Myanmar(Burma) and Singapore, in building up relationships for sustained engagement which we believes are necessary for effective cross-cultural collaboration, understanding and exchange, in arts and cultural activities.

Some of IFIMA’s past and present projects:

E.T. (Exchanging Thoughts), Chiangmai, Thailand, 1995/96

The Other Critique, Cologne, Munich and Kassel, 1997 - 1998

The Other X/change, Goethe Institut and Artist Store House, Beijing-Cologne, 1999 - 2000

Oriental Curtain - Contemporary modern art of Myanmar - Inya Artist Group, Galerie ON, Cologne, 1999 and Varkaus Museum, middle Finland, 2001;

Visual Culture: Tourist Industry - Contemporary art from Thailand, Forum Stadtpark, Graz, 2000

Translation, Displacement, Actualisation. Gallery 68elf. Cologne, Germany, 2000

International Symposium on Cultural Exchange: Crossing Cultures: Issues on Engaged Art, Museum on Site and Shanghai Art Space, Hong Kong, 2000

M-Spaces: Crossover or Assimilation. Nokia-Singapore Art 2001. Singapore, Jan 2001.

Investigating Public Engaged Art, Singapore, The Substation, Singapore, Feb – July 2001

Seminar on Engaged Art in Public Spaces, Lasnia Centre for Contemporary Art, Danzig, Poland, Sept 2001

International Symposium on Public Engaged Art, Singapore, March 2002, The Substation, Singapore

Collaboration, Networking and Resource-sharing: Myanmar, Yangon, Myanmar, 2002

City Transformers: Art and Architecture in the City, Gdansk, Poland, 2002.

"Critiquing Critical Art", a component of Locus: Interventions in Art Practice, Manila, The Philippines, 2002

Comparative Contemporaries, Oct 2003, The Substation, Singapore

NICA (Networking & Initiatives for Culture & the Arts), Myanmar/ Burma, 2003 - present

NICA is an independent not-for-profit resource development centre for culture and the arts. Established in early 2003 and located in Yangon, NICA has 2 main objectives:

(1) to identify and support those aspects of arts and cultural practices within Myanmar that are in need of resource-building to facilitate their development and

(2) to facilitate access and exchanges between Myanmar arts and cultural practitioners with counterparts, organizations and opportunities outside Myanmar.

Director: Jay Koh

Director for Programmes and Training:
Chu Chu Yuan

NICA is an extension of the project Collaboration, Networking and Resource-sharing: Myanmar, initiated by IFIMA (International Forum for Intermedia Art), following more than 5 years of research and networking carried out by IFIMA in Myanmar. NICA has the objective of being instituted as a local NGO. In the first 2 years, IFIMA has undertaken the local staff training and running of NICA's programmes.