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.


Jay Koh was born in Singapore and since 1999 has been a German citizen. He has in his career of 15 years in the field of art, created projects and shown his installations, videos, performances, given lectures and had his writings published, in more than 30 countries, mostly in Asia and Europe. He is directing an art and cultural programme (NICA – Networking + Initiatives for Culture and the Arts) in Yangon, Myanmar and working to set up a new cultural space in Kuala Lumpur. From 1992 - 99, he ran the space ”arting” in Cologne where he initiated and established in 1995 the international organisation for cross-cultural projects, IFIMA - International Forum for InterMedia Arts, now based in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Jay takes on multifaceted roles in order to negotiate with social-political structures on site and to conceive appropriate actions in response to each site. These actions emerge from an artistic practice that can range from creating art works, curating and organising exhibitions, seminars, workshops and learning programmes; community capacity-building, advocacy, writing, publishing, to other necessary activities. Since 2000, Jay has been working with
Chu Chu Yuan in developing models of engagements with publics and communities.

Some of his selected recent activities in 2005 were to speak in the symposium Art and Social Intervention: the Incidental Person, Tate Britain; Helsinki Art Museum and Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki; New Model of Art Practice, ARTCONCEPT, St. Petersburg; Public project Portraying Ourselves commissioned by Loennstroem Art Museum, Rauma/Finland and to conduct a workshop on Art Writing and Appreciation, Singapore Art Museum.

Source: Goethe-Institut


The March issue of fineArt forum features Jay Koh's essay on Art
Activism and Cross-cultural Projects in Thailand and Myanmar. Koh has
been been working in Thailand since 1995 and in Myanmar since 1998
under the organisation 'arting', which began as an art space set up
by himself in Cologne in 1991. arting continues to run art projects
in Asia and Europe and is now integrated into IFIMA (International
Forum for InterMedia Art) founded in 1997. From February 2001, Koh
was involved in a residency project with The Substation, Singapore,
entitled "Investigating Public Engaged Art" together with Chu
ChuYuan, who has been involved with IFIMA's activities since early



Raumars Artist In Residence Programme | Now happening



The fields of art include visual arts, applied art, design, architecture, music, dance, literature and theatre. Duration of the residency period is from 2 to 6 months.


The artist will produce at least one co-operative public- or community art project together with local people or institutions during his / her visit. The project can be a workshop, a lecture or a public art work just to mention few. The project is produced according to the artists' accepted proposal.

Artists are entitled to practice their own art on their own time.

Raumars will offer an apartment free of charge, arrange working facilities as needed and give administrative help in producing the accepted proposal. Raumars also guarantees some support for the material expenses.

Applications have to include a short documentation of the artists previous artwork. Main selection criterion will be the quality of previous art, the proposal and the motivation to work within social context.


For more information and the application form, please visit the website of Raumars or go straight to the information for artists .


The new guest artist of Raumars is Jay Koh, Malaysia / Germany & Chu Chu Yuan, Singapore


Talk by Chu Chu Yuan and Jay Koh of IFIMA (International Forum for InterMedia Art) at Perumal Studio

Topic: IFIMA's work in Myanmar: Networking and Initiatives for
Culture and the Arts (NICA)
Date: Thursday, 29th January, 2004
Time: 7 p.m.
Venue: Perumal Studio, 12A Perumal Road
Nearest train station: Farrer Park (NEL)

Chu Chu Yuan and Jay Koh will give an overview of the arts initiative
that IFIMA has set up in Myanmar, named Networking and Initiatives
for Culture and the Arts (NICA). NICA is an independent non-profit
initiative to facilitate access and exchanges between Myanmar arts
and cultural practitioners with counterparts, organizations and
opportunities outside Myanmar. NICA's programmes include
International Networking & Resource-sharing Programmes, Residency,
Research & Development Programmes, as well as Internship & Training
Programmes. Chu Yuan and Jay will introduce in greater detail the
Open Academy, which is an open platform to facilitate and organize
events for foreign artists/ art groups/ curators, theatre
practitioners, researchers etc. who wish to go into Myanmar to
develop collaborations with local counterparts in a project, in forms
of cultural exchange; or to conduct talks and workshops. The Open
Academy may comprise of short-term residencies, symposiums, talks,
presentations, projects and workshops to promote creative exchanges,
collaborations, information and resource-sharing.

Hope Box

Interactive Art projects
Hope Box is the collective noun of four interactive Art projects initiated by the Dutch artist Rienke Enghardt.

One of the four Art projects are travelling through Africa and are described below.

Weather Report 1991 - 2003

Weather Report is a series of collaborative works of art. In each artwork five artists from the four winds are represented. During her journeys (see 'Travelreport') Rienke Enghardt cuts her travel-drawings into four pieces and divides those pieces among four artists. Using the piece as binding-factor, each artist works individually on the work of art, which arises when the four pieces are being put back together again. Rooted in a sense of limitation Rienke invites artists she meets on her travels to create together a more complete image of reality. By rallying forces and connecting different points of view, Weather Report likes to reach as close as possible a complete view of the world. Since the year 1991 young artists from Asia, Europe, America and Oceania have joined Weather Report. Africa will be the last continent to participate. In the years between the first and the last Weather Report well over hundred and fifty works of art by over a hundred artists will have come into being.

PR China; Thailand; Hong Kong; Laos; Vietnam; Burma; Malaysia; Singapore; Indonesia; the Netherlands; America; New Zealand/Aotearoa; Australia; Kosovo

South Africa; Mexico; Sierra Leone; Palestina; Israel; Eritrea; Cameroon; Cuba; Morocco; Egypt

Aaron Seeto; Abdellatif Benfaidoul; Adam Hill; Ade Darmawan; Alice Tung Tze Yung; Alioum Moussa; Antoine Timmermans; Anton Claassen; Arone Meeks; Ava Seymour; Bas van den Hurk; Brian Robinson; Carolien van der Donk; Charles Robb; Chatchai Puipia; Chau Giang;
Chu Chu Yuan; Dang Xuan Hoa; Desiree Alvarez; EddiE haRA; Elias bin Mohd; Erzen Vala; Ewoud van Rijn; Feng Bin; Fenneke Weltevrede; Fiona Omeenyo; Gabi Ngcobo; Gordana Baskot; Greg Streak; Hannah&Aaron; Hans van Bentem: Ha Tri Hieu; Harry van der Woud; Helga Groves; Henk Ovink; Hong Viet Dung; Ilse Edit Pahl; James de la Vega; Josje van Doorn; Karin Bos; Kongphat Luangrath; Langa Magwa; Luong Dung; Lucy Griggs; Malam; Mehmet Behluli; Mella Jaarsma; Mbongeni Buthelezi; Mounir Fatmi; Nardy Stolker; Nathan Pohio; Nguyen Dam Thuy; Nguyen Dieu Thuy; Nicole Awai; Nindityo Adipurnomo; Patries van Elsen; Paul Johns; Paul Wrigley; Peter Verheul; Pham Quang Vinh; Phouvong Chanthavong; Pinaree Sanpitak; Tim Yu Tai Keung; Raquel Ormella; Rene de Haan; Resi van der Ploeg; Richard Brouwer; Rienke Enghardt; Robin Rode; Rosella Namok; Rudina Xhaferi; Seraphine Pick; Shigeyo Kobayashi; Soe Naing; Soe Win Nyein; Sophie Cadman; Sikounnavong Kanha; Teuta Gacafèri; Titus Matiyani; Tran Luong; Tran Trong Vu; Usha Seejarim; Vallessa Monk; Vincent Leow; Wade Schaare; Wally Wallwork; Walter van Broekhuizen; Zakaria Sharif; Zhao Jianren



Locus 2 brought together critics and curators from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Germany, Canada/France, Sri Lanka/UK, and India in an attempt to lay bare the conditions and dynamics running through and impinging on their individual and collective practices. Armed with a firm belief in the power of self-reflexivity to positively transform art's producers, consumers, and interpreters (i.e. curators and critics and all of their multi-tasked manifestations), Locus convened young originators and gatekeepers of ideas and images, hoping to contribute in their own efforts at resisting or meeting head-on the impositions of totalizing institutions.

Locus 2's speakers and discussants included Patrick Flores, Jose Tence Ruiz, Joselina Cruz, Judy Freya Sibayan, Ringo Bunoan, Karen Flores, and Imelda Cajipe-Endaya from the Philippines; Niranjan Rajah (Malaysia), Thanom Chapakdee (Thailand), Ly Daravuth (Cambodia),
Chu Chu Yuan (Malaysia/Singapore), Nguyen Minh Thanh (Vietnam), Jay Koh (Germany/Singapore), Lani Maestro (Philippines/Canada/France), Sharmini Pereira (Sri Lanka/UK), Ranjit Hoskote (India), Ingrid Swenson (UK), and, Lee Weng Choy, Vincent Leow from Singapore. Serving as moderators were the heads and representatives of local cultural institutions such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Museum, Ayala Museum, Lopez Museum, Ateneo Art Gallery and an independent curator.


Forum for the Arts 2003: "Comparative Contemporaries"

Venue: The Substation Guinness Theatre
Date / Time: 18 Oct (Sat) 2003 / 10:30am – 6pm
Admission is free.

This one-day symposium features a keynote presentation by art historian T K Sabapathy, Director, CAAC, and presentations by Lee Weng Choy, artistic co-director, The Substation; Patrick Flores, University of the Philippines; Zoe Butt, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; and Kevin Chua, University of California, Berkeley. Underlying the symposium is this one question: how would you produce an anthology of existing writing on Southeast Asian art of the last fifteen-plus years? While the symposium does not aim to lead directly to the production of such an anthology—that would require far more research and work than can be accomplished at a single gathering—our aim is to intensively discuss and debate the questions concerning such a project.

In recent years, there have been a significant number of regional and international conferences, symposia and workshops on contemporary visual art from Asia. These events have been important gatherings for artists, art critics, academics, administrators, curators, and general audiences to learn about the diverse art practices in the region and to develop networks between various individuals and institutions. However, many of these events have been characterized by certain shortcomings: too often participants talk only about their respective countries; participants hardly refer to, let alone engage in-depth with, other people’s writing and research; and participants lack a larger, longer and deeper perspective of what is and what has been happening in the region.

There is a growing awareness of this problem. But while the calls for more art writing and publishing are becoming more frequent, the question is, what is being done about it? After a significant fifteen-plus years of production and presentation of contemporary Asian art in all manner of platforms, it is indeed timely that this field and period of art practices receive much more rigorous and intensive study.

There already is a substantial body of writing on contemporary Asian as well as Southeast Asian art. But this body of diverse writing on the contemporary art of Southeast Asia, in particular, remains largely uncollated, insufficiently analyzed and poorly disseminated. There are, however, a number of ongoing projects and some relatively new initiatives aimed at furthering the writing and research in this field. One of them is The Substation’s Forum for the Arts 2003: “Comparative Contemporaries”.

Forum for the Arts 2003: “Comparative Contemporaries” is a collaboration with IFIMA, the International Forum for Inter-Media Arts, and the CAAC, Contemporary Asian Arts Centre, Singapore. Forum for the Arts 2003 is sponsored by the Shaw Foundation and the National Arts Council.

1) T K Sabapathy, Contemporary Asian Arts Centre, Singapore (CAAC)
2) Patrick Flores, University of the Philippines
3) Zoe Butt, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
4) Kevin Chua, University of California, Berkeley
5) Lee Weng Choy, The Substation, Singapore
6) Ray Langenbach, independent theorist and artist, Malaysia
7) Lucy Davis, Forum on Contemporary Art & Society (FOCAS), Singapore
Jay Koh, International Forum of Inter-Media Arts (IFIMA), Singapore/ Burma
Chu Chu Yuan, IFIMA
10) Grant Kester, University of California, San Diego
11) Suenne Megan Tan, Singapore Art Museum
12) Sharmini Pereira, independent curator, UK / Sri Lanka
13) Claire Hsu, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong
14) Ashley Carruthers, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
15) Ho Tzu Nyen, associate artist, The Substation
16) Ly Daravuth, Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture, Cambodia
17) Peter Schoppert, Singapore University Press
18) Isrizal, associate artist, The Substation
19) Jason Wee, Vehicle, visual arts magazine
20) Joan Kee, independent scholar, Hong Kong / Korea / USA
21) C J Wee Wan-Ling, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
22) David Chan, independent curator, Hong Kong
23) Chaitanya Sambrani, Australian National University
24) Cheo Chai-Hiang, artist, Singapore
25) Yeyey Cruz, Lopez Museum, Philippines
26) Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez, Pananaw, Philippine Journal of Visual Arts
27) John Low, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
28) Michael Lee, NAFA
29) Gridthiya Gaweewong, Project 304, Thailand
30) Colin Reaney, National Institute of Education, Singapore
31) Venka Purushothaman, LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore
32) Low Sze Wee, Singapore Art Museum
33) Christine Clark, Australian National University
34) Joyce Toh, Singapore Art Museum

The Substation project team:
Lee Weng Choy & Audrey Wong, Artistic Co-Directors
Malissa Gough, General Manager
Celine Yeo & Cyril Wong, Project