Khazanah managing director Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir (middle) poses with the KAAR 2023 recipients Mark Tan (left) and Joshua Kane Gomes. Photo: Khazanah

14 Dec 2022

Emerging artistic talents awarded with Khazanah art residency in London

Contemporary artists Mark Tan, 31, and Joshua Kane Gomes, 29, have been announced as recipients of the Khazanah Nasional Associate Artist Residency Programme (KAAR) 2023 – under the Khazanah Residency Programme (KRP) initiative.

Both are set to embark on a three-month arts residency at Acme Studios in London, from Jan 9 to March 31, 2023.

They were selected from a pool of 40 participants, which was later narrowed down to six finalists.

Acme Studios, founded by artists for artists in 1972, offers programmes that are designed to provide transformational impact, reducing the practical challenges often faced by artists and increasing their ability to take creative risks.

Each residency is tailored to suit the individual needs of the artist, allowing them time to research, build relationships and focus on producing new artworks in a supported environment.

Mark Tan’s ‘Grey Matter (mixed media on paper, 2016). Photo: Handout

As a convergence point for artists from all over the world such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, Acme is also a melting pot of various cultures which fosters the learning and understanding of diverse perspectives and ideas.

“Khazanah has always been supportive of the local arts scene and works of local artists, both rising talents as well as the more established. The local art players in the industry have been impacted by the pandemic and it is important for us to ensure we support them to further advance the industry. The development programme is necessary to promote intellectual growth among practitioners through creative development, exposure to new ideas and discourse activities,” says Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir, Khazanah managing director.

The KAAR provides local talents with international exposure which enhances knowledge and skills, for them to excel in their careers and grow into thought leaders in their field. Upon their return, they will be entrusted to give back to the community by imparting practical knowledge collected throughout their residency to the next generation of artists, enriching the local art scene with greater creativity, quality and intellectual diversity.

Joshua Kane Gomes’s ‘You Had Me At Hello’ (steel, fabric, rope and polyester fibre fill, 2020). Photo: Handout

“It is truly an honour to be the recipient for the Khazanah Residency 2023 as it provides an opportunity to develop my art practice especially in the field of printmaking. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and skills through this residency experience and share it with everyone upon my return,” says Tan, who obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Drawing and Applied Arts from the University of the West of England.

Gomes, who is a graduate of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, specialises in sculptures.

“I hope I will be able to do the Malaysian art scene proud and I am looking forward to engaging the local scene in a meaningful way with what I have learnt,” says Gomes.

The participation of KL-based artists Tan and Gomes marks the fifth art residency year for this programme since it was introduced by Khazanah in 2017, with a total of 10 emerging Malaysian artists supported to date.

KAAR features a 12-week structured programme in London, with practical, work/live studio accommodation, and a programme of artist support and professional development.

Former KAAR recipients include Haffendi Anuar and Ajim Juxta among others who have contributed to the development of the local art scene through art education, sharing of experience, talks related to art and support to aspiring artists.

The members of the KAAR alumni continue to pursue their passion in arts and participated in various solo and group exhibitions locally and abroad.