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The Perak Arts Foundation in Ipoh (Negeri Perak) was conceptualised in 1996 and formally established a year later. Its objectives include:
- To provide opportunities for artists and art activists in promoting their artworks and creative activities through exhibitions, workshops, forum and other related activities.
- To cultivate the development of traditional as well as contemporary art and culture.
- To promote an active cultural life in order to complement the economic, industrial and comercial aspects of the society.
- Through communication with other countries, to act as a centre of reference providing advices for and about local art and culture.
- To publish books, journals, catalogues and other printed materials related to art and culture as a means of documenting the progress of local art and culture.
From 1996 to 2000 the Perak Arts Foundation initiated and organized the Ipoh International Arts Festival, widely acknowledged to have contributed towards the enhancement of the art and cultural scene of the city of Ipoh in Perak. With the participation and support of artists from all genres from the country and abroad, the festival showcased numerous programmes: visual art exhibitions and competitions, poetry recitals, art workshops, theatre and cultural performances, art and crafts markets, as well as seminars and forums.
PAF also regularly organizes exhibitions, seminars, workshops and art dialogues with guest artists. Among international participants were Indonesian poets WS Rendra, Taufiq Ismail, and Emha Ainun Najib, contemporary artists such as Arahmaiani, Agus Suwage, Tisna Sanjaya, Tiarma Ruth Sirait (Indonesia); Noel Soler Cuizon, Riel Jaramillo (Phillippines) and sculptor Silvio Apponyi (Australia). Art collectives like Matahati, Rumah Air Panas (Malaysia), Taring Padi, Gelaran MIFA (Indonesia) and Anting-anting (Philippines) were among those invited to share experiences and ideas with the audience.
Since 2002 the foundation coordinates the Gebang Seni (art talks) at its own space called "rumahykp", providing a commendable platform to generate intellectual discourse and critical thinking. Malaysian internationally acclaimed cartoonist Lat, National Laureate Muhammad Haji Salleh, art historian/critic Redza Piyadasa, sculptor Raja Shahriman Raja Aziddin and film-maker U-Wei Saari were among the invited intellectuals who took part in Gebang Seni.
Not forgetting its social responsibility, PAF also contributes to charity activities and communal programmes such as the blood-drive campaign for Ipoh Hospital, fund raising projects, through sales of artworks and publications, for victims of the tsunami in Aceh, and of war in Kosovo and Iraq.
Independent arts organization based in Ipoh, the state capital of Perak, northern Malaysia
Initiator and Chairman:
Raja Ahmad Aminullah Raja Abdullah
Board of Directors:
Dato' Baharuddin Zainal
Dr. Siti Zainon Ismail
Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal
Dr. Muhammad Hj Salleh
Nur Hanim Mohamed Khairuddin