Jay Koh

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Flowing on the Verge of Margins

BangMod Canal international Art Project in Communities (BCiAPC)

Jay Koh, born in Singapore, now with a German citizenship, lives in Malaysia since 2000, considers himself a Southeast Asian, is a cross-disciplinary artist-curator, educator and consultant/evaluator with focuses on public participative and socially-engaged art. Prior to his art praxis, during the 80s, he was active with the Gesundheitsladen Koeln while studying in the University of Cologne, as an activist and critic on the outcomes of research and implementations of health and science advancements in society, specifically in the field of genetic and reproduction technology. He has practised and lectured in over 40 countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. His Doctor of Fine Arts (DFA) on cross-disciplinary artistic research was attained with the University of the Arts Helsinki while doing his required live project as case studies in Dublin, Ireland.

In 1995, he founded international Forum for InterMedia Arts (iFIMA) [1] while managing the independent art space, arting [2] in Cologne and in 2000 was joined by Chu Yuan to initiate public, participative and socially engaged art projects, such as the Open Academy [3] program in Hanoi, Hue, Ulaanbaatar and Yangon. He co-managed the independent art space Networking & Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (NICA) in Yangon from 2002 – 2007. Jay’s book on ALPP, Art-Led Participative Processes: Dialogue & Subjectivity within Performances in the Everyday[4] (University of the Arts Helsinki, 2015; SRID/Gerakbudaya, 2016) discusses holistic and ethical art and people-centred processes, in building relationships and seeking affirmation across sectors and disciplines.

Recently, he convened the conference People-Centred Processes: Arts, Education and Cross-Sector Collaboration in Asia Centre 2016 and in Bangmot Creative & Community festival 2017 in Bangkok and taught MA students as visitor at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and Bangkok University in Bangkok, PSM in Penang, LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore. In Europe, he presented ALPP in Zurich University of the Arts, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts, Glasgow Sculpture Studios and the post-doctoral research cluster, Centre for Comparative Studies in the University of Lisbon.

His present collaboration in Thung Khru, Bangkok is with 3C project in managing the Arts, Research & Collaboration (ARC) station and the Bangmot Canal international Art Project in Communities [5]. His on-going international cross/inter-disciplinary collaboration in sociology/anthropology, water resources and public participative art in the Upper Gulf of Thailand is with the University of West England-Bristol, Chulalongkorn University and iFIMA through funding of the British Academy. This durational public participative art project is titled Flowing on the Verge of Margins [6]. Jay is also a module supervisor in the continuing education program, Master of Advanced Studies, Arts & Society [7] of the Zurich University of the Arts and will be conducting his ALPP and Working in Context modules in Havana in the space of LASA Cuba [8] where he is the visiting artist-curator in preparation for LASA Cuba’s contribution in the forthcoming Havana Biennial, 2019. He is researching on the forthcoming books titled Performing Politics: Arts & Society and a Reader on Praxis/es: People-Centred and Public Engagement Processes.