Alma Mater to Master Artists

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One has to wonder how much poorer the Malaysian art scene would be without the Malaysian Institute of Art.

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”

This stirring toast by Rick (Humphrey Bogart), from the 1942 Hollywood classic Casablanca, could well go to the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) now that it is celebrating its golden anniversary.

It is an amazing feat for the institution – founded as a non-profit private higher art education provider by Chung Chen Sun in 1967, when it had only a paltry enrolment of 16 students – to be what and where it is today.

Other art institutions have not been so lucky, and have become footnotes of history: the Kuala Lumpur College of Art, the Central Academy of Art, the West Malaysian Art Academy, the Penang Art Centre, the Conservatory of Fine Arts, and the Sain Academy.


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