If you are a visual artist living and working in Malaysia, we invite you to apply for ILHAM Gallery’s first open call exhibition.

The ILHAM Art Show is a triennial exhibition platform for established and emerging artists alike, to experiment and make new work. Those selected to participate in the ILHAM Art Show will be awarded an art production grant to be put towards the making of their new work. The ILHAM Art Show will serve as a platform to support and promote contemporary art in Malaysia and stimulate lively public discussion and critical debate.

The inaugural ILHAM Art Show will be held from February – July 2022.

To be considered for selection, artists must comply with all entry instructions and conditions.






  1. ILHAM Art Show is open to all professional artists based in Malaysia (Malaysian and non-Malaysian) over 21 years of age.
  2. Open to individual artists, and art collectives.



  1. Applications can be in submitted in Bahasa Malaysia or English.
  2. Applicants can submit only one proposal each.
  3. Application requirement:
    • Artist bio (not more than 500 words).
    • Artist statement for proposed artwork (not more than 500 words)
    • Proposed Artwork – up to 5 images, schematics, renderings, etc of your proposed artwork (JPEG format with a maximum file size of 1MB). If your artwork involves moving image or sound you may include a URL link where we can access the video or audio file.
    • Provide an estimated production cost for the making of the proposed artwork. Please note that each selected artist will receive a production grant between RM2,000 to RM8,000, dependent on the artwork proposal & upon agreement with ILHAM.
    • Under ‘Recent Works’ artists can submit up to 5 examples of their practice in a PDF. These need to be clearly labelled with title, material, and dimensions within the single PDF document. If your recent works involves video, you may include a URL link where we can access it.


  1. The artwork must be a new original work produced by the artist or art collective.
  2. The artwork can be in any medium including painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, photography, installation, and new media.
  3. Due to practical limitations, the size of the artwork (or if made up of more than one panel, each component) should not exceed 0.9 meter (width) × 2.3 meter (height) and should not be more than in 2.7 meter (depth).
  4. If selected for the exhibition, each artist will receive a production grant (between RM2,000 – RM8,000) from ILHAM, to be put towards the making of their proposed artwork.


ILHAM Art Show is open for entries at 11:00 AM on 20 May 2021 with the final deadline for submission being 11:59 PM on 23 July 2021.


  1. The ILHAM Art Show aims to showcase original work which reflects the diversity and vibrancy of the Malaysian art scene. The selection panel will have access to all the applications.
  2. Applications will be reviewed by the selection panel who will consider work that they feel is important, relevant and timely.
  3. Due to the expected volume of applications, ILHAM Gallery curators will make an initial pre-selection to which the selection panel has access to, alongside all eligible applications.
  4. Selected artists will be officially notified by email by 1 September 2021.
  5. The selection panel are Rahel Joseph, Director, ILHAM Gallery, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa, Senior Curator, National Gallery Singapore, and Zoe Butt, Artistic Director, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Vietnam.
  6. The selection panel’s decision is final and no correspondence shall be entered into.


  1. The selected artists will be invited to make their proposed artwork which will be featured in the ILHAM Art Show from February to July 2022. The work must be the original work of the artist and must not have been exhibited in any previous exhibition.
  2. ILHAM Gallery curators will arrange a studio visit (or zoom call, depending on location) with each selected artist to discuss the artwork for the show. The gallery will give each artist a production grant between RM2,000 – RM8,000 (the amount of which is dependent on the proposed artwork as agreed to by ILHAM) which they can put towards the making of the work. The artists will be supported by the ILHAM Gallery curatorial team during this process.
  3. ILHAM will arrange the pick-up and transportation of artworks in January 2022, according to the dates and times set by the Gallery.
  4. While decisions relating to the exhibition layout and hang will be made by the ILHAM exhibition team, the team will work with the artists regarding the presentation of their work.
  5. The artist agrees not to withdraw the artwork before the close of the exhibition.


  1. Selected artists consent to images of their work being reproduced by ILHAM and the media for the purpose of critical view, advertising, and publicity, promotional materials, and publication.
  2. Selected artists have sole responsibility for ensuring that the work does not infringe another creator’s copyright. Entries found to infringe the cultural property or moral rights of another individual or a group of artists will be disqualified.


  • 20 May 2021 - Applications open for ILHAM Art Show 2022
  • 23 July 2021 - Application deadline
  • August 2021 - Selection panel meets to select artists for ILHAM Art Show
  • September 2021 - Selected artists will be officially informed by ILHAM
  • October - December 2021 - Selected artists receive a production grant to be put towards the making of the artwork.
  • January 2022 - Pick up of finished artworks. Installation of ILHAM Art Show.
  • February 2022 - ILHAM Art Show opens.

ILHAM Art Show: Application Q+A Zoom Session

Ask the ILHAM team your questions concerning the application process for the ILHAM Art Show!

Q+A summary

ILHAM Art Show: Office Hours on Zoom

Join our office hours and chat to an ILHAM Team member on zoom during the following dates/ times:

  • 15 July: 1 - 3 PM
  • 21 July: 3 - 5 PM
  • 23 July: 3 - 5 PM

We can try to answer your questions regarding the application process for the ILHAM Art Show.

Zoom Link


For further information please contact:

ILHAM Art Show
Level 3, ILHAM Tower
No. 8, Jalan Binjai
50540 Kuala Lumpur