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The Artling's Guide to Art Schools in Southeast Asia


The Artling's Guide to Art Schools in Southeast Asia

Looking to pursue a university education in fine art comes with tedious hours of research, as it should. Deciding on higher education in this field could affect the outcome of your entire life and should be taken seriously. There are many factors that could influence this decision. To start with, you should be passionate about your practice and the world of art. Joining a good university will broaden your eye and senses towards art and help you evolve your craft over the years you spend. Choosing an environment that is well suited for you yet challenges you should also be a priority. 

We’ve compiled this list of art schools in Southeast Asia that offer various Fine Art degree programs, hoping that it helps with your research process and decision making.

Click below to jump to countries:  

  1. Cambodia
  2. Indonesia
  3. Malaysia
  4. Philippines
  5. Singapore
  6. Thailand
  7. Vietnam
  8. Myanmar




Phnom Penh International Institute of the Arts (PPIIA)

An accredited arts school, Phnom Penh International Institute of the Arts has a curriculum designed to prepare students for graduate studies and careers from music, dance, to fine arts. Located in the city of Phnom Penh, it is the largest private arts school in Cambodia. In order to enrol in their Bachelor’s program, students will need to have a high school certificate or its equivalent. 

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Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh

The Royal University of Fine Arts is a university in Phnom Penh with a focus on architecture and fine arts. Initiated in 1917, it is the oldest university in Cambodia. It is also a partner in the Mekong Art and Culture Project, a two-year collaborative project spanning six activities, four countries and eight art institutes across the Greater Mekong Subregion. The Royal University of Fine Arts is recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia. 


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Indonesia Art Institute of Padang Panjang

Indonesia Art Institute of Padang Panjang is a state university located in West Sumatra. They offer courses in the fields of Fine Arts, Culture and Humanities. They are focused on teaching the arts of Melayu and Minangkabau Cultures. With a campus situated at an altitude of more than 700 meters above sea level, the beauty of this school’s location is amplified by Indonesia's three mountains in the North.  

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Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta (ISI Jogja)

A state-owned college in Yogjakarta, Institut Seni Indonesia provides courses in Fine Art, Performance, and Media with a focus on traditional and modern Indonesian styles. It was founded in 1984 and replaced three other art academies, now making it the largest art institution in Indonesia. They not only offer diplomas and undergraduate degrees in Fine Art but also Masters and Doctorate degrees in the field and more. Their Department of Fine Art offers courses in Painting, Sculpture, and Printmaking. 

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Faculty of Languages and Arts, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (UNY)

The Faculty of Languages and Arts at Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta not only offers courses to students but also teachers. Their eight departments and eleven study programmes are also offered in Indonesian, German, English, French, and Javanese, and courses include Fine Art, Craft, Dance, and Music. They have served more than 500 international students who have come to UNY for short and long term study programmes and courses.

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Indonesian Institute of Arts Denpasar 

The Indonesian Institute of the Arts Denpasar was founded in 2003 in Denpasar, Indonesia. This institute is an integration of the Indonesian Arts College in Denpasar and Study Program of Art and Design of Udayana University. This institution provides some forms of traditional Balinese arts that they fear might become extinct, and is thus motivated to provide art education for the younger generation. Aside from offering courses in Fine Art, they also offer Balinese-centric courses in Puppetry Art and Art Karawitan. 

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Malaysian Institute of Art

The Malaysian Institute of Art is based in Kuala Lumpur and offers a Diploma in Fine Art, where they seek to help students develop creative skills and visual language. Their Fine Art course not only stresses on strong studio-based studies, but also critical and creative thinking. Students will be able to enhance their practice, be it drawing, painting, printmaking, and other non-traditional experimental projects. 

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Dasein Academy of Art

The Dasein Academy of Art believes the creative education is more than a skill of job market oriented curriculum. Their Fine Art course offers a wide array of modules across its three year span, from Basic Design to Figure Painting, to Installation. Based in Kuala Lumpur, they also offer courses in Animation, Illustration, and Graphic Design. 

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UP College of Fine Arts - University of the Philippines Diliman

The University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts (UPCFA) is the oldest arts and design educational institution in the country. The institution has so far produced ten National Artists for Visual Arts, the highest state distinction given to Filipino artists with recipients including Fernando Amorsolo, Guillermo Tolentino and Carlos Francisco. They offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Sculpture, both of which aiming to develop the perceptual and technical skills of their students. 

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University of Mindanao

Situated in Davao City on the Southern Philippine Island, the University of Mindanao offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. This degree is a 4-year college program that seeks to motivate and nurture creativity and artistry in aspiring painters. It has ten branches spread over thirteen campuses and is the largest private university in Mindanao - it also has the second highest number of accredited programmes in the region. 

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De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, School of Design and Arts 

Degree and non-degree programs are available in art at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. Their School of Design and Arts (SDA) was established in 1995, and is now one of the largest schools of the college, with thirteen degree program offerings and a student population of 2,000. The SDA offers bachelors of Arts degrees in not just Multimedia Arts, but also Arts Management, Photography, and Production Design amongst others. 

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The University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design

The University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design exists as the Fine Arts schools of the University of Santo Tomas. Based in Manila, its Fine Art Major in Painting has produced national artists such as Ang Kiukok and Victorio Edades. This program challenges students to incorporate past and present modes of painting into their own practice. They will also be taught to understand the composition of anatomy, life drawing, sketching, modelling, and photography in expanding the understanding of their personal practice. 

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LASALLE College of the Arts 

Founded in 1984, the LASALLE College of the Arts is made up of either art and design schools that offer over 30 diplomae, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Its main campus is situated on a one-hectare site, with a second newer campus opening in 2013 that offers an additional 5,000 square metres of studio and workshop space. The McNally School of Fine Arts offers an array of Fine Arts disciplines including sculpture, printmaking, tech-based art and performance art, to name a few. LASALLE College of the Arts’s notable alumni includes Cultural Medallion award painter Chua Ek Kay as well as Amanda Heng. 

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Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 

The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts offers full-time diploma and degree programmes across their three schools: the School of Art and Design, the School of Music and the School of Arts Management, Dance and Theatre. Its Fine Art programme aims to provide an education with a strong Southeast Asian focus by exposing students to the appropriate technical skills. Their curriculum provides opportunities for students to experience fresh perspectives in relation to the “ethics and values of authenticity, empowerment, and leadership.

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Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design, and Media

Since 2005, Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media has offered a Bachelors in Fine Art in Art, Design and Media. This four-year degree programme is aimed at undergraduates who are interested in the aforementioned fields, and may choose to specialise in six disciplines - Digital Animation, Digital FIlmmaking, Interactive Media, Photography and Digital Imaging, Product Design and Visual Communication. 

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Silpakorn University

Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts was the inaugural faculty when the university was formally established in 1943. Back then, it only offered programmes in Painting and Sculpture. This faculty has now broadened to include other forms of specialisation such as Thai Art, Mixed Media and Art Theory. Notable alumni include artists Chalermchai Kositpipat and the late Thawan Duchanee. 

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Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts

Founded in March 1917, Chulalongkorn University is Thailand’s first institution of higher learning. Their Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts serves as a center of teaching, learning, and research for the various arts, including visual arts, creative arts, Thai music, western music, and dance. They additionally provide postgraduate degrees on top of bachelors degrees in the fields mentioned. 



Vietnam University of Fine Art

Established under the French rule in 1925, the Vietnam University of Fine Art is based in Hanoi and is where most Vietnamese painters, sculptors and art critics have been trained. The Vietnam University of Fine Art also participates in many cultural exchanges with sister institutions overseas so as to provide their students with the cultural exposure they require to improve and evolve their practice. 

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National University of Arts and Culture, Mandalay

The University of Culture, Yangon is a public university that offers Bachelors and Post-Graduate degrees in traditional Burmese performing and visual arts. The duration of study for their Bachelor programmes in Painting and Sculpture is 4 years, with an additional year for those pursuing an Honours in their specialised fields. Except for programmes in Burmese literature, all other courses at this university are taught in English. Students must also pass the university entrance exam, and international students who are interested in Burmese-centric programmes are also considered. 

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If you found this list helpful, you must also check out our guide to Art Residencies in Southeast Asia.

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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