ROCI Malaysia Research Guide

This guide provides links to digitized or online materials related specifically to ROCI MALAYSIA. Additional materials can be found in the ROCI research guide including press kits, oral histories, and videos.

Materials provided in this guide are for reference and research purposes only. For reproduction requests, email the archives.


In the fall of 1989, Rauschenberg traveled to Malaysia to prepare for his ROCI project there. During his visit, he attended the inauguration ceremony for the new king and visited local tribes. In Sarawak, Borneo, he bought hundreds of “Save the Forest” T-shirts and bamboo bracelets, hoping to help people whose livelihoods as hunters were being destroyed along with the rain forests. The painting series for ROCI MALAYSIA (1990) reveal the artist’s concern for the conflict between urban and indigenous cultures within the country. The exhibition opened in May 1990 at Balai Seni Lukis Negara (National Art Gallery) in Kuala Lumpur.


This is a painting series made for ROCI MALAYSIA, part of the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange project, and exhibited at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1990. In addition to patterned fabrics, the series includes silkscreen images derived from Rauschenberg’s black-and-white photographs taken during a research trip to Malaysia in 1989.

View select ROCI Malaysia artworks (RRF website)

View artwork checklist (PDF)  


Archival Documents 
Archival documents are limited to a museum floor plan related to the ROCI MALAYSIA exhibition. 

View select reference scans of archival materials (PDF)


Catalog of an exhibition, Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange: ROCI MALAYSIA, held at Balai Seni Lukis Negara (National Art Gallery), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 21–June 21, 1990. Essays by Donald Saff and Muhammad Haji Salleh, previously published essay by Robert Hughes, and previously published statement by Rauschenberg.

View catalogue (PDF)


Documentary Photographs 
Documentary photographs of ROCI MALAYSIA include installation images, travel snapshots and other images related to Rauschenberg’s trip and exhibition. 

View select documentary photographs and digitized snapshots
PDF 1, PDF 2, PDF 3


Oral History
Oral history transcripts of individuals involved in ROCI.

See ROCI Research Guide (webpage)


Raw and edited footage of Rauschenberg’s ROCI-related travels.

See ROCI Research Guide (webpage)


Other Materials (not digitized)
The majority of archival materials related to ROCI are not yet digitized and must be accessed onsite at the Foundation. Comprehensive information on these collections is found on the Archives Collections webpage. To find listings on related materials once on this page, scroll to the desired collection, download the finding aid PDF, and keyword search for "ROCI."

Below is a list of recommended collections to search. Email archives for help or questions.

  • Audiovisual Collection
  • Charles Yoder records related to the Rauschenberg Studio
  • Chun-Wuei Su Chien papers
  • Donald Saff records on Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI)
  • Photograph Collection
  • Robert Rauschenberg papers
man on beach

Rauschenberg on Dasar Sabak beach, fishing village near Kota Bharu, during ROCI Malaysia research trip, 1989