Exhibition News

Asialink Residencies - Up To 40 Australian Artists To Live And Work In Asia (June 2007)

Published Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are. (Samuel Johnson).

Applications open July 1 for the 2008 Asialink arts residency program which allows Australian arts practitioners to spend up to four months living and working in Asia. Up to 40 residencies will be offered in 2008 across the areas of arts management, literature, performing arts and visual arts.

Alison Carroll, Director Arts Program, Asialink: The program offers the challenges and rewards of cultural exchange only possible through an extended stay in a country. It has had significant impact on some of this country’s finest artists and writers, therefore enriching the fabric of our entire culture.

By the end of 2007, 449 residents will have travelled between Asia and Australia since the Asialink program was established in 1991.

Many high profile artists have participated including Brook Andrew (India), Fiona Hall (Sri Lanka), Craig Walsh (Vietnam), Jenny Watson (Vietnam), Joan Grounds (India & Thailand), Guan Wei (Singapore) Louise Paramor (Singapore and India), Pat Hoffie (Philippines and Vietnam), Philip Adams (China), Philip Brophy (Japan), Hellen Sky (Hong Kong), Inez Baranay (India) and Christopher Kremmer ( Sri Lanka).

The Asialink residency program, which receives core funding from The Australia Council, provides a grant of up to $12,000 towards travel, living and project expenses and provides a network of initial contacts in the host country. Each resident is hosted by an arts organization or tertiary institution and the interaction between the resident and the host is an important aspect of the program. Residents commonly present talks and lectures, present workshops or engage in formal teaching. Many also direct performances, organized events, exhibit work in solo and group exhibitions and undertake

I am finding myself, all of a sudden, in a world without ordinariness… This is the prize we receive for the act of leaving home. For the act of stepping out of our comfort zone. For the act of leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar. For the act of swapping the easy for the difficult. The prize is that we get to perceive the world as new and with that the understanding that it is possible, with some hard work and concentration, to do so with any world, even the one in which we live familiar and comfortable lives. Petrus Spronk (Vic) Visual Arts/Craft Resident to Korea,

For the majority of grant recipients, the residency is their first extended visit to the host country and a radical departure from their own culture. For some artists, however, the residency signifies a personal journey, retracing immigrant paths. Tasmanian painter and installation artist Megan Keating was curious to discover more about her mysterious Chinese grandfather who came to Australia in the 1930s to run a business on the NSW goldfields and who left behind a daughter, Megan's mother, who he never knew. The work Keating created during her residency in Beijing reflected the coexistence of modernity and tradition in China using objects she collected from the streets. She has since held several exhibitions in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney which have continued to explore the theme of displacement, using the paper-cutting technique she learnt in China.

Asialink Residencies have taken place in 18 countries to date: Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, The Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

For more information regarding application information, contact The Asialink Centre: 03 8344 4800 or email arts@asialink.unimelb.edu.au

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