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2015 Asialink Arts Residencies

What

In 2015, the Queensland government invested in Asialink to facilitate three Asia-based arts residencies for Queensland arts professionals:

  • Suzanne Howard, China House, Malaysia
  • Audrey Lam, Green Papaya Art Projects, Philippines
  • Giles Ryder, Ne’-Na Contemporary Art Space, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Since 1991, Asialink’s Arts Residency Program has provided professional development opportunities for arts professionals working across artforms, exchanging skills, knowledge and networks with local host communities in Asia. The program promotes sustained cross-cultural dialogue by facilitating reciprocal residencies and trialing new models of engagement. All states and territories contribute to the Asialink Residency Program.

Prior to commencing the residencies, artists participate in a one day Asia-Capability Orientation before spending between six to twelve weeks at their international host organisation. The residencies enhance the participants’ creative development and expand knowledge, skills and networks in Asia.

Giles Ryder

When

January to December 2015

Where

Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand

Key stats

  • 17 new works
  • 8 exhibitions
  • 3 publications

Arts Queensland contribution

$24,000

Outcomes

Suzanne Howard

  • Research during her six week residency in Malaysia led to the initiation and development of a new installation project, World Four, which will connect local audiences in Penang and the Gold Coast in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
  • Georgetown Festival (Malaysia) has expressed interest in showing the finished World Four project.

Audrey Lam

  • Audrey engaged with a community of artists and filmmakers at Green Papaya Art Projects in the Philippines and negotiated a group of Filipino artist-curators to work with an Australian artist run initiative. Audrey also initiated a visit to Australia by UK-based artist and curator George Clark.
  • With the support of Asialink and Green Papaya Art Projects, Audrey extended her residency to 16 weeks to expand research for her creative development project.

Giles Ryder

  • Giles completed two new bodies of work and produced a catalogue while in Thailand. He also exhibited his work in several locations internationally.
  • Giles is continuing to develop work commenced during his residency, for exhibition in Australia, Asia and Europe.

Learnings and reflections

Suzanne Howard

The delicate interpersonal politics between various stakeholders in Penang and also within the arts community called for a more nuanced approach to research, and I had to be very diplomatic in how I interacted with people.

In hindsight, I should have applied for the 12 week residency with Asialink. My project was very ambitious and required the establishment of solid relationships to make it work, and this takes time. While I was fortunate in being able to establish important relationships in six weeks - more time would have been beneficial to further develop my ideas.

Audrey Lam

It seems obvious but don't be shy to ask fellow artists about anything, even the simplest things; everyone is happy to help. This includes asking them everything from how to get around on local transport, the best local shops and eateries and which cultural institutions and organisations to visit.

I also spent a few months prior to my residency regularly reading online news of the Philippines, getting books out from the library about Philippines history, geography and culture and studying some basic Tagalog. I'm so glad I did this – it was invaluable for my residency and contributed much more richly to my experience than I thought it would. All the people I met, within the art community and outside, are very socially and politically aware, and already having some basic knowledge led to many wonderful conversations and insights.

Giles Ryder

For others organising a residency, I recommend doing as much research and communication as possible before you arrive. I also believe that Thailand has a slightly different approach to the formalities within the arts, depending on your area and interest, and that getting to know the gallery or art scene starts from meeting a few key people and word of mouth. I also recommend developing contacts or looking into the Thai universities as there are key people situated in places such as King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, University of Chiang Mai, Bangkok University, to name a few. This of course depends on your area of practice and what connections you want to develop.

Contact for further information

Website: http://asialink.unimelb.edu.au/arts/residency_program

Links

Media report on Giles Ryder exhibition:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/print/644764/

 

Case study page image: Filming at a farm, Benguet, Philippines, 2015. Image: Audrey Lam

Header image this page: Sourced from https://static.pexels.com/photos/8066/fruits-market-colors.jpg.

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