In this activity, you will learn about Asialink's Residency Program and explore the work of an Australian artist.
Asialink Arts Residency Program
Each year the Asialink Arts Residency Program sends approximately 30 Australian writers, performers, artists and arts managers on residencies in Asia. Since its inception in 1991, the programme has sent more than 680 people to host organisations in over 20 countries.
The grant of up to $12,000 for three months goes towards travel, living and project expenses, and affords recipients the opportunity for in-depth research, stimulating cultural exchanges, international collaboration and uninterrupted time for creativity.
Through residencies, exhibitions, writers' tours, exchange projects and workshops Asialink Arts has worked with 21 countries in Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
In the beginning
The Australia Council initiated the Visual Arts Residency Program in Asia in 1989 and two residencies took place in Thailand and Malaysia. In 1991, Asialink took over the organisation of the residencies and has expanded the program to include up to ten residencies in each artform (Visual Arts, Writing, Performing Arts, Arts Management) per year.
Painters have developed calligraphy skills in Beijing; video artists have mixed with youthful colleagues in Seoul; and metal smiths, potters and puppet makers have worked in workshops across the region. Most have held exhibitions, given talks, exchanged ideas and developed new work as part of their experience.
Left: Christopher Cobilis (WA), 2012 performing arts resident. MOVE Theatre, Taipei. Featuring Force Quit, Photo: Fredrick Liu.
Right: Janet Meaney (ACT), 2012 visual arts resident, 1. Shanthiroad, Bangalore, In the Midst (still of performance)
What occurs during a residency?
Asialink Arts residencies are professional development opportunities rather than distinct project grants. Each artist is offered a specific amount of funding and initial contacts in the host country. It is then up to the individual to make as much of the experience as possible and to plan and manage their own programme.
Key attributes for the residency are the ability to cope with sometimes unusual or difficult situations and to work successfully in a challenging environment while maintaining good working relationships with the artists of the host country.
The resident’s interest in the host country and an understanding of its customs and cultures are important. Researching the country of interest is essential and language skills are an advantage. It is recommended that successful applicants undertake language lessons prior to departure.xxxxx
More about Alicia's work
Alicia King and Shifters
In 2011–12, Alicia King produced a series of works for an Asialink residency entitled Shifters. Shifters engaged with ideas of transformation, metamorphosis and transcendence through human symbiosis with technology. It simultaneously questions the relationship of technology to cultural self-expression.
The forehead of a disembodied man inflates and morphs as if via telekinesis, as a fluid organic form appears to grow from beneath his skin.
In an era in which modification of the body is scientifically and biomedically altering ideas of what it means to be human in a technologically mediated world, Shifters explores the uniquely Japanese underground 'bagel head' trend of manipulating the body through saline infusion.
Engaging ideas of transformation, metamorphosis and transcendence through human symbiosis with technology, Shifters simultaneously questions the relationship of technology to cultural self-expression.
Shifters was filmed on location in Tokyo, with members of Tokyo's body-modification subcultures, with whom the artist met during her residency at Tokyo Wonder Site.
Shifters was generously supported by Asialink; the Australia Council for the Arts; and Arts Tasmania.
Artist and Director: Alicia King
Camera: Tobias Memmott
Technical assistant: Asami
Special thanks: Ryoichi 'Keroppy' Maeda
Location: Tokyo, Japan, 2012.
Adapted from the Asialink Arts Residency website