[APPLICATION CLOSED] Curators' Workshop

1. Introduction

The Japan Foundation Asia Center announces a call for applications to a Curators’ Workshop from November to December 2015 in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It is a programme aimed at enhancing expertise in curating contemporary art and related platforms. Participants are required to present an exhibition/art project proposal at the workshop and two selected participants will receive a grant for a two-week study tour in Japan (February 22March 6, 2016), after which they will be asked to organise an exhibition/art project in early 2017 in Malaysia.

The general theme of the workshop is “What is Southeast Asia?” Southeast Asia is, on the whole, understood historically as a region that is located between China and India where a diverse range of cultures and ethnic groups exist. It has been a strategic location where vessels from the East and the West cross. Many in the region once experienced colonisation by the West in the 19th century and became independent nation states after the Second World War. Today, the region collectively draws attention from elsewhere as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), an association which encourages collaboration among its members in the political, economic, social, and cultural fields. Under this scheme, members in the region have increasingly become influential on each other's societies and cultures in a broader term.

But for those who reside in the region, what does this regional binding of “Southeast Asia” mean? In the field of the visual arts, for example, national art histories have been written, but is it possible to write a regional art history for the whole of Southeast Asia? How can curators contribute to the regional art scene, while also taking part in the global art scene, both made possible as a result of the advancement in information technology?

For this workshop, with the assistance of facilitators from the participating countries, the general theme of “What is Southeast Asia?” is broken down into sub-themes that are tailored to meet the local conditions. The applicants of the workshop are requested to submit a project plan that anticipates diverse approaches to the suggested theme along with their applications. We look forward to the submission of challenging proposals.

2. Dates

24-26 November, 2015 (3 days)

3. Venue

The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur 18th Floor, Northpoint Block B, Mid Valley City No.1, Medan Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur

4. Organiser

The Japan Foundation Asia Center

5. Lecturers

Mr. Yap Sau Bin Specialist, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University & Member of Rumah Air Panas Mr. Hiroyuki Hattori Curator, Aomori Contemporary Art Center

6. Application Process

Please submit the application form in full with required documents to the Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur via email ( by 30th October, 2015.

* Please do not attach files bigger than 1MB to your email. Instead, use file sending services (e.g. WeTransfer, DropSend) or file storage services (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox).

<Required Documents> - Application form - CV - Portfolio of past 3 projects, if any - Project Plan (essay of max. 800 words, with suggested venue/site for exhibition, artist with existing or commissioned artworks, sketches, photos, installation plan and budget plan as detailed as possible and if applicable) to be presented/disseminated according to this program concept, which is mentioned below under the theme - “How to escape (from) the SEA?”.

<Sub Concept =Project Concept in Malaysia> How to escape (from) the SEA?

How do we escape from where we are here and now, what route do we take?

To escape, how do we exchange, translate such plan with others, to invite them to come join this flight/escapade/drift?

The SEAsia region comprises massif and archipelagos which are spread out, separated and connected by the sea, alongside a shifting parameter of economics and political framing of the region. What is SEAsia when we are to escape from the SEA?

The proposed curatorial project is to think about becoming different from the direct representation of coming together in a place, or particularly to defer/differ from answering in a definitive manner. And asking curator and artist how not to be caught in or limited by the convention of identities and social/cultural/political projections, to evoke a critical inspection of such constructs that engulf us. We ask what is locality and temporality? How do we provide a critical (trans-) regional outlook from here and now, between global point and local point of view, not only the international/global vis--vis local/vernacular, but anything in between or outside of such affinity. How do we transfer/translate (or interpret) art from different places and times, language and conditions to local audience do we translate for certain commonalities or mutual-accessibility?

Let’s envision a space and time, a place and moment for translating, exchanging (impossible of exchange), imagine or imagined, of differences or togetherness.

How do we trade, exchange, translate our imaginary or impossible escape from the SEA?

What would a curator offer to art?

※Notes 1) Interested applicants may propose venues such as an institution, museum, gallery or art space etc., but it will not be a commercial show. Once selected for production, the curator has to take initiative in securing the space and managing the project. 2) For the workshop, the proposal needs to be developed on the level that curator has artists and actual works for the show in mind (except commissioning of new work), as well as the installation plan.

7. Number of participants to be accepted

Maximum of 10 persons Domestic transportation and accommodation (twin sharing) for participants from outside Klang Valley will be covered by the Japan Foundation.

8. Eligibility

Applying candidates must fulfill the following criteria:

1) Those who have broad interest in curatorial practices not limited to contemporary art but also include art history, architecture, material culture, music and performance, etc 2) Those who are 35 years old or below at the time of application 3) Those who are able to attend the full duration of both the workshop in Kuala Lumpur (2426 November) and the study tour in Japan (22 February6 March, 2016) 4) Those who can commit to participating in all the events beyond the workshop and the study tour described above (i.e. Large Exhibition and Local Exhibition, the details are to be announced)

9. Application

Via email ( by 30 October, 2015.

10. Notice of Award

Those who are accepted to participate in the workshop will be notified by 6 November, 2015.

11. Contact and Inquiries

The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur Attn: Kyoko Kugai (Ms.) / Amira Bt Sabri (Ms.) Tel: 03-2284 6228 E-mail:


1) Guidelines (Word/1,245kb) 2) Timetable and Process (Pdf/219kb) 3) Application Form (Word/65kb)

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