35 000 days in asia

Asialink’s book 35 000 days in asia is being launched on Thursday 22 July, celebrating 10 years of arts residencies across Asia.

The Asialink Arts Residency Program currently sends around 35 artists, performers, writers and arts managers between Asia and Australia each year. Established in 1989 by the Australia Council with three Visual Arts/Craft Residencies in Thailand and Malaysia, the residency program was devolved to Asialink in 1991. Asialink has managed the program since then, and developed it to include Performing Arts and Arts Management since 1996 and Literature from 1997 onwards. By the end of 2004, 330 residents will have travelled between Australia and Asia under the auspices of this program.

These artists, performers, writers and arts managers spend three or more months working on projects they have devised. Each resident is hosted by an arts organisation or tertiary institution and the interaction between the resident and the host is an important aspect of the program. Residents present talks, lectures and workshops or engage in formal teaching. Many also direct performances, organise events, exhibit work in solo and group exhibitions and undertake readings. The program promotes both artistic development and involvement with the local community and emphasises the importance of cultural exchange and dialogue

In 2002, I went to Guangzhou to make a work with the 广东实验现代舞团 Guangdong Modern Dance Company on and Asialink Performing Arts Residency, along with my lighting designer John Dutton. My initial 12 weeks with the company grew to over a year, and much of the last two years making art in Guangzhou. I hope in ten years from now, we’ll be celebrating at least 70 000 days in Asia, and have an amazing arts scene flourishing between Australia and the rest of Asia.