Visual Art | BCAF-ACC Contemporary Arts Fellowship Program

In June 2019, BCAF and the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) jointly announced the establishment of the BCAF/ACC Contemporary Arts Fellowship program. This year's fellowship winners have started their residencies and research. They are: American artists Cathy Lu, Eiko Otake and American Dance Festival; Chinese art curators Chen Li and Cai Yingqian (Nikita), choreographer Gu Jiani, Wenhui and Lijiang Studio.

Starting from September 2019, the BCAF/ACC Contemporary Arts Fellowship will support 11 young artists from China and the United States in the fields of curation, art, dance and music to carry out focused art residencies, cooperative creation, community building events, and other projects in China, the United States, and Japan. The scholarship winners will also have the opportunity to exchange and undertake cross-border cooperation with BCAF, ACC and China-US cooperative artist networks to create new works. The BCAF/ACC Contemporary Arts Fellowship program is scheduled to be held for three years. Chinese contemporary artists and scholars participating in the program will go to the United States or other Asian countries, while American contemporary artists and scholars will come to China.

Generous funding from the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation to the Asian Cultural Council will be fully used for the project to support and serve individuals engaged in art research and exploration. ACC and BCAF agree that international cultural exchange can enhance mutual understanding and respect among cultures. In particular, international exchange programs for artists and art professionals play an important role in realizing cross-cultural communication and appreciation. BCAF and ACC are committed to promoting international cultural exchange. The program aims to support dialogue between contemporary artists and scholars in China and the United States, as well as between China and other regions in Asia.

Miho Walsh, Executive Director of the Asian Cultural Council, said: "ACC's fellowship program promotes immersive and diverse cultural exchange between Asia and the United States, and promotes international dialogue, understanding and respect. At this historic moment, we are excited to be able to cooperate with the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation to increase exchange between China, the United States and Central Asia."

From China to the United States | 2 months (2019.7 - 2019.8)
Cai Yingqian (Nikita) conducted research in the United States for two months on the large-scale exhibition project titled Neither Black/Red /Yellow Nor Woman.

From China to the United States | 6 months (2020.7 - 2020.12)
Chen Li will conduct a six-month independent exploration of art practices in New York City to understand the relationship between the business center and the fringe under the local and cross-border art ecology.

From China to the United States | 6 months (2019.12 - 2020.6)
Gu Jiani studied in the United States for six months. In the process, she observed and studied local dancers and body workshop actors, and communicated with them. This experience has set a good foundation for their future exchange and cooperation, and Gu Jiani will continue to work with The Hinterlands theatre company from Detroit.

From the United States to China | 2 months (2019.7 - 2019.8)
Cathy Lu participated in porcelain workshops in Jingdezhen, and travelled in southern China and Hong Kong to connect with local artists and observe developments in Chinese contemporary art.

China to Japan/Japan to China | 5 months (2019.9 - 2020.2)
The fellowship supported the Lijiang/Hokkaido  Reciprocal Residency Program, enabling three artists from China and three artists from Japan to explore interdisciplinary artistic practice in two rural settings over the course of two months.

The project, curated by Jay brown and Yasuhiro Morinaga, works mainly with female, under-represented artists based outside major urban centers to develop new working methods using regional differences. In addition to engaging in field visits, discussions and experimentation, participating artists also have the opportunity to publicly exhibit their work in the local community.

Inta, Inc.
Eiko Otake(Left),Wenhui(Right)

US to China/China to US | 2 months (2020.1 - 2020.9)
This fellowship supports a collaborative program to enable pioneering choreographer/dance artists Eiko Otake from New York and Wen Hui from Beijing to explore the creative process and possibility of creating a work together as part of Eiko’s Duet Project.

From the US to China | 2 weeks (2019.11)
The fellowship enabled four expert groups from professional dance institutions in the United States to visit Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, and to meet and establish dialogue with contemporary Chinese dancers. Participants from the US included: Jodee Nimerichter (American Dance Festival), James Frazier (Florida State University), Aaron Mattocks (the Joyce Theatre in New York), and Stanford Makishi (Theatre and Dance Department of New York City Center). Participants on the Chinese side included: Yang Meiqi, Ou Jianping and Frank Fu as co-organizers, and cooperating institutions include the Beijing Dance Academy, D Modern Dance Exhibition and the Guangdong Modern Dance Troupe.

About the Cooperating Institutions

Asian Cultural Council The aim of the Asian Cultural Council is to support and promote cultural exchange in Asia and the United States by awarding grants to artists, scholars, and professionals in the arts and culture, as well as to organizations and educational institutions for their research and creative work in Asia and the United States. Founded in 1960 by John Rockefeller III, the Asian Cultural Council has awarded grants to nearly 6000 art institutions and art professionals - many of whom have become leaders and pioneers in their own sectors, promoting cultural exchange and in-depth cooperation between the United States and Asian countries.