Beijing Artist Residency Up for Grabs

6 June 2012

One lucky Wellington artist is soon to spend three months at Beijing's prestigious Red Gate Gallery, thanks to the Wellington Asia Residency Exchange (WARE).

Erica van Zon, a Wellington artist that has just returned from Red Gate, says the gallery was a very supportive host, providing her with a great base from which to experience the city, as well as precious time and space to work.

"It was a real milestone for my career. Beijing was a perfect fit for me. It is vast and dynamic with many different cultural sites - everywhere you looked there was something intriguing and visually stimulating to draw from," she says.

Following the success of van Zon's residency, a similar opportunity is being offered this year. Applications are now open to visual artists for a three-month residency starting this September. Artists must get their application in by 5.00pm, Monday 25 June.

Asia New Zealand Foundation (Asia:NZ) Culture Director, Jennifer King, says the WARE programme - a collaboration between Wellington City Council and Asia:NZ - has thrived since its inception in 2007.

"It's helped us to establish ongoing relationships with cultural centres in Asia, as well as raise the profile of Asian contemporary art here in Wellington - we've hosted a wide variety of high-calibre artists in the capital over the past five years.

"This year's partnership with Red Gate means another New Zealander will get to live and work in China - and it's also a great way to raise the profile of New Zealand art," says King.

WARE applicants are required to have a proven track record of group or solo exhibition experience and the selected artist must commit to working full-time on art projects while at Red Gate.

The chosen artist will also be expected to hold an open studio exhibition at the end of their residency at Red Gate as well as be willing to share their experiences with the Wellington arts community and audiences upon their return.

The Council's Arts and Culture Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, is delighted another Wellingtonian gets to go to China this year and work with artists there.

"We've hosted many artists in our city since WARE began, and seen some incredible art created here by resident artists from China, Japan and Indonesia.

"We welcome this opportunity for another Wellington artist to visit Beijing. They have an extremely dynamic and prolific art scene, which has exploded in recent years. All you have to do is look at the unprecedented boom in new galleries opening to know it's the place to be. Hopefully this residency will result in international collaborations that will continue long after the residency."

Asia:NZ and the Council will provide:

  • one return economy airfare between New Zealand and Beijing
  • daily allowance to cover living costs
  • a budget of NZ$500 for exhibition materials
  • Beijing mobile phone, wi-fi internet and local phone connection
  • self-contained accommodation and studio space at Red Gate's Bei Gao studio and lofts.

Applications for the WARE residency close at 5.00pm, Monday 25 June.

The application form and details are available at:

Projects and Opportunities - Wellington Asia Residency Exchange