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Residencies after the pandemic

The Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference (VIVA ExCon) 16 continues with its Virtual Conference 2 with “Residencies after the Pandemic.”

It was moderated by Mayumi Hirano, an independent curator, researcher, and translator based in Manila and Osaka, Japan. Resource persons include Wu Dar-Kuen of Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, Inti Guerrero of Bellas Artes Projects and Martijntje Hallmann of Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten.

Hirano started with the interaction and hospitality showed in the 1992 VIVA ExCon in Bacolod and moved on to the nature of mutual ideations, especially since the pandemic has greatly affected residency programs. She raised the need for a sharper focus on pressing global issues and rethinking of ways to produce, present and receive art.

The first resource speaker, Wu Dar-Kuen discussed how residencies are connected together and how to discover quality art residencies through open calls. He said that the residency is providing knowledge on different issues, the artists are showing and sharing knowledge through artistic abilities. He shared nuances on social generations and the merging of art, technology, and society, as well as the contribution of an online platform and forum.

He showed the virtual viewers how C-LAB, which has become an open platform, participated in Gwangju Biennale as well as their attempt to continue art activities in other countries. He cited creative approaches of coping with the pandemic like merging architecture and combining research.

Inti Guerrero, on the other hand, shared that Bellas Artes Programs have been suspended for quite a while because of the pandemic as there are pragmatics in art residencies. He however shared how they take care of the artists, their collaborations and engagements with historical contexts. Several of their featured artists were James T. Hong of Taiwan/USA, Tuan Andrew Nguyen of Vietnam/USA, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan of Turkey and Eisa Jocson of the Philippines. He said that residencies produce a catalyzed method of creation which utilizes knowledge on the artist’s personal and cultural background and that their programs are in open platform invitation.

Martijntje Hallmann, who delivered the talk at 2 AM from Amsterdam, discussed their residency program and shared about supporting artistic development and that there is a time and space for the development of work and collaboration. They support art performances and offer intense artistic and theoretical advice through seminars, reading groups, activities of interest to the residents, as well as outputs that involve interdisciplinary work and technical solutions.

Their selection process includes an open call for applications; moment in development/urgency; quality of work, the potential for further development and relevance; and diverse community of artistic positions and backgrounds. She also shared that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the realities include two years of time and space and the forming of a social bubble. They, however, offered online guidance, online programs and ways to reconnect to the locals, as well as social practice workshop and a system of care for artists. She stressed the importance of collaborations and co-creations that are necessary, and also sustainable relationships with the community, society and surroundings.

The moderator synthesized the discourse with points on cultivating research on societies and investment for the cultural value, which may be with projects that have a certain connection with the site, engagement with the community, seminars and discussions to respond to pressing issues and the dynamics of playing a role in the national and international art.

The virtual conference was conducted on March 20 but is available online on the website vivaexcon.org.*

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