The Most Notable Artist Residencies in Asia

Artist Colonies in China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan

Artists, musicians, writers, dancers, and composers all need time away from the worries of everyday life to conceptualize and create their work. The artist residency or artist colony—a concept that has been around for about 100 years—is just such a place. A residency in one of these programs can be transformational for an artist.

In today's globalized art world, it's important for artists of all genres to leave home and work abroad. This cross-cultural artist experience strengthens local and international artist communities and expands the world of the artist. Oftentimes, the experience of living in a foreign city, especially if you don't speak the language, can be inspiring and help the artist to focus inward

What Residencies Have in Common—and What Separates Them

Artists' residencies specialize in specific genres. Some residents target painters, while others are for digital designers. Some artists' residencies are located in rural areas, while others are in bustling cities. What all residencies have in common is that they provide a living and working space for artists so that they can focus on their art. A residency program is always for a specific period of time, but that time frame can last from one week or one year.


The Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (ACAC)

Artist in studio
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The Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (ACAC) was established in 2001. Located in woodlands in Aomori, Japan, the residence was designed by ANDO Tadao for the purpose of helping strengthen the arts in that area of the world. The ACAC’s AIR Program candidates are selected biannually through both recommendation and public offerings. Each program is approximately a three-month residency. More

ARCUS Artist in Residence

ARCUS was established in 1995 and is located near Tokyo, Japan. A converted elementary school with individual classrooms serves as the artist residency complex. According to ARCUS, "In the end, (feasibility aside) the selections are made based on the uniqueness of the proposal in regards to what the artist intends to do in Ibaraki Prefecture or Moriya City. In other words, we do not select artists whose proposals are not specific to the location of the residency program, even if the candidate had an outstanding portfolio or career history. We also make a conscious effort to select artists from countries that ARCUS Project has not invited from in the past." More

Arts-in-Residence Taipei (AIR Taipei)

Arts-in-Residence Taipei (AIR Taipei) was established in 2001 and is located at three sites. The Taipei Artist Village is in central Taipei near the bustling residency train station. The Grass Mountain Artist Village is in the Yangmingshan National Park. The Treasure Hill Artist Village is located on the Xindian River in what was once KMT soldiers' illegal settlements in the late 1940s. Residencies are offered in the Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Architecture, Curatorial and Research, Writing, Music, Interdisciplinary, and Arts Administration. More

Beijing International Artist Platform

Beijing International Artist Platform was established in 2005. Its mission is to create a cultural exchange in which international artists can learn about China and dialogue with Chinese artists. The residency is for artists, curators, designers, writers, and researchers who wish to live and work in China. More

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (FAAM) was established in 1999. Open studios and research rooms are provided for artists and researchers in residence. FAAM invites Asian artists, researchers, and curators to stay in the museum to engage in various exchange programs with the local community in Fukuoka. Through the residency program, FAAM promotes further understanding of Asian arts and cultures, helps vitalize local communities, and is a focal point for exchanging ideas and aesthetics through Asian arts. More

Instinc AIR Artist-in-Residence

Instinc AIR Artist-in-Residence (INSTINCAIR) was established in 2004 by artists and has two sites in Singapore. Artists-in-residence also have the opportunity to exhibit their artwork during their stay.

The INSTINCAIR program is an international laboratory for talented artists from all over the world. INSTINC prides itself on providing a unique framework for young artists with limited experience and affords them the opportunity to bypass large-scale institutional residences. Meanwhile, artists are provided space where they can engage in various experiments, foster dialogue, become involved in critical discussions, cultivate professional and personal connections and examine the potentials of contemporary artistic production."

INSTINC offers three discrete residency programs: IgniteAIR, InteractAIR, and ImmerseAIR More

Red Gate Residency

Red Gate Residency was established in 2001. This international artists' residency program is open to artists, curators, researchers, and writers who are able to live and work in Beijing's vibrant arts center. The residency's main objective is to provide facilities for artists so that they can easily start their projects and offer artists a community in which they can participate as much as they like. More

Rhizome Lijiang Art Center Artist-in-Residence

The Rhizome Lijiang Art Center Artist-in-Residence program was established in 2009 and is located in a historical area of Yunnan province. Its mission is to encourage artists to work with the local community and become involved in the environment, in addition to working on their own art. More

Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Artist-In-Residence Program

The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Artist-In-Residence Program was established in 1992 and is located in a historical pottery village near Kyoto, Japan. This residency is geared to the professional ceramic artist.

The program says there are two types of artists working there. The first group of artists is studio artists who stay and work there once they've been accepted through the program's application process.

The second group is guest artists who are invited by the Ceramic Cultural Park to work here. However, a limited number of guest artist positions are open for artists to apply.

The goal of the Institute of Ceramic Studies is to enable artists to improve the level of their work by fully utilizing the center's facilities while interacting with a variety of other artists. More