British Council Supports New Arts & Culture Collaborations And Partnerships Between The UK & South East Asia
Six new Malaysia – UK artistic collaborations received support from the Connections Through Culture grants programme
January 2023

British Council has announced recipients of its 2022 Connections Through Culture grants, supporting UK and South East Asian cultural partnerships to develop digital, face-to-face and hybrid artistic projects.

This £210,000 programme of grants supports new connections, exchanges, and collaborations between artists, cultural professionals, creative practitioners and art and cultural organisations, hubs, networks, and collectives in the UK and South East Asia.

Through the 2022 Connections Through Culture grants programme, 31 creative collaborations were supported in South East Asia, with projects from Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia, receiving grants between £2,000 and £8,000.

Florence Lambert, Head of Arts, Malaysia at the British Council said:

“The Connections through Culture grant programme supports exciting new arts and culture projects that continue to build international links between the UK and Malaysia. “These grants will support artists and organisations in sharing ideas, exploring new ways of working and reaching new audiences. We look forward to following the journeys of successful grantees and their remarkable projects, and hope that their collaborations will inspire and engage Malaysian communities.”

The grants continue the British Council’s work in building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and overseas through the arts and creative industries.

Successful projects that the British Council grants are supporting for 2022 are:

“In Every Bite of The Emperor – Field Residency”

Youngsook Choi, Emily Gee, Heart of Glass and Wendi Sia, GERIMIS Art Project | Countries: England & Malaysia  

This artistic residency explores the climate crisis through the experience of grief, as a process for gathering, witnessing, and speculating on different futures. The project weaves together the knowledge and experiences of communities in the UK, Malaysia, South Korea and Viet Nam, from a decolonial approach to storytelling and solidarity practices. 

“Seeking Generative Tourism Through Art & Architecture”

Nicholas John Jones, Afaf Ismail, Ketut Karya and Chen Zhe Rui | Countries: England & Malaysia  

Photo by Samong Haven 

Bringing together people with inter-disciplinary backgrounds from Britain and South East Asia, the project involves a residency for cross-disciplinary, community-driven, research that will contribute to proposals for the formation of a new transnational hub for learning and cultural exchange at Samong Haven

“Growing Our Dream Ecologies”

Adam Chodzko and Lim Wei-Ling, Wei-Ling Contemporary |Countries: England & Malaysia  

Project with Groundwork, Cornwall, 2018

Photo by Adam Chodzko

This creative exchange will focus on the social process of shared dreaming. This creative exchange offers a chance to explore and understand dreaming, through sharing creative research and to potentially reintroduce collective dreaming as an important part of individual creativity, building a long-term relationship between two countries. 

“Restaurateur of Leeds”

Tyrrell Jones & Sam Redway, Knaïve Theatre and Lim Soon Heng & Lim Kien Lee, KL Shakespeare Players | Countries: England & Malaysia 

Old Lear (2019, 2022) is a collaboration between KL Shakespeare Players and Nyoba kan, a butoh-focused dance company 

Photo by KL Shakespeare Players / Nyoba kan

Knaïve Theatre and KL Shakespeare Players will continue their strong collaborative artistic exchange through ‘The Restaurateur of Leeds’. The project will focus on an engaging online artistic residency to deepen the exchange, fully realising the highly visual production with strong socio-political content, and strategising on funding opportunities to tour this highly ambitious project.  

Borneo Boat Lute Revival

Catriona Maddocks and Gindung Mc Feddy Simon, Catama Borneo: BBLR and Joanna Cole, Pitt Rivers Museum | Countries: England & Malaysia 

Found throughout the island of Borneo, boat lutes are a family of plucked string instruments traditionally played by indigenous communities. While in modern times some boat lutes have been adapted and evolved to become contemporary instruments, others have become rare and endangered. The grant will enable the team to collaborate with rural and urban cultural practitioners and communities throughout Borneo, as well as facilitating connections, collaborations and conversations between UK institutions and museums. 

“Si Polan x2: Exhibition research and development residencies”

Sayang | Countries: England and Malaysia  

Rooting Sensory Room – East Street Arts, Art Hostel

Photo by Sayang

Sayang, a British-Malaysian sound artist collaborates with Malaysian creatives, organisers and activists to deliver residencies that will develop and research their future exhibition “Si Polan x2”. Together, they will explore and refine concepts, be informed by wider lived experiences and foster current and new links with peers/contributors across Malaysia and the UK-based diaspora. Themes focus on identity and gender, pre and post-colonisation. The project forms part of a year of project research and development, with an additional commission from a UK-based organisation, Leeds 2023.  

For more information on this upcoming event, do visit British Council’s official page here.

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