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Kyoto Art Center
Residency Exchange

KYOTO ART CENTER Pictured: Shinya Takeda (Of Kojima Shouten) and Jenna Lee in the Kojima Shouten workshop in Kyoto
KYOTO ART CENTER Pictured Shinya Takeda of Kojima Shouten and Jenna Lee in the Kojima Shouten workshop in Kyoto

About the opportunity

The Australia Council for the Arts – in partnership with Kyoto Art Center – is offering an Australian visual artist the chance to live and work in Kyoto, Japan, as part of a residency exchange program.

In 2020, one Australian visual artist will experience a two-month studio residency at Kyoto Art Center, a multi-art form venue in Kyoto. Kyoto Art Center houses a number of performance halls, exhibition spaces and artists’ studios, and acts as a hub for visual arts and dance organisations in Kyoto and across Asia. Residents at Kyoto Art Center work alongside other international and Japanese artists and can engage in local cultural activities, such as tea ceremonies, traditional performances and workshops.

This residency is suitable for visual artists with interdisciplinary practices.

The selected Australian artist will have access to a studio inside Kyoto Art Center, and separate accommodation at a private apartment, located 10 minutes walk from the Center. The Australia Council will award the selected artist a $7,500 grant as living and travel allowance.

In the reciprocal arrangement, Kyoto Art Center’s selected Japanese artists: Nanao Tsukuda completed a residency at Artspace, Sydney from 22 July to 20 September 2018; and Kenichi Ishiguro, selected in 2021, will live and work at Parramatta Artists’ Studios in April and May 2024.

Current resident: Jenna Lee

Jenna Lee

Jenna Lee

Jenna Lee is a Gulumerridjin (Larrakia), Wardaman and Karra Jarri Saltwater woman with mixed Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Anglo-Australian ancestry. Using art to explore and celebrate her many overlapping identities, Lee works across sculpture, installation, and body adornment. She also works with the moving image, photography and projection in the digital medium.

With a practice focused on materiality and ancestral material culture, Lee works with notions of the archive, histories of colonial collecting, and settler-colonial books and texts. Lee ritualistically analyses, deconstructs, and reconstructs source material, language and books, transforming them into new forms of cultural beauty and pride, and presenting a tangibly translated book.

Driven to create work in which she, her family, and the broader mixed First Nations community see themselves represented, Lee builds on a foundation of her father’s teachings of culture and her mother’s teachings of papercraft.

Represented by MARS Gallery in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia).

Image credit: Jade Florence.

Please check the general eligibility requirements  on the Australia Council website.

Applications will be assessed by the Australia Council, in consultation with Kyoto Art Center and industry advisors, against the following selection criteria.

  • quality of work previously produced
  • artistic merit
  • ability, skills and creative thinking that suggests strong artistic potential
  • public or peer response to work previously produced.
  • the skills and artistic ability of the people involved and their relevance to the proposed activity
  • realistic and achievable planning, resource use and evaluation
  • the role of any partners involved, including confirmation of their involvement
  • proposals which involve working with diverse audiences or communities, peers will look for demonstrated cultural competencies and appropriateness.
  • how the proposed activity strengthens your artistic practice
  • the relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • how the proposed activity enables you to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand
  • how the proposed activity strengthens your capacity as an arts professional.

The Australia Council encourages applications from applicants who identify as First Nations, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and people living in regional and remote areas.

The Australia Council’s programs and processes are designed for accessibility and best use by a diverse demographic. We work with individual applicants to find the best approach to accommodating access, childcare, carer and other support needs. Please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to the closing date to discuss your access and support requirements.

Additional material can be submitted to help support your application, including artist biographies, letters of support, additional written material, images, and video footage of previous work. Support material may help the assessors gain an understanding of the quality of your work, and where relevant, the skills and role of other artists or partners involved.

You are not required to submit a budget with your application.

To find out more about support material, including advice on how to get examples of your work online, click here.

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs. However, if you cannot supply artistic support material via a URL, we will accept artistic support material in the following formats:

  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF)

Australia Council Staff, in consultation with Kyoto Art Center will consider applications according to the selection criteria above and will seek recommendations by industry advisors as needed.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by late-December 2019.

The way Australia Council grants payments are made has changed. Effective immediately, grant recipients will no longer send an invoice for payment of a grant. Instead, after you accept our offer of funding, we will pay your grant into your nominated bank account and send you a Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI).

If you plan to have your grant administered by a third party, applicants will now need to ensure that the administrator is registered on the Australia Council online system before you begin your application. This means you cannot complete or submit an application if your administrator is not registered.

Click on the ‘Apply now’ button at the bottom of this page. Applications must be submitted via the Australia Council’s online system.

Note, applications to International Development funding opportunities do not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.

If you are applying as an organisation, please specify the staff member(s) who will participate in this activity as part of your application. If this changes, please notify us as early as possible as this may affect the status of your application.

2020 (postponed to 2022)

  • Jenna Lee


  •  Ross Manning


  •  Gerwyn Davies