Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Australian Arts receive $500,000 to make a mark on the world stage

4 February 2010

Joint media release:
with Peter Garrett MP Minister for the Environment, Heritage & the Arts

Australian Arts receive $500,000 to make a mark on the world stage The latest round of Australia International Cultural Council (AICC) funding was announced today by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith.

The Government’s efforts to promote Australia’s contemporary and dynamic image internationally will be enhanced through the funding of 18 cultural projects from around Australia. Half a million dollars will be shared among these projects, which take Australia’s art and culture to the world.

The AICC grants program provides funding for international arts and cultural projects that promote Australia overseas. The projects reinforce Australia’s image as a sophisticated and innovative nation, with a rich and diverse culture.

The AICC has a busy program of cultural events coming up in the next three years. Major initiatives include the Year of Australian Culture in China in 2010 – which will include 12 of the 18 funded projects – in tandem with the impressive showcase of our rich and diverse culture at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Future promotions are planned with the Republic of Korea in 2011 and India in 2010. The AICC is co-chaired by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. It is a consultative group that advises the Government on international cultural priorities, and is composed of leaders from government, the arts and business.

The full list of grant recipients is attached:

Australia International Cultural Council

Grant Recipients—Round 3 2009

Antarctica Group Pty Ltd (VIC)
Grant: $19,000

For an architectural design project and collaboration between Antarctica Group Architects, RMIT University School of Architecture and Design, and BAU International Architects in Shanghai, involving a comparative study of the urban design and related issues of Melbourne and Shanghai. The project will culminate in a design exhibition and publication of the work in Shanghai in 2010, with associated lectures.

Asialink (VIC)
Grant: $18,000

Utopia will be a roving visual arts event held every two years for a duration in different Asia-Pacific cities. Asialink will bring together delegates from Japan, India, Singapore and Australia to discuss exhibition, residency, workshop, conference and educational programs and opportunities for the Asia- Pacific region. The project will aim to improve access, dialogue, collaboration and cultural understanding.

Australia Latin America Foundation (NSW)
Grant: $38,000

To create a pilot roadshow of leading contemporary Australian musicians and groups to tour to Argentina, Chile and Mexico in mid-2010. In Buenos Aires, the showcase will be presented at the Teatro San Martin as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. The roadshow will also travel to the Bicentennial Expo in the State of Guanajuato, Mexico as well as to Chile. The touring Australian musicians will cover a wide spectrum of forms, from pop-classical-jazz fusions to Indigenous to electronica. The roadshow aims to promote Australia as a diverse and culturally innovative nation.

Catherine Croll (NSW)
Grant: $40,000

The project will focus on cultural exchange between Indigenous and emerging Australian artists and artists working in China. The program will include visits to artists’ studios and communities across China to explore individual artists’ technical skills and philosophies prior to arriving in Beijing, where the group will spend a month with Chinese Australian artists. The exhibition produced as a result of the program will be complemented by artists’ talks and a full catalogue and documentary of the process. Red Gate Gallery in Beijing is the key strategic partner for the project.

Chamber Made Opera (VIC)
Grant: $20,000

To tour Fresh Ghosts by Beijing-born Australian composer Julian Yu with libretto by Glenn Perry to China in 2010. The work is based on the short story Medicine by Lu Xun, who is regarded as one of the founders of modern Chinese literature. Yu’s score features modern and classical, as well as Eastern and Western sounds. The tour has been in development for the last two years and will build on Chamber Made Opera’s connections with the Chengdu and Nanjing Conservatories of Music.

Cultural Infusion (VIC)
Grant: $39,000

To showcase the talent of Australia’s young new media and hybrid artists through a program of skills exchange, demonstrations and performances to be staged at ‘the Village’ in Beijing. A team of Australia’s best young animators, zine authors, web designers and musicians will be involved in the project, which will result in the broadcast and performance of works as part of the youth culture market day, ‘On the Edge’, in Beijing in 2010.

IDA Projects (QLD)
Grant: $15,000

To present a dedicated exhibition program in 2010 in China, comprising a new media exhibition, public and educational programs, and an inaugural annual internship program for young Chinese and Australian curators. The strategic partner for the project is a significant film institution in China, the Beijing Film Academy. Selected Australian artists include Laurens Tan, Jenny Fraser, Brett Leavy, Brendan Lee, Cynthia Howard, David Rosetzky and Van Sowerine.

Linda Jaivin (NSW)
Grant: $40,000

To develop and present an original, bilingual opera, which will be a unique co-production between Australian artists and the China National Peking Opera Company. The opera is written by Linda Jaivin, composed by eminent Chinese composer Zhu Shaoyu, directed by Australian opera director John Wregg and features a mixed Australian-Chinese cast. A fusion of Western and Peking opera forms, the production will premiere in Beijing in late 2010 and will take Australian-Chinese cultural collaboration to a new level. It is a new interpretation of the story of China’s famous fictional female character, Pan Jinlian of the Ming Dynasty novel Outlaws of the Marsh.

Lucy Guerin Inc (VIC)
Grant: $11,000

Lucy Guerin Inc is one of Australia’s most sophisticated and highly regarded contemporary dance companies. The funding will assist the company to present the dance piece Untrained at the Asia Pacific Dance Platform in Hong Kong as one of only four international companies. Lucy Guerin will also hold a series of master classes for the local Hong Kong dance community.

Michael Fowler (VIC)
Grant: $16,000

In partnership with the Red Gate Gallery, artist Michael Fowler will present Gardening with sounds, a large-scale electro-acoustic sound installation and performance environment based on spatial concepts from traditional Chinese gardens. Fowler has extensive experience in the design and construction of impressive sound installations, including working with the Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Japan in 2008. The project will demonstrate the sophistication and innovation of Australian arts practice to Chinese audiences.

Michael Yuen (SA)
Grant: $20,000

To present Dreaming: VideoArt Australia, a survey exhibition of Australian video art featuring work by prominent Australian artists working in a range of styles including illusion, realism, storytelling and digital glitch. The exhibition will be presented on one of Beijing’s largest and most prominent public video displays in ‘the Village’ in Beijing, throughout the day and night in late 2010. The theme of the exhibition will be ‘bodies within the urban screen’, with a focus on the relationship between the city and the human body. Participating artists will include Craig Walsh, Shaun Gladwell, Anita Fontaine, Adam Nash and Tracy Cornish.

Multimedia Art Asia Pacific (QLD)
Grant: $40,000

To present Light from Light, a contemporary media art exhibition of Australian and Chinese art, at the Shanghai Library and State Library of Queensland in 2010. Light from Light includes art works using solar powered LED, architectural structures made of solar panels and interactive photographs. The exhibition will engage ‘light’ as both energy source and as a metaphor for illumination and knowledge, and the exhibition will situate art works in and around the library collections. The project is also intended to commemorate the sister-city relationship between Brisbane and Shanghai.

Opera Australia (NSW)
Grant: $40,000

For Opera Australia to present the UK premiere of new Australian opera Bliss during summer 2010. The project will involve touring the conductor, principal cast, full chorus, creative team, technical and managerial staff and physical elements. Bliss is the first of Peter Carey’s works to be translated into opera and the first opera composed by Australian Brett Dean. The UK presentation will see an exchange of skills between the company and its UK partners.

Topology (QLD)
Grant: $19,000

The music group Topology will perform concerts and work with Indonesian composers and performers as part of the Salihara Festival in Jakarta in 2010. Topology’s presentation will be part of a broader Australian focus to the festival program, which will highlight Australia’s diverse contemporary arts practices. Topology is ensemble-in-residence at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

RMIT Gallery (VIC)
Grant: $40,000

To present the exhibition Power Cloths of the Commonwealth as part of the XIX Commonwealth Games cultural program. The exhibition will focus on Australia’s role in the Commonwealth and will be a showcase of Australia’s textile history, including our contemporary textile artists. The exhibition will include ‘power cloths’ including the simple dhoti of Mahatma Gandhi, a kente cloth worn by Kwame Nkumrah, a state gown of Queen Victoria and an Aboriginal possum cloak given to the former Lord Mayor of Melbourne, John So. The textiles will be presented alongside photography, video and written interpretation.

The Black Arm Band (VIC)
Grant: $40,000

In 2010 the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games will program extensive and high profile Aboriginal artists from around the world, for the first time in the history of the Games. The Black Arm Band will perform Hidden Republic with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as part of the Aboriginal Pavilion program. The Black Arm Band brings together the most significant figures in Australian Indigenous contemporary music to celebrate the songs of Aboriginal Australia in the spirit of hope and reconciliation.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music (NSW)
Grant: $20,000

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Modern Music Ensemble and Jazz Big Band have been invited to participate in the World Music Carnival as part of Shanghai World Expo 2010. The groups will perform with musicians from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the project will build on the Sydney Conservatorium’s relationship with Fudan University in Shanghai. Beyond Shanghai, the Sydney groups will tour to Beijing and Suzhou.

School of Art, RMIT University (VIC)
Grant: $25,000

Meridians Shanghai 2010: Transdisciplinary Art and Sound in Public Space researches connections between public urban art and international collaborative practice. As part of Meridians, a public art project will be presented on the banks of Suzhou Creek, Shanghai, conceived and produced by a team of Chinese and Australian artists. The project has developed from the strong relationship between East China Normal University and RMIT.

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