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Royal Academy of Arts announces an artist exchange programme
Each year, a total of eight emerging artists will participate in the exchange, taking place from early August to mid-September. Photo: Benedict Johnson.

LONDON.- The Royal Academy of Arts announced today the establishment of a three-year artist-in-residence exchange programme between Hong Kong, Beijing and London. The programme has been developed by Arts in Heritage Research Limited, Hong Kong (AHR), the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (RA).

Each year, a total of eight emerging artists will participate in the exchange, taking place from early August to mid-September. The hosting institution will select four artists, while the other two institutions will send two artists each to the four week residency. Starting at the Royal Academy Schools this summer, each residency will rotate between the three cities and will be followed by a two week exhibition.

In Beijing and the UK, CAFA and the RA Schools will select artists by application from within the student bodies. In Hong Kong, where the programme was initiated by AHR, artists under the age of 30, postgraduate students of fine art, visual art, creative media and multi-media art disciplines, will be eligible to apply. The selection committee in Hong Kong, formed by AHR, includes contemporary artist Morgan Wong; Maria Mok, Curator (Modern Art), Hong Kong Museum of Art; ; Professor Kao Mayching; Dr Victor Lai, artist and Associate Professor at the Academy of the Visual Arts; Calvin Hui and Adrian Cheng Co-Founders of AHR; and Eliza Bonham Carter, Curator of the Royal Academy Schools. Applications have been launched via the AHR website .

The Royal Academy Schools is an independent art school that offers the only three-year, full-time postgraduate fine art course in Europe. The focus of the RA Schools is on the professional education of the artist. By offering exposure to ideas and constructive critique, a dialogue with a variety of voices and access to specialist workshops, the programme is underpinned by the question of what is useful to the artist. Artists and thinkers representing diverse positions are invited to contribute to the programme. Comprised of group critiques, lectures, artist’s talks, tutorials, workshops and innovative forums for discussion and development, the RA Schools provides the intellectual and creative environment to develop the singularity of each individual participant’s art practice.

The artist exchange programme builds on the RA’s recent activities in the region, including the establishment of a professional development programme for Hong Kong arts professionals in partnership with the Hong Kong government; the organisation of a series of high profile artists’ talks and collaborations in Hong Kong, increasing access for audiences in the city through public events to major international artists Zhang Huan and Mariko Mori. Christopher Le Brun, President of the RA, and Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the RA, have also engaged in a series of educational talks at the Hong Kong Design Institute in autumn 2014 and a workshop with a group of 14-17 year old students for Project WeCan in May 2013.

Additional activity across Asia has comprised a postgraduate student exchange with Geidei University in Tokyo and Encounter: The Royal Academy in Asia, a major exhibition featuring works by 25 Royal Academicians and 25 prominent artists from across Asia which opened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore in September 2012, and at the Middle East Katara Cultural Village, in Doha, Qatar in December 2012.

Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, said: “The Royal Academy is run by artists and teaches the artists of the future. We are committed to helping facilitate creative opportunities, dialogue and reciprocal education programmes with arts communities across the world. By implementing the exchange programme in collaboration with CAFA and AHR, the RA hopes to enhance its own educational capabilities, connecting emerging artists from Hong Kong, Mainland China and the UK, disseminating learning and ideas across the international art community”.

Adrian Cheng, Trustee of the Royal Academy and co-founder of AHR said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be named as a Trustee by the Royal Academy of Arts. I look forward to being a catalyst for greater collaboration between Hong Kong artists and the Academy, and I am particularly pleased that art students from Hong Kong and Beijing will have the opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons through our new artist-in-residency programme.”

Calvin Hui, co-founder of AHR said: “Arts in Heritage Research is delighted to be working closely with such a prestigious institution as the Royal Academy of Arts,” said Hui. “We hope that through this partnership a generation of Hong Kong artists will find new inspiration and recognition on the international stage while promoting and conserving their local cultural heritage.”

Xu Bing, Vice President of CAFA said: “CAFA is very pleased to collaborate with the Royal Academy and AHR and to set up this exchange program between young artists from Beijing, HK, and London. We hope the project will enrich the international experience of CAFA students, while inspiring mutual understanding for the next generation. ”

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