Deepening EU-ASEAN ties through arts & culture

The European Union Delegation to Singapore and Nanyang Technological University's Centre for Contemporary Arts announce artists and partner institutions for SEA AiR - Studio Residencies for Southeast Asian Artists in the European Union (Cycle 2)

SEA AiR Media Conference

The SEA AiR – Studio Residencies for Southeast Asian Artists in the EU (SEA AiR) programme is a pioneering project started in 2022 that positions Singapore as a hub for artistic exchange between the EU and Southeast Asia. This collaboration, facilitated by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) and the EU Delegation to Singapore, brings together the EU, Singapore and Southeast Asia through the arts.

Selected from a pool of 21 candidates nominated from across the region, the three participants in the second cycle of SEA AiR are: Priyageetha DIA (Singapore); NGOC Nau (Vietnam); and Saroot SUPASUTHIVECH (Thailand).

For the current cycle, SEA AiR also expanded its collaborative network establishing new partnerships with arts institutions in Europe. The institutional partners that will welcome the artists in their residency programmes are: Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht, the Netherlands); Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, Germany); and Rupert (Vilnius, Lithuania).

These institutions excel in providing artists with a conducive environment for research and experimentation. Their residency programmes are renowned for nurturing dialogue among practitioners from various disciplines. They support artists in establishing connections with Europe as well as with fellow artists from other parts of Europe and the world, involve them in a wide range of public programmes, and promote their international visibility.

Iwona Piórko, European Union Ambassador to Singapore, said: “Through the second cycle of SEA AiR – a made-in-Singapore programme – we further drive the development of Southeast Asia’s contemporary art scene and serve as a springboard for dialogue between European art institutions and Southeast Asian artists. We started the project in 2022 when the EU and ASEAN commemorated the 45th anniversary of our partnership and we are continuing this close cooperation through the spirit of dialogue and people-to-people exchanges that are the hallmarks of the relationship between our two regions.”

“My congratulations to the selected artists Priyageetha Dia, Ngoc Nau and Saroot Supasuthivech. The artists’ new works will be inspired by their experiences, discoveries and interactions in Europe. Together with art lovers from the region and beyond, I am looking forward to experiencing how travels and cultural exchanges shape evolving art practices.”

Professor Joseph Liow, Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, NTU, said: “After the successful completion of the inaugural cycle of the SEA AiR programme, NTU is proud to announce that the Southeast Asian artists selected for Cycle 2 are Priyageetha Dia, Ngoc Nau, and Saroot Supasuthivech. Hailing from Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand respectively, these artists will have the opportunity to advance their research in the multidisciplinary environments provided by our distinguished institutional partners in Europe: Jan Van Eyck Academie, Künstlerhaus Bethanien and Rupert. We congratulate the artists on this remarkable accomplishment and we look forward to welcoming them in Singapore to exhibit their new artworks at NTU CCA Singapore later this year.”

“Through this unique collaboration with the EU Delegation to Singapore, NTU hopes to contribute to efforts to foster connectivity on a global scale, support the development of Southeast Asian talents, and enhance the relations between our region and the EU.”

With a distinct two-fold framework, SEA AiR interweaves artistic research and production by awarding three Southeast Asian artists with: 1) a three-month residency at an established arts institution in the EU; and 2) resources and curatorial guidance to create new artworks for an exhibition in Singapore.

Taking place in the first half of 2023, the residencies will enable the artists to pursue their research interests and immerse themselves in a new cultural context.

Priyageetha Dia will have her residency at Jan van Eyck Academie, Ngoc Nau at Rupert and Saroot Supasuthivech at Künstlerhaus Bethanien. When they return, the artists will dedicate themselves to the production of new artworks, inspired by their research and experience in Europe, with the curatorial guidance of NTU CCA Singapore. The artworks will premiere in an exhibition that will take place in Singapore later this year.

More in our joint media release: