Call for Proposals for Grants for Russian Interdisciplinary Researchers in Asia

Application Deadline: July 27, 2018

Zarya Center for Contemporary Art and Zarya Foundation for the Development of Contemporary Art supported by BELUGA GROUP are proud to announces its first call for proposals forresearch grant Contact Zones: Far East, which offers one-month fellowships to up to three individuals from Russia to conduct interdisciplinary cross-cultural research of Russia’s Far East and Northeast Asia at one of the partner institutions in Northeast Asia.

The program is realized in partnership with HOW Art Museum (Shanghai), MNG 360° (Ulaanbaatar) and Para Site (Hong Kong).

The grant enables Russian artists and cultural practitioners (e.g. curators, historians, sociologists, geographers, writers, poets, musicians, philologists, and linguists) to carry out a research project during a one-month residency at one of the partner institutions. The program is designed to further encourage the research and self-identification of the Primorye and Far East region with its unique geographical and historical features, the development of cultural exchange, and collaboration between Russia and Northeast Asia.

The term “contact zone” was introduced by linguist Mary Louise Pratt in the 1990s to locate the spatial, temporal, geographic, economic, political and bodily interactions between different cultures during historical encounters with one another. Borrowing this understanding as the foundation of the research program, we would like to expand the field of research through studying a wide range of cross-cultural encounters, including the preconceptions, intentions, motivations, compromises, conflicts and accords, as well as the intellectual, emotional and corporal experiences.

This research program would first and foremost privilege dialogue, openness, mutual interactions and exchange, encounters with multiple viewpoints, and potential resolutions to all manner of inconsistencies in perspectives and representations, which, in our opinion, is what motivates these conversations, giving way to mutual recognition and a more adequate representation of the region on the world map.


Field of Study:

Applicants are encouraged to develop research proposals drawing on specific time periods, themes, or phenomena within a wider interdisciplinary inquiry and comparative analysis, dedicated to the history, art and culture of Primorye or the Russian Far East and the country of the hosting institutions.

Research projects can be structured using a variety of different thematic, disciplinary and methodological frameworks.

Selection Criteria:

  • Artists and researchers, representing various fields of study and specialization, such as curators, historians, sociologists, geographers, writers, poets, musicians, philologists, and linguists
  • Research and publication experience
  • Motivated by the context, with a focus on history of Vladivostok and the Far East and how it is connected to the local histories of partner institutions in Asia
  • Developed conceptual framework for the proposed project
  • Clear vision of the process for realizing the stated objectives
  • Citizen of the Russian Federation
  • Working knowledge of English or the language of the country of the hosting institution

Terms of the Grant One research project will be chosen for each of the three partner institutions.:

1. Zarya CCA will cover return airfare to the partner institution, visa fees, and travel insurance (max. 42,000 Russian Rubles)

2. Zarya CCA will award the three successful applicants a research grant of 65,000 Russian Rubles (which includes living expenses and research materials)

2. The partner institution will provide accommodation (max. 1 month)

3. The partner institution will provide the necessary administrative assistance on site, introductions to the local context and connections with local institutions and specialists

Conditions of Participation:

  • To give a public presentation in the format of a lecture, seminar, workshop, open studio, off-site event or educational course at the hosting institution
  • To submit all related documents, original or digital copies of materials collected during the research period and a written report (including possible interviews, a bibliography and photo documentation) to ZARYA CCA and the hosting partner institution at the conclusion of the residency
  • To contribute to the publication of the program’s catalogue, Contact Zones: Far East

Application Requirements:

  • Applications must be submitted in English and include:
  • CV
  • Portfolio showcasing recent projects, exhibitions, publications or extracts from the research papers

Project Proposal, including:

1. A brief description (1,500 words max.) of the intended research and its components (objectives, approach, and background), clearly articulating why it is important to conduct your research in the institution of your choice.

2. Research plan directly tied to the local context

3. Expected outcome of the research and proposal for the format of the public presentation at the hosting institution

4. Five images or illustrations related to the proposed research

The full proposal should be formatted in a single PDF file, titled according to the formula: Hosting Institution_Name.pdf

Hosting Institutions

HOW Art Museum (Shanghai | China)

Residency period: November 2018

HOW Art Museum was founded by Chinese collector Zheng Hao, and Yun Cheagab has served as director of the museum since 2012. It consists of two museums, HOW Art Museum (Shanghai) and HOW Art Museum (Wenzhou). The latter opened in 2013 and has held nearly 20 contemporary art exhibitions. HOW Art Museum (Shanghai), as a new cultural institution located in Pudong New District of Shanghai opened to public in September 2017. The museum organizes exhibitions, produces publications, and conducts educational programs aimed at stimulating critical thinking and fostering open dialogue addressing issues within the context of contemporary art and society. The main collections of HOW Art Museum include nearly 400 representative works and texts by Joseph Beuys, representative works of Damien Hirst, Markus Lüpertz, Anish Kapoor, Darren Almond, Yayoi Kusama, Chun Kwang-Young, as well as some significant works of Xu Bing, Zhang Xiaogang, Lin Tianmiao, Zhang Huan, Ai Weiwei, Zhan Wang and other artists.

HOW International Curatorial Residency Program offers short-term and intensive residencies at HOW Art Museum (Shanghai) for curators, scholars and arts writers worldwide who are interested in gaining deeper insight into the Chinese contemporary art scene. The residency program organizes meetings with art professionals, studio visits, gallery and institution visits, and attendance at selected performances and other events. Furthermore, the participants are invited to work in close collaboration and coordination with HOW Art Museum’s curatorial team at their museum office.

Para Site (Hong Kong)

Residency period: 2019 (exact date to be decided with the participant)

Para Site is Hong Kong's leading contemporary art center and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications, discursive, and educational projects aimed at forging a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society.

Founded in early 1996 as an artist run space, Para Site was Hong Kong's first exhibition-making institution of contemporary art and a crucial self-organised structure within the city’s civil society, during the uncertain period preceding its handover to Mainland China. Throughout the years, Para Site has grown into a contemporary art center, engaged in a wide array of activities and collaborations with other art institutions, museums, and academic structures in Hong Kong and the international landscape. In early 2015, Para Site moved to greatly increased premises, in North Point/Quarry Bay. Throughout its history, Para Site's activities have included a range of different formats, among which P/S magazine (1997-2006), a bilingual publication, which was Hong Kong's first visual arts magazine and a central platform for the development of art writing and of a discursive scene in the city. Starting from 2015, by a new educational format aimed at training young curators and other art professionals.

MNG 360° (Ulaanbaatar | Mongolia)

Residency period: Spring 2019

Call for Proposals for residency in Mongolia will be announced in autumn.

MNG 360° is an independent, non-profit, contemporary art organization (NGO) designed to raise awareness around issues such as sustainability, nomadic culture, ecological decentralization and the spread of democracy by means of contemporary art, as an impulse generator for civil society in Mongolia. The organization’s main mission centers around promoting and realizing the biennial Land Art Mongolia (LAM 360°).

Applications must be written in English and can be submitted until July 27, 2018 (GMT+3) via contactzones@zaryavladivostok.ru, with the email subject following the formula: Grant_Hosting Institution_ Name of Applicant.

The final selection will be announced by the end of August 2018.

For further questions regarding the application please contact

Ms Anastasia Marukhina, contactzones@zaryavladivostok.ru