As part of the international research exchange program, “Contact Zones: Far East,” the Zarya Center for Contemporary Art announces the beginning of its second open call for grants for Russian interdisciplinary researchers in Asia, for 2019-2020.

Proposals will be accepted until September 1, 2019.

“Contact Zones: Far East” is organized by Zarya Center of Contemporary Art and the Zarya Foundation for the Development of Contemporary Art supported by BELUGA GROUP. The program is realized in partnership with HOW Art Museum (Shanghai) and Points Center for Contemporary Art (Jinxi).

As part of the program, two participants from Russia will receive residencies in one of the partner institutions in North-East Asia (NEA), where they can realize interdisciplinary and intercultural research projects on the theme of the Russian Far East and the NEA.

“We are grateful to our colleagues and partners from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Jinxi, who are helping us to realize this exchange program,” noted Zarya CCA’s Chief Curator, Alisa Bagdonayte. “We are united by the conviction that collaborative work and mutual trust benefits all the participants involved, and that there should be more professional opportunities, and fewer borders.”

Participation is open to Russian artists and cultural practitioners, including curators, historians, sociologists, geographers, writers, poets, musicians, philologists, and linguists. 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 NEA.

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.


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.

Motivated by the context, with a focus on history of Vladivostok and the Far East and its connection to the local histories of partner institutions in Asia.

Clearly formulated conceptual framework for the proposed project.

Description 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 selected for each of the participating partner institutions. Each residency has its own focus.

1. Zarya CCA will cover return airfare to the partner institution, visa fees, and travel insurance (max. 45,000 Russian Rubles).

2. Zarya CCA will award the selected applicants a research grants accordingly:

HOW Art Museum: 1 month, 65,000 Russian Rubles (includes living expenses and the costs of research materials)

Points Center for Contemporary Art: 2 months, 90,000 Russian Rubles (includes living expenses and the costs of research materials).

3. The partner institution will provide accommodation for the residency period.

4. 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, 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 within one month of 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:


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 in English according to the formula: Hosting Institution_Name.pdf.)

Hosting Institutions

Points Center for Contemporary Art (Jinxi | China)

Participant: Svetlana Shuvaeva (Moscow).

Residency Period: October 16 December 7, 2019

Found in 2017, the Points Center for Contemporary Art is actively committed to the creation, promotion and preservation of contemporary art. Its main activities lie in its residency program, the creation of an archival database, exhibitions and public educational events.

PCCA is located in the ancient village of Jinxi, whose history dates back over 2,000 years. Jinxi can be found on the outskirts of Suzhou, about an hour’s drive from Shanghai. The characteristic architecture of Jinxi, with its bridges and canals built in ancient times, has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

This ancient city offers a certain system of civilization with layered social relations. Similar cities in China have faced not only the destruction of material culture, the flight of residents and the loss of traditional crafts, but also the preservation of the traditional way of life and the transformation of its appearance through landscaping.

This residency supports research projects directed at exploring the local context, as well as a more broader inquiry into the transformation of ancient cities.

HOW Art Museum (Shanghai | China)

Participant: selection in progress

Residency Period: June, July or August 2020

HOW Art Museum (Shanghai) was founded by Chinese collector Zheng Hao. HOW Art Museum Shanghai has been open to the public since September 2017 The museum organizes exhibitions and educational programs aimed at stimulating critical thinking and fostering open dialogue between contemporary art and society. The main collection of HOW Art Museum includes 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 is an international program for curators, scholars and writers, interested in gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary art in China.

Applications must be written in English and can be submitted until September 1, 2019 (GMT+3) to the email address, with the email subject following the formula: Grant_Hosting Institution_Name of Applicant.

The final selection will be announced in the mid-September 2019

For questions regarding the application process, please contact:

Anastasia Marukhina

Photo copyright Points Center for Contemporary Art.