ZARYA CCA announces the open call for taking part in the artist residency of Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (Aomori, Japan) from Russian interdisciplinary artists and researchers as part of the international research exchange program “Contact Zones: Far East” in 2020.

Proposals will be accepted until August 1st, 2020.

Residency Period: 1 month in autumn 2020*

* unless postponed due to COVID-19

Participation is open to Russian artists, curators, art and culture researchers, contemporary dancers, performers. The program is designed to encourage research in contemporary art, support international cultural exchange and collaboration.


Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (АСАС) was launched in 2001 in Aomori. It has focused its activities on an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program as well as providing opportunities for exchange, which include exhibitions, workshops, and talks between artists, students, and the local community. The space of ACAC includes a one-of-a-kind 543m² arc-shaped gallery, which can host an exhibition project by residents if they wish so, as the defining feature of the ACAC AIR program is a continuous process of production, presentation, and visitor response.

The artist residency is located at the northern end of Honshu, the main island of Japan, where the culture is different from that of the big city. ACAC is, first of all, a hub, where artists, curators, and researchers from a diverse range of fields would come together to give shape to a creative space that fosters communication between artists, students, and the local community. Participation in a final exhibition is not mandatory; it is possible to organize a talk, a workshop or a performance.


Applicants are encouraged to develop research proposals drawing on specific periods, themes, or phenomena within a wider interdisciplinary inquiry and comparative analysis, dedicated to the history, art and culture of Russia and Japan.

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 the history of the region of the artist/researcher and its connection to the local histories of the partner institution, or with a focus on the local context of the partner institution.
  • Clearly formulated conceptual framework for the proposed project.
  • Description of the process of realising the project (exhibition, talk, workshop, performance).
  • Citizen of the Russian Federation.
  • Working knowledge of English and/or Japanese languages.

Hosting residency guarantees to provide:

1. One round trip economy class air ticket from the international airport which is nearest to the Artist’s home to Aomori airport (or flight fare + railway fare to Aomori), visa fee, travel insurance up to 150 000 JPY; Travel costs to be paid on arrival.

2. Accommodation at ACAC for the period of the residence, to cover the living costs (4 400 JPY per day).

3. Production costs for an exhibition (up to 80 000 JPY).

4. Promotional, curatorial and administrative support: organisation of a study trip, help with the necessary documents, materials for research and exhibition, introduction to the local art scene and its key members.

5. The organisation of an exhibition or a public presentation, workshop, lecture, performance.

6. A letter of invitation and other documents required for the Japanese visa application.

Conditions of Participation:

  • To prepare an exhibition or 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 an essay or written report and related documents collected during the research period to both institutions at the conclusion of the residency.
  • To follow residency conditions.
  • 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. The 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.

Applications must be written in English and can be submitted until August 1st, 2020 (GMT+3).

The final selection will be announced at the end of August 2020.

For questions regarding the application process, please contact:

Anastasia Marukhina

Photo copyright Aomori Contemporary Art Centre.