Announcing artists and partner institutions for SEA AiR Cycle 2

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the European Union (EU) Delegation to Singapore today announced three artists selected for the second edition of the SEA AiR exchange programme and the European arts institutions that will host their artistic residencies.

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.

Addressing the creative needs and professional aspirations of emerging visual art practitioners from Southeast Asia who have never had a professional experience in Europe, SEA AiR provides artists with the opportunity to develop their practice, test their ideas in a different context, expand their networks and gain international exposure. At the same time, it opens a significant entry point for its European partner institutions and their audiences to access the rich and diverse landscape of Southeast Asian contemporary art.

The selection committee for the second cycle of SEA AiR was composed of: Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU; Hicham Khalidi, Director, Jan Van Eyck Academie; Monika Lipšic, Residency Curator, Rupert; Dr Karin Oen, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Art History, NTU School of Humanities; and Christoph Tannert, Artistic Director, Künstlerhaus Bethanien; and Eszter Nemeth, Deputy Head of Mission, EU Delegation to Singapore.

The following artists were also shortlisted in acknowledgment of their artistic promise: Lin Htet AUNG (Myanmar); Lena BUI (Vietnam); Ronyel COMPRA (Philippines); Pam QUINTO (Philippines); and Nat SETTHANA (Thailand).

Fuelled by a shared understanding that cultural mobility is an invaluable tool to advance artistic practices, multicultural societies and critical thinking, SEA AiR contributes to the vibrancy of contemporary creativity and further deepens ties between the EU and ASEAN in the fields of arts and culture.

Developed and curated by NTU CCA Singapore, the project is funded by the EU’s Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI).

Media contact:

NTU Singapore

Lester Hio
Manager, Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University

EU Delegation to Singapore

Deepika Shetty
Press Officer
European Union Delegation to Singapore