Connections Through Culture grants promote and seed exciting arts and cultural exchanges between the UK and countries in South East Asia – Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The grants support new connections, exchanges and collaborations. These grants help build long-term relationships and collaborations between artists, cultural professionals, creative practitioners and art and cultural organisations, hubs, networks, and collectives. 

These projects can include artistic and creative exchanges of skills, knowledge, and practice, or the collaborative production of new artistic and creative content. Projects can be art residencies, exhibitions, performances and showcases, publications, webinars, and conferences.The grants can be used to support the development of projects with artistic expression that result in collaborative activities. 

Grant Recipients

In Malaysia, for 2022, we offered the grant to six projects, each comprising partners from Malaysia and the UK.

  • In Every Bite of the Emperor - field residency”
    Youngsook Choi, Emily Gee, Heart of Glass and Wendi Sia, GERIMIS Art Project | Countries: England and Malaysia  
    This artistic residency explores the climate crisis through the experience of grief, as a process for gathering, witnessing, and speculating different futures. The project weaves together knowledge and experiences of communities in the UK, Malaysia, South Korea and Viet Nam, from a decolonial approach to storytelling and solidarity practices. 
  • “Seeking generative tourism through art and architecture”
    Nicholas John Jones, Afaf Ismail, Ketut Karya and Chen Zhe Rui | Countries: England and Malaysia  
    Bringing together people with inter-displinary backgrounds from Britain and South East Asia (Malaysian and Indonesia), the project involves a residency for cross-disciplinary and community-driven research that will contribute to proposals for the formation of a new transnational hub for learning and cultural exchange at Samong Haven.
  • “Growing our Dream Ecologies”
    Adam Chodzko and Lim Wei-Ling, Wei-Ling Contemporary |Countries: England and Malaysia  
    This creative exchange will focus on the social process of shared dreaming in relation to visual art. Through creative exchange the project offers a chance to explore and understand dreaming, through sharing creative research, and to potentially reintroduce collective dreaming as an important part of individual creativity and artistic practice, building a long-term relationship between two countries.
  • “Restaurateur of Leeds”
    Tyrrell Jones & Sam Redway, Knaïve Theatre and Lim Soon Heng & Lim Kien Lee, KL Shakespeare Players | Countries: England and Malaysia 
    Knaïve Theatre and KL Shakespeare Players will continue their strong collaborative artistic exchange through ‘The Restaurateur of Leeds’. The project will focus on an engaging online artistic residency to deepen the exchange, fully realising the highly visual production with strong socio-political content, and strategising on funding opportunities to tour this highly ambitious project.  
  • Borneo Boat Lute Revival
    Catriona Maddocks and Gindung Mc Feddy Simon, Catama Borneo: BBLR and Joanna Cole, Pitt Rivers Museum | Countries: England and Malaysia 
    Found throughout the island of Borneo, boat lutes are a family of plucked string instruments traditionally played by indigenous communities. While in modern times some boat lutes have been adapted and evolved to become contemporary instruments, others have become rare and endangered. The grant will enable the team to collaborate with rural and urban cultural practitioners and communities throughout Borneo, as well as facilitating connections, collaborations and conversations between UK institutions and museums. 
  • “Si Polan x2: Exhibition research and development residencies”
    Sayang | Countries: England and Malaysia  
    Sayang, a British-Malaysian sound-artist collaborates with Malaysian creatives, organisers and activists to deliver residencies that will develop and research their future exhibition "Si Polan x2". Together, they will explore and refine concepts, be informed by wider lived experiences and foster current and new links with peers/contributors across Malaysia and the UK-based diaspora. Themes focus on identity and gender, pre and post colonisation. The project forms part of a year of project research and development, with an additional commission from UK-based organisation, Leeds 2023.