The Importance of Site

Panel Discussion

Yusaku Imamura, Adam Sutherland, Khalil Abdulwahid, Anne Barlow


Dar Al Nadwa

Photo by Alfredo Rubio

Yusaku Imamura (Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan)
Adam Sutherland (Grizedale Arts, UK)
Khalil Abdulwahid (Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, UAE)
Lu Jie (Long March Space, China)
Anne Barlow - moderator (Art in General, USA)

Residencies are often identified by the locations where they take place. This panel will address the specific challenges that accompany the site of a residency or commission in terms of both the infrastructure and the expectations of a given place, answering questions, such as: to what extent is the idea of site tied to a physical location? How do sites relate to the kinds of support organisations offer, including production-based environments, those that support independent research and practice and ones that offer contemplative retreats versus those that encourage and enable social or civic engagement? The relationship between organisations and artists and the significance of local and international cultural exchange will also be explored.

Yusaku Imamura is the Founder and Director of Tokyo Wonder Site, a non-profit creative space founded in 2001 that focuses on supporting emerging artists in Japan, especially through the vehicle of residencies. He is a trained architect with extensive experience in cultural policy. His primary focus is in the areas of creative industries, urban planning and education. He is also Counselor on Special Issues to the Governor for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and on a Board Member of Res Artis, the worldwide network of artist-residencies and residential art centres.

Adam Sutherland has served as the Director of Grizedale Arts since March 1999. He was previously Director of, a visual arts organisation in rural Scotland. Adam leads Grizedale Arts organisation’s core development - curating off-site projects, writing and pig-farming. Under his tutelage, current priorities include the development of a collection of British craft and design for the Lawson Park refurbishment.

Grizedale Arts started life as a forest sculpture park in the late 1970’s. It now runs a residency base and commissioning agency from a remote, but working hill farm in the Lake District of England. The programme works with artists to generate useful and valued projects in the local village, bring varied cultural perspectives to bear and export the hybrid art and social projects as a discussion model. Artists are usually involved over several years and range from recent graduates to established figures – principally visual artists, writers and thinkers. Current programmes includes the rebuilding of the Village Cultural Institute, a new cricket pavilion, library and major projects by Liam Gillick, YangJiang Group, Ray Davies andEmma Smith.

Khalil Abdulwahid is an Emirati visual artist, working primarily in painting and video from Dubai. He is also the Visual Arts Manager at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA), a position he has held since 2008. Prior to that, he was the Coordinator of Visual Arts at the Dubai Cultural Council, which merged to become part of the DCAA. He works to assist young and established artists to showcase their work in exhibitions and cultural events, sponsoring local artists participation in international exhibitions and art events, organising workshops for emerging and aspiring artists and overseeing AIR Dubai, the Delfina Foundation’s global residency programme for local and international artists and curators, in collaboration with Tashkeel, ArtAsiaPacific and Art Dubai. He holds a Diploma in Drafting and Design from Pennsylvania College of Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in workforce education and development from Pennsylvania State University.

Lu Jie is an artist, curator and the Founder and Director of the Long March Space, which was founded in 1999 and is an ongoing art project that links Chinese and international artists. The Long March Project has been exhibited at numerous locations internationally: the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2004), Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon (2004), Shanghai Biennale, China (2004), Taipei Biennale, Taiwan (2004), Yokohama Triennale, Japan (2005), Sao Paulo Biennale (2006) and the Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia (2006). He is the author and editor of a variety of monographs on Chinese contemporary art and artists and has curated numerous contemporary art exhibitions in Asia, Europe and North America, including the Chinese presentation at the Second International Biennale of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Prague (2005) and the Yokohama Triennale, Japan (2005). Jie is a Senior Research Fellow in the programme of Curatorial research at the Dartington College of Art, UK. He organised the first international curatorial symposium Curating in Chinese Context in Zunyi, China in 2002 and has presented lectures and talks at numerous educational institutions and museums in Asia, Europe and North America.

Anne Barlow is Executive Director of Art in General, New York, a non-profit organisation that supports artists primarily through the commissioning of new work and an international residency exchange programme. From 1999-2006, Barlow was Curator of Education and Media Programs at the New Museum, New York, where she oversaw its educational and public programmes, initiated and developed Museum as Hub and curated numerous exhibitions and performances. She was formerly Curator of Contemporary Art and Design at Glasgow Museums, where she managed its contemporary art collection, exhibitions, residencies and commissions. Barlow has published for organisations including: Liverpool University Press/Tate Gallery Liverpool, the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom and the New Museum and has lectured at organisations, including: the Royal College of Art, London, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, MUMOK, Vienna and New York University. Barlow is the curator of BB5, the Bucharest Biennale, which will open in May 2012.

Art in General Founded in 1981 as an artist-run space, from the late 1980s to 2005, Art in General supported emerging and experimental art practice primarily through group exhibitions and residencies, and an Eastern European Residency Exchange Programme (2001-ongoing) in which New York and Eastern European-based artists produce new work within a variety of different residency contexts. Outside the residency programmes, in 2005 the overall focus of Art in General’s support shifted from group exhibitions to individual artists’ practice through the commissioning of ambitious new work for the New Commissions Program, which has since become Art in General’s signature initiative. Art in General just launched an international dimension to this commissions programme, which was formerly for New York-based artists only and is devising new models in 2012 for local and international partnerships—a programmatic shift galvanized by an international symposium on residencies, exchanges and collaborations in early March 2012.

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