4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art fosters excellence and innovation in contemporary Asian and Australian culture through research, documentation, development, discussion and presentation of contemporary visual art.
We believe that Asian cultural thinking will have an important impact on the future. 4A’s aim is to ensure contemporary visual art plays a central role in understanding the dynamic relationship between Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
4A has a distinctive approach to addressing Australia’s cultural diversity through a dynamic program including local and international exhibitions, public programs, workshops, seminars, symposiums and community activities. These have been recognised locally and internationally as having raised awareness of Asian-Australian art and culture and Australia‘s place in the Asia-Pacific region.
The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is a hands-on curatorial training program that enables emerging curators to be mentored by a member of the 4A Curatorial Team. Each Curatorial Assistant works with the wider 4A team from the inception of the development of an exhibition to its delivery. This program was initiated in 2017 and will expand in 2021 with 4A taking applications for the first time.
Each Curatorial Assistant works alongside their mentor to develop and expand their skills. Each mentorship is bespoke with Curatorial Assistants supported to expand their skills, develop their industry networks, and play a significant role in the presentation of a 4A exhibition. Previous Curatorial Assistants have focused their mentorship on developing archival research skills, developing their SketchUp capabilities, and refining their curatorial writing.
The time commitment for this role is 125 hours and each Curatorial Assistant is remunerated at least $3,500+superannuation.
The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is supported by the Sally Breen Family Foundation.
In 2020-21, the Drawn by stones Curatorial Assistant Program opportunity is supported by the Cultural Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Sydney.
There are two Curatorial Assistant roles available:
Drawn by stones (2020/21)
Curatorial Mentor: Bridie Moran
From September 2020 – December 2020 and continuing into 2021, work with the 4A team to develop and deliver Drawn by stones, a research-led curatorial project that connects artists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia. In this Curatorial Assistant role, supported by the Cultural Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Sydney, and the Breen Family Foundation, focus will be on researching, connecting with and developing exhibition and programming outcomes for Taiwanese artists and creatives.
Drawn by stones brings together artists who utilise the ceramic medium to interrogate contested histories, stolen land, Indigenous sovereignty, and concepts of national identity. In 2021, exhibiting artists from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan will further investigate the creation of a sense of ‘nationhood’ through ceramics, demonstrating how the medium can both memorialise and tell alternative histories. The exhibition is grounded by the 2020 installation of Monuments, Dean Cross’ site-responsive work – an ongoing project since 2016, intended for exhibition every two years. Taking its title from Marvin Bell’s 1984 poem Drawn by Stones, by Earth, by Things That Have Been in the Fire, this exhibition recognises that the foundations of ceramic practice lie in the earth – and through the work of exhibiting artists, aims to expand the relevance of ceramic histories, dialogues and interrogations of land, place, sovereignty and ownership across Asia and Australia.
This role will be remunerated at the higher level of $4,000+ superannuation as the Curatorial Assistant will contribute an article for the 4A Papers as part of this opportunity.
Applicants with a strong connection to Taiwan are encouraged to apply for this special role.
This position is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents Australia-wide as well as those based in Taiwan.
Digital Curatorship (2021)
Curatorial Mentors: Mikala Tai and Con Gerakaris
Work with the team to develop new digital projects. 4A’s new platform 4A Digital emerged in midst of COVID-19 and supports artists to develop work specifically for digital consumption. This ongoing curatorial project supports artists to create new work and, for many, the first time in the digital space. The Curatorial Assistant will work closely with the 4A team to devise and deliver at least two 4A Digital commissions.
This position is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents Australia-wide. Remote working will be considered.
To apply to submit a single PDF document including:
● A cover letter that addresses which Curatorial Assistant role you are applying for and includes an introduction to your practice and your curatorial or research focuses and interests.
● A CV illustrating relevant curatorial projects or work experience. Maximum one page.
Applications should be submitted via email, to Con Gerakaris: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications close 6.00PM Sunday 6 September 2020.
Applications will be assessed and applicants notified of the outcome approximately two weeks following the submission deadline.
If you have any questions, or want to chat before you submit your application, please touch base with Con Gerakaris: email@example.com or call on (02) 9212 0380
Previous Curatorial Assistants:
Nicole Beck, mentored by Micheal Do for For us sinners: Marikit Santiago
Kelly Doley, mentored by Mikala Tai for Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue
Janet Jin, mentored by Pedro de Almeida for By All Estimates
Isabel Rouch, mentored by Micheal Do for The Invisible Hand Nanette Orly, mentored by Mikala Tai for Nusra Latif Qureshi: Strategies of Intent
Con Gerakaris, mentored by Micheal Do and Mikala Tai for Lee Kun-Yong: Equal Area
Tian Zhang, mentored by Mikala Tai for Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses
Micheal Do, mentored by Mikala Tai for Before the Rain
Harriet Reid, mentored by Pedro de Almeida for Dacchi Dang: An Omen Near and Far
4A Curators' Intensive Program 2020 - Applications closed November 24 2019
4A Curators’ Intensive is an initiative developed by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to encourage professional advancement amongst early career Australian cultural practitioners with an interest in curatorial practice. In 2020, the Curators’ Intensive, will take place in Sydney between Monday 20 April - Friday 24 April 2020.
This is the fifth iteration of the Intensive program that has been offered biennially since 2012 with support from Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. In 2020, the program aligns with the first iteration of 4A's partnership with London's International Curators Forum (ICF), I am beating heart in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney. With a focus on diaspora the 2020 program will expand, complicate and even destablised the term itself engaging with the complexities, challenges and continued relevance that the diasporic experience and diasporic art have today. The program will be led by three leading international curators who have extensive experience working on large scale exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale to small scale curatorial gestures including Adelaide Bannerman (Independent Curator and Programmes ICF, London) and Jessica Taylor (Independent Curator and Producer and Head of Programmes ICF, London).
In 2020 nine Australian emerging curators will join a UK delegate as part of the program and be offered the opportunity and support to pitch an exhibition for Fairfield Museum and Art Gallery in late 2020.
To apply to submit a single PDF document including:
1. A Cover Page with your name, address, phone number and email address
2. A Letter of Intent addressing your interest in participating in the program; why the Curators’ Intensive will be beneficial to you; how your skills and research will contribute to the process and how it will contribute to the development of your practice. Maximum one page.
3. A Statement which outlines your current curatorial or research focuses and interests. Maximum one page.
4. A CV illustrating relevant curatorial projects or work experience. Maximum one page.
5. An example of existing curatorial writing. This can be a room sheet, wall text or catalogue essay or something similar.
Applications should be submitted via email, to Bridie Moran: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications closed 6.00PM Sunday 24 November 2019.
Applications will be assessed and applicants notified of outcome approximately two weeks following the submission deadline.
- Up to 10 individuals will be selected by a panel consisting of Mikala Tai (4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art) and others to be announced. 4A Curators' Intensive Australian participant places are open to Australian Permanent Residents and Citizens only.
- Participants will be paid a small honorarium for their involvement.
If you have any questions in relation to the program or how to apply please contact Bridie Moran on (02) 9212 0380 or email@example.com
The 4A Curators' Intensive is an initiative developed by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to encourage professional advancement amongst early career Australian cultural practitioners with an interest in curatorial practice, with support from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
Header image: 4A Curators' Intensive 2016 participants visiting the studio of artist Abdullah M.I Syed.
Previous participating curators and recipients
2018 Curators: Natalie King (Melbourne, Australia), Philip Tinari (Beijing, China), Reem Fadda (Palestine) and Joselina Cruz (Manila, Philippines)
2018 Participants: Annika Aitken (WA), Sabrina Baker (VIC), Andy Butler (VIC), Kate Davis (VIC), Saskia Gilmour (QLD), Kate Alida Mullen (WA), Nanette Orly (NSW), Emily Rolfe (NSW), Isabel Rouch (NSW), and Bianca Winataputri (ACT).
2016 Curators: Carol Yinghua Lu (Beijing, China), Khaled Sabsabi (Sydney, Australia), Zarmeneé Shah (Karachi, Pakistan) and Pooja Sood (New Dehli, India)
2016 Participants: Hanann Al Daqqa (VIC) Joanna Bayndrian (NSW) Micheal Do (NSW) Alana Hunt (WA) Anabelle Lacroix (VIC) Luke Letourneau (NSW) Melissa McGrath (SA) Laura McLean (NSW) Adam Porter (NSW) Talia Smith (NSW) Amelia Wallin (NSW)
2014 Curators: Cosmin Costinas (Hong Kong), Dr. Sophie McIntyre (Canberrra, Australia) and Robin Pekham (Hong Kong/Beijing, China)
2014 Participants: Miriam Arbus (VIC), Mira Asriningtyas (Indonesia), Andrew Ewing (NT), Sebastian Goldspink (NSW), Sophie Kitson (NSW), Alana Kushnir (VIC), Tess Maunder (QLD), Tulleah Pearce (NSW), Gintani Nur Apresia Swastika (Indonesia), Luisa Tresca (NSW), Kyle Weise (VIC) and Chloé Wolifson (NSW)
2012 Curators: Qiu Zhijie (Fujian, China)
2012 Participants: Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris (VIC), Martina Baroncelli (NSW), Toby Chapman (NSW), Janis Ferberg (NSW), Joel Mu (NSW), Joseph Scott (VIC), Adele Sliuzas (SA), Veronica Tello (NSW/VIC), Samuel Zammit (NSW).
4A Beijing Studio Program 2019 is supported by ArtChain Global.
The 4A Beijing Studio Program is now in its eighth year, and provides Australian artists with a valuable opportunity to research new projects in rich cultural surroundings, build professional networks and observe the changes taking place in one of the most important cities in Asia.
4A Beijing Studio Program recipients for 2019 are Jessica Bradford, Owen Leong and Emily Parsons-Lord
The 4A Beijing Studio Program is a unique initiative that sees three Australian artists embark on a month-long residency in September at the studios of internationally renowned Chinese-Australian artist Shen Shaomin. This experience provides a unique opportunity for artists to be mentored by a leading international artist, undertake research for new works, develop professional networks and witness first-hand the changes occurring in one of the world’s most vibrant capitals. The program covers airfares, accommodation, daily meals, travel insurance and a small stipend.
In 2019, for the first time, this special 4A initiative is being supported by ArtChain Global, a new platform working at the intersection of blockchain technology and contemporary art. With ArtChain Global's generous support, we are able to amplify opportunities for artists to explore the region.
4A Beijing Studio Program has been developed as part of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s broader professional development program for arts professionals. Together with the annual 4A Emerging Writer’s Program and the biannual 4A Curators’ Intensive, the 4A Beijing Studio Program supports emerging Australian talent to work within the Asia-Pacific region.
About Shen Shaomin
Over the last twenty years Chinese-Australian artist Shen Shaomin has forged an important international career with an emphasis on experimental, conceptual and installation works. Based in Beijing, and having spent over a decade in Australia, Shen’s work spans a number of medium and explores individual and collective experiences of humanity and their impacts on our natural and constructed surroundings. Shen Shaomin has previously exhibited with 4A in The Floating Eye, Sydney Pavilion, 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012); and presented the solo exhibition, The Day After Tomorrow (2011). His work has been included in Liverpool Biennial (2006) and the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010) and most recently featured as part of Busan Biennale 2016 and at Encounters, Art Basel Hong Kong 2017. In China he has exhibited at Today Art Museum, Beijing; Tang Contemporary, Beijing; Platform China, Beijing; Shanghai Zendai MoMA, Shanghai; and Osage Gallery, Hong Kong. Across Europe and North America selected exhibitions include, Groniger Museum, Holland; Urs Meile Gallery, Switzerland; ZKM Museum Karlrusche, Germany; Millennium Park, Chicago and Eli Klein Fine Art, New York.
Eligibility and criteria
Applications are open to visual artists who are Australian permanent residents. We are looking for artists who will benefit from the professional mentorship offered by Shen Shaomin; cross cultural exchange and access to 4A’s networks in China; and dialogue and bonding between residents.
Successful applicants will be selected based on the quality of their past work, reasons for participation, viability of their participation and the potential benefits to the applicant’s artistic development. Decisions will be made by an independent panel and all decisions are final.
Successful artists must be available for travel to Beijing, for one month from Tuesday 17 September 2019 - Tuesday 16 October 2019. The program includes return airfares, accommodation, travel stipend and travel/medical insurance. Dates are non-negotiable. All selected artists will be travelling at the same time.
To apply for the 4A Beijing Studio Program please complete the application form here and include the following:
- A 250 word statement of why you would like to participate in the program
- A 250 word statement of how you will benefit from the experience
- A current Artist’s CV. Maximum one page.
- Support Material in the format of a PDF with 10 images (72 dpi), including captions and explanations where appropriate. Video content should be supplied as a URL web link within the PDF (maximum 10 minutes duration). Please do not send individual files. Original material will not be returned.
Provisions and amenities
4A will provide the following to successful applicants:
- Return economy airfare to Beijing from your nearest Australian state capital city.
- Accommodation at the Shen Shaomin Studio for the duration of the Program.
- Access and use of the Shen Shaomin Studio facilities, including a print-room, painting studio and video projection room.
- Daily meals.
- A travel stipend sufficient to cover personal expenses for the duration of the Program.
- Access to an interpreter (Chinese/English) during Program.
- Reimbursement of Chinese visa costs.
- Appropriate travel insurance for the period of the Program.
- Accommodation and facilities are housed at the Shen Shaomin Studio located 52 km north of Beijing’s city center (approximately 45 mins drive from Beijing Capital International Airport). The Studio contains newly built premises with modern conveniences. The Studio will provide artists with daily meals in addition to a stipend sufficient for personal needs over the duration of the Program. A driver/interpreter will be available for a limited number of days to explore surrounding artists’ studios, galleries and other locations. Chinese language skills are not necessary.
Terms and conditions
- Artists are responsible for obtaining necessary visas for entry into China and for obtaining appropriate travel insurance if they choose to decline 4A’s policy cover.
- Artists are responsible for any excess baggage or freight to/from the Studio/Beijing.
- Artists will be asked to sign an agreement that outlines the terms of the Program and their travel.
- Upon return to Australia, artists will be required to take part in a public discussion about their participation in the Program.
- Artists are to conduct activities with regard to not creating undue noise or other conduct which may disturb or annoy others in adjoining studios or premises.
Complete the application form at this link to apply.
Enquiries should be directed to:
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Phone: +61 2 9212 0380
2018: Chun Yin Rainbow Chan (NSW), Dean Cross (ACT/NSW), Andrew Liversidge (VIC) and JD Reforma (NSW).
2017: Tane Andrews (NSW), Nathan Beard (WA) and Caroline Garcia (NSW).
2016: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah (WA), Eugenia Lim (VIC) and Justin Shoulder (NSW).
2015: Robert McDougall (VIC) and Angela Tiatia (NSW).
2014: Claudia Nicholson (NSW) and James Nguyen (NSW).
2013: Tully Arnot (NSW), Sarah Contos (NSW) and Jensen Tjhung (VIC).
About the 4A Emerging Writer's Program
Following the inaugural offering in 2016, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to announce the fourth consecutive 4A Emerging Writer’s Program that will support an emerging Australian writer to travel to Indonesia in 2019 and realise two publication outcomes.
4A Emerging Writer's Program recipient for 2019 is Matt Chun. Matt Chun is a studio artist, independent writer and children’s author, working from his seaside studio in Bermagui, a small town on Yuin country in regional NSW. He also divides his time between Melbourne and Taipei. Matt lives, works and travels with his 8-year-old son, making portrait, landscape and travelogue studies across a range of media.
4A Emerging Writer’s Program is open to all Australian emerging writers and suits individuals with a keen interest in fieldwork research in art and culture from the Asia Pacific region, and someone who can demonstrate a flair and passion for writing.
The selected writer will undertake up to a two-week research trip to Indonesia in late 2019. Facilitated by 4A and its networks, the writer will be asked to conceive and deliver two writing outcomes for publication in 4A Papers and program supporter Art Monthly Australasia. This may include a critical essay, historical research, interview, review, profile, or feature with accompanying online audio-visual content. The writer will be supported by the team at 4A and its networks in Indonesia, and in particular by Pedro de Almeida, Editor, 4A Papers and Michael Fitzgerald, Editor, Art Monthly Australasia.
4A Emerging Writer’s Program has been developed as part of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s broader professional development program for early career arts professionals. Together with the annual 4A Beijing Studio Program and the biannual 4A Curators’ Intensive, the 4A Emerging Writer’s Program supports emerging Australian talent to work within the Asia-Pacific region.
4A Emerging Writer’s Program is an initiative of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and supported by Art Monthly Australasia.
Applications open: 2 May 2019
Application close: Monday 9AM AEST, 27 May 2019 (5.00pm AEST)
Travel dates: late 2019 (exact dates of itinerary to be determined in consultation with 4A).
The selected writer must be:
Over the age of 18 years.
An Australian citizen or permanent resident.
The definition of “emerging” is a writer who has not previously published more than 20 texts in any subject, in print or online (personal blogs or self-published platforms excluded).
4A will provide the selected writer with:
Return airfare from the recipient’s nearest state capital city to Indonesia.
Accommodation, per diems and travel insurance for the period of the trip.
To apply, submit the following:
- A Cover Page with your name, address, phone number and email address.
- A Statement of Intent that outlines your current writing or research focuses; your interest in participating in the program, articulating your specific area of interest undertake fieldwork in Indonesia; how it will be beneficial to you; and how it will contribute to the development of your research and writing practice. Maximum one page.
- A Proposed Collection of Writings that you would produce as part of this project. Maximum one page.
- A CV illustrating relevant study and work experience, previously published texts, personal projects and achievements. Maximum one page.
- A Writing Sample of up to 1,000 words (this can be unpublished and preferably in a professional writing style rather than academic in tone).
Shortlisted writers will be asked to provide evidence of date of birth and Australian permanent residency status.
Applications should be submitted via email, post or in person to:
Pedro de Almeida
Editor, 4A Papers
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Post: PO Box K1312, Haymarket NSW 1240
If you have any questions in relation to the program or how to apply please contact Pedro de Almeida on (02) 9212 0380 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 4A Emerging Writer’s Program - Lleah Amy Smith
Lleah Smith was the 2018 4A Emerging Writer’s Program participant, lived and worked across India and Australia since 2011, she returned to Sydney in May 2017 after living and working in Delhi consecutively for two and a half years. Lleah Smith’s research practice is largely centralised within the Global South; she is an artist, educator and arts writer and therefore sits at the nexus of creator and facilitator. She is primarily interested in how audiences engage with art and how people learn about art. In December 2018, Smith travelled to India to undertake field work and build connections in one of the most diverse and vibrant contexts for contemporary art making and its engagement across cultures and societies in our region.
Lleah Smith received an Honours Degree in Fine Arts and Masters of Art Administration from the University of New South Wales Art and Design; throughout her University career she was listed on the UNSW Dean’s List for Outstanding Academic Achievement in 2011 and 2012 and was the John Gage Prize recipient in 2013. She has exhibited widely nationally and internationally, facilitated learning programs in Australia and abroad and has been published independently and as part of the UNSW online press, Biennale of Sydney Student Newspaper, Khoj International Artists’ Association’s Semiannual Publication, The Wall Art Magazine and Kaldor Public Art Projects’ Education Kit.
In 2018, 4A received an increase in the number of applications compared to 2016 and 2017 while maintaining a diversity of applicants in terms of place of residence around Australia, attracting proposals from NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and WA. Additionally, the selection committee - Pedro de Almeida, Editor, 4A Papers, Gina Fairley, Editor, ArtsHub, and Michael Fitzgerald, Editor, Art Monthly Australasia - were impressed by the range of career achievements of many of the applicants, as well as the clear evidence of demonstrating initiative in building upon their careers in a global context including, for several applicants, in India.
Said Micheal Fitzgerald: "In its third year partnering with 4A, I has seen the 4A Emerging Writer's Program grow in stature as well as geographically and thematically, and with the opportunity for an emerging writer to spend research time in India in late 2018, this year's candidates proposed an abundance of tantalising submissions. Lleah Smith stood out for the groundedness of her desired approach, with a keen interest in public art and education, and with the potential to build on her already impressive networks and knowledge."
ArtsHub editor Gina Fairley echoed these comments, saying: "The capacity and curiosity with which Lleah Amy Smith approached this 4A writing residency was impressive. Hers was an application that sought to delve into the bridges we construct as visitors to India’s layered and rapidly shifting art scene by looking at that trajectory of change through an expat experience framed by historical text, to the dynamic use of public space and art education systems. It was a fresh and considered application, and it was clear Lleah could land in India and confidently build upon her research interests and deliver texts that were regionally alert and timely."
2017 4A Emerging Writer’s Program - Mitiana Arbon
Mitana Arbon, is an Honours student at the School of Culture, History, and Language at the Australian National University. Mitiana traveled to Samoa in late 2017 to undertake research and build engagement with local artistic communities in Upolu and Savai’i. His writing developed from this trip will be published in 4A Papers Issue 4 (May 2018) and Art Monthly Australasia soon after.
2016 4A Emerging Writer’s Program - Minerva Inwald
Over two weeks spanning late May and early June 2016, Minerva Inwald, 4A’s 2016 Emerging Writer’s Program recipient, traveled to Guangzhou, China, to experience the lead up to Sea Pearl White Cloud 海珠白雲, a collaborative two-stage exhibition project produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and local independent contemporary art space, Observation Society, that saw presentations in Guangzhou and Sydney. Sea Pearl White Cloud presented new works by Australian artist Lucas Ihlein and Hong Kong-based artist Trevor Yeung that are informed by questions of temporality, exchange and poetics while reflecting on the urban condition in the twenty-first century. Read her piece for the 4A Papers here. Minerva’s text for Art Monthly Australasia was published in its September 2016 issue.
Our internship program is entirely project based and interns will apply for specific positions that accompany an element of 4A’s program. From curatorial assistance, fundraising assistance, marketing assistance or production assistance these positions will be clearly defined and have clear deliverables for 4A and clear learning outcomes for the intern.
Applications are now open for 4A’s spring internship program, with tone positions available at our Haymarket, Sydney Centre in October - December 2019:
Spring Internship, October 24 - December 20 2019
The 4A Spring/Summer 2019 internship will have two key focus areas: audience development, and archiving. Between October 24 and December 20, the appointed intern will work with the 4A team to build skills in audience development, including assistance in front of house duties, marketing and events tasks and more, gaining experience in a wide range of programs as part of our final exhibition of 2019 John Vea: If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back?.
In addition, the selected candidate will work independently developing cataloging and archiving skills as part of 4A’s archiving project. The selected candidate will develop skills in digitisation, digital archiving and basic web content management as part of the project. While previous experience in audience engagement, visitor services and archiving will be highly regarded, all applicants are encouraged to apply. The selected candidate will be required agree to a schedule of work as outlined below, inclusive of some weekend periods.
Reporting to: Bridie Moran, Engagement and Development Manager, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Time commitment: Mondays and Tuesdays (or two other weekdays as negotiated) between October 24 - December 20 2019; plus Saturday October 26, Saturday November 9 and Saturday November 23.
To apply please send your CV along with a cover letter outlining your interest and experience to 4A Engagement and Development Manager, Bridie Moran: email@example.com
Applications close Monday 21 October, 2019