The ASEAN Foundation, with support from the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund, continues to provide a safe space for artists and cultural workers in the region to exchange knowledge, experiment, and collaborate through the KONNECT ASEAN programme.
With its mission to celebrating the arts and cultures of ASEAN and ROK, KONNECT uses a variety of platforms (exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and education outreach), the programme delivered key activities directly benefiting 239 artists and cultural workers since 2020.
Major exhibitions, such as Stories Across Rising Lands in Jakarta, Cast But One Shadow in Manila, the ASEAN Sculpture Garden Project in Singapore, and To A Faraway Friend in Busan, provided valuable opportunities for artists and cultural workers to not only publicly showcase their artwork but also expand their network with like-minded creative people from other ASEAN countries and ROK.
Despite being launched during the height of the pandemic, KONNECT exhibitions reached audiences by employing a hybrid physical and digital techniques. In collaboration with local partners such as Museum MACAN (Indonesia), UP Vargas Museum (Philippines), National Gallery Singapore, and the Korea Foundation, exhibitions integrated virtual tours allowing audiences to experience the artists’ works virtually. As a result over 161,000 visitors have visited and enjoyed KONNECT ASEAN’s exhibitions in the last two years.
Apart from the art exhibitions, a series of education outreach activities were also organised. Hybrid discussions such as the KONNECT ASEAN Creative Futures Dialogue and KONNECT ASEAN Cultural Diplomacy Forum brought together speakers with wide and varied experiences to discuss topics such as the creative economy, digital diplomacy, cultural heritage and the climate crisis. More than 5,700 participants engaged directly with these activities with the livestreams generating over 31,000 views.
KONNECT ASEAN’s Partnership in 2023
As the programme enters the final year of its implementation in 2023, the ASEAN Foundation will, in close consultation with Senior Officials Meeting on Culture and Arts (SOMCA), implement key activities to support the development of artists and cultural workers in ASEAN and ROK including the External Assessment Summer School (Bandung and Bali), KONNECT ASEAN Artist Residency Programme (Jakarta), and Chiang Mai Art on Paper Residency Programme.
To ensure the success of these activities, KONNECT ASEAN’s collaboration with local partners such as CAP Studio in Thailand, Gudskul and Jatiwangi Art Factory in Indonesia, and Nanyang Technological University Center of Contemporary Arts (NTU CCA) in Singapore is essential. The ASEAN Foundation will work with the programme’s sole implementing partner, Asia Art Agency to ensure smooth coordination between all parties as well as the logistical preparations and outreach for the activities. The programme’s Community Arts components will no longer be implemented by Artsolute Ltd, Singapore (Artsolute) As the Memorandum of Understanding between the ASEAN Foundation and Artsolute lapsed on 10 May 2022. The last activity organised by Artsolute was the ASEAN Ko-mmuniti Convention in August 2020.
The support from the key stakeholders and partners, such as the Mission of ROK to ASEAN, has made it possible for KONNECT ASEAN to create a greater positive impact on the world of arts and culture in ASEAN. The achievements of the programme have given the confidence to ASEAN Foundation to design and develop the KONNECT ASEAN phase two.