The Asian Cultural Council and Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation share the belief that international cultural exchange is essential to fostering understanding and respect in the world. The exchange of artists and arts professionals plays a critical role in achieving mutuality and real appreciation across cultural boundaries.

Out of this shared commitment to international cultural exchange, the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) and Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation (BCAF) have launched the three-year ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship program to support international exchange among contemporary artists and scholars in China and the United States, and China and the rest of Asia.

The Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation’s generous grant of $750,000 to the Asian Cultural Council, fully funds the ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship, providing funding and program services for individuals carrying out two-to-six-month programs of research and creative exploration. Annually, the program will support three or more Chinese contemporary artists and scholars to travel to the United States or Asia, and two or more American contemporary artists and scholars to travel to China.

“ACC’s Fellowship programs provide opportunities for immersive, transformative cultural exchange between Asia and the United States, towards a vision of advancing international dialogue, understanding, and respect,” said Miho Walsh, ACC Executive Director, “We are thrilled to partner with the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation to increase opportunities for China-U.S. and China-Asia exchange at this critical moment.”

Following our 2019 grants announcement in June, we are excited now to see many of the 2019 ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellows beginning their research and travel. Please join us in congratulating the 2019 recipients of the ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship: Cai Yingqian (Nikita), Chen Li, Gu Jiani, Cathy Lu, Lijiang Studio, and Wen Hui and Eiko Otake (Inta, Inc.).


2019 ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellows


Cai Yingqian (Nikita) 蔡影茜
Chief Curator, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou

ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship
China to U.S. | 2 months

Nikita Cai will conduct research for two months in the U.S. on a large-scale exhibition project under the working title of Neither Black/Red/Yellow Nor Woman.



Chen Li 陳立
Independent Curator and Writer

ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship
China to U.S. | 6 months

Chen Li will explore independent art practices in New York City for six months in order to understand the relationship between the commercial center and the grassroots fringe within local and transnational art ecologies. 


Gu Jiani 古佳妮
Dancer/Choreographer, Untitled Group, Beijing

ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship
China to U.S. | 6 months

Gu Jiani will observe, research, and exchange with dance and physical theater artists in the U.S. for six months, building a foundation for future exchange and collaborations, and to continue a collaboration with The Hinterlands theater group (ACC 2011, 2017) in Detroit.


Cathy Lu
Independent Artist/Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley and Mills College

ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship
U.S. to China | 3 months

Cathy Lu will participate in ceramics workshops in Jingdezhen and travel in southern China and Hong Kong to connect with local artists and observe developments in contemporary arts in China over three months.


Lijiang Studio Foundation            

ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship
China to Japan / Japan to China | 5 months

This fellowship supports the Lijiang/Hokkaido Reciprocal Residency Program, enabling three artists from China and three artists from Japan to explore interdisciplinary artistic practice in two rural settings over two months.

Curated by Jay Brown and Yasuhiro Morinaga (ACC 2013), this program works with primarily female, under-represented artists based outside major urban centers to develop working methods which take advantage of disciplinary differences and time together. In addition to having the time for fieldwork, conversation, and experimentation, the participating artists will have the opportunity to present their work in a public performance for the local communities.

Inta, Inc.

ACC/BCAF Contemporary Arts Fellowship
U.S. to China / China to U.S. | 2 months

This fellowship supports a collaborative program in China and the U.S. to enable pioneering choreographer/dance artists Eiko Otake (ACC 2003) from New York and Wen Hui 文慧 (ACC 1996, 1998) from Beijing to explore the creative process and possibility of creating a work together as part of Eiko’s Duet Project.