Asian Cultural Council is excited to continue its second season of #AlumniACCess, a social media series featuring global perspectives from our alumni community. By engaging alumni across countries and artistic disciplines, this collaborative series aims to foster international connections, meaningful conversation, and an expanded sense of community. This is an exciting opportunity to listen, learn, and connect with alumni on their artistic processes, fellowship experiences, interests, insights, and more. Our second cohort features Maria (Ria) Tri Sulistyani (ACC 2008), Susie Ibarra (ACC 2007, 2018), and collaborators Aram Han Sifuentes (ACC 2019) and Roberto Sifuentes (ACC 2018, 2019).
#AlumniACCess | Fall Series
Maria Tri Sulistyani (Ria)
Born in 1981, Maria Tri Sulistyani (Ria) founded and became the Co-Artistic Director of Papermoon Puppet Theatre based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2006. With no formal education background in puppetry, making puppets has become a never-ending experimental journey for her. Under her direction with six other members, Papermoon is an independent puppet company that has led performances and visual arts projects. They have also led two independent festivals, including an International Biennial Puppet Festival called PESTA BONEKA since 20018 and GULALI Festival, the first TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) in Indonesia. In 2008, she received an ACC Fellowship to observe performing arts activities and meet with puppetry artists in the United States. Being close to the audiences' hearts is her reason to bring puppets alive.
Susie Ibarra is a Filipinx composer, drummer/percussionist, and sound artist who creates live and immersive music that invites people to connect to their natural and built environments. Ibarra is passionate about working to support Indigenous music cultures (such as musika katatubo in the Philippines) and advocating for preserving freshwater towers through sound recording and research around glaciers and fresh water. New works include album releases Rhythm Cycles, a drum solo performance commissioned by the Bagri Foundation and released with OTO Projects UK (2020); and the composer portrait album, Talking Gong, featuring Claire Chase and Alex Peh (ACC 2019) with Ibarra on New Focus Recordings (2021) and Water Rhythms Listening Room, a multichannel installation created from sonic mappings of 5 water towers source to sink in collaboration with climate scientist Michele Koppes, a 2021 commission for TED Countdown Climate Conference Edinburgh UK, Fridman Gallery exhibition in Beacon NY Nov/Dec 2021, and Fragility Etudes a rhythmic study of the physics of glass for soloists and ensemble commissioned for Asia Society Triennial 2021, filmed and premiered live MASSMoCA 2021, with film directed by Yuka C.Honda. Ibarra is a 2020 National Geographic Explorer in Storytelling and 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music. She is a Senior TED Fellow and a Yamaha, Zildjian, and Vic Firth Drum artist. She received ACC Fellowships in 2007 to support her study of indigenous music and regional festivals in the Philippines and in 2018 to record climate soundscape along the Ganges River in India.
Aram Han Sifuentes
Aram Han Sifuentes is a fiber and social practice artist, writer, and educator who works to center immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing circles, which become a place for empowerment, subversion, and protest. Her works have been exhibited at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (Chicago), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago), Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis), MCA Denver (Denver), and Moody Center for the Arts (Houston). Upcoming solo exhibitions will be presented at moCa Cleveland (Cleveland) in January 2022, and Skirball Cultural Center (Los Angeles) in April 2022. She is a 2016 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, 2016 3Arts Award and 2021 3Arts Next Level Awardee, and 2020 Map Fund Grantee. She earned her BA in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an associate professor, adjunct, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received an ACC Fellowship in 2019 to join collaborator Roberto Sifuentes in residence at A. Farm in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Roberto Sifuentes is an interdisciplinary performance artist and educator. Sifuentes’ recent projects include: #exsanguination, a collaboration with new media artist jonCates and Aram Han Sifuentes (present work). As co-founder of the San Francisco based performance troupe La Pocha Nostra, over 25 years he has performed and conducted workshops with La Pocha at over 800 venues across the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America. Sifuentes has co-authored two books with Guilermo Gomez-Peña; most recently “Exercises for Rebel Artists: Radical Performance Pedagogy” Routledge 2011. As a performance pedagogue, he has been Artistic Director of the Trinity College/La MaMa Performing Arts Program NYC, and Eminent Scholar in Latin American Studies at Columbus State University, Georgia. Sifuentes is currently Professor and Chair of Performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2019, he received an ACC Fellowship to participate in an artist residency at A. Farm in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
In case you missed it, ACC's first cohort featured Aki Inomata (ACC 2015), Frog the Parhelia (ACC 2016), and Reaksmey Yean (ACC 2018).
#AlumniACCess | Summer Series
Aki Inomata was born in 1983 in Tokyo, Japan, and is currently based in Tokyo. After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008, she received an ACC Fellowship in 2015 to observe contemporary art and participate in an artist residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program. Aki Inomata develops the process of co-creation with non-human animals into artworks. She presents what is born out of her interactions with living creatures as well as the relationship between humans and living things.
FROG THE PARHELIA
Frog (aka Dava/Elaine; any pronouns) is a Taiwanese-American interdisciplinary artist-performer born and raised in Monterey Park, California. In 2016, Frog received an ACC Visual Arts fellowship to study traditional shamanist practices in Mongolia. Currently Frog lives in upstate New York, tending gardens and running a publishing project called SunDogs Studio (@sundogs_studio).
A native of Battambang (Northwestern Cambodia), Reaksmey Yean is an art advocate and emerging art curator, writer, and scholar. Yean is an Alphawood scholar (SOAS, the University of London for Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art – in Indian, Chinese, and Southeast Asian Art), and was an exchange student at the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs, Chiang Mai University. He is an inaugural SEAsia Award Scholar (2017), an Asian Cultural Council fellow (2018), and a beneficiary of Dr. Karen Mcleod Adair’s grant for an MA in Asian Art Histories at LASALLE College of the Arts. Currently, he is a program director and founder of Silapak Trotchaek Pneik (STP), a contemporary art space by Phnom Penh’s YK Art House, and a part-time lecturer at Phnom Penh International Institute of the Art (PPIIA).