Announcing the Winners of the Mutual Learning Research Projects
July 10, 2017

#LEARNINGUNKNOWN is pleased to announce the inaugural 3 winners who will be awarded Mutual Learning Research Grants.

The Forgotten Zheng He
by Chu Hao Pei

Performing Citizenship in South-east Asia: Case Study of Thailand
by Joned Suryatmoko

Culture, Knowledge, Lifestyle and Across the Strait
by Ferry Gelluny and Raisa Kamila

Congratulations to 3 winners, and thank you to everyone who participated in this Mutual Learning Research open call. Your words and your work are inspiring to us, and selecting a winner was a daunting and difficult task.

The research grant will certainly help in further connecting different realities, knowledges and people across the region.

Mutual Learning is the research and residency component of the Mutual Project. The Mutual Learning Research Residency Program aims to extend the goals of Mutual Unknowns through 3 travel/research/residency grants that will take place in South East Asian countries.

We encourage research proposals that are inquisitive and seek to explore the many networks and strategies of interaction, movement, and informality that animate and reinforce the production and presentation of art in the region.

Some questions that may arise from these topics are as follows:

– What is the nature of cultural exchange programs that inform and (currently) inundate contemporary art practices in South East Asia countries?

– How is interaction conceptualized, facilitated and sustained within exhibitions and collaborative projects across the region?

– How does (the lack of) time and movement shape intraregional exchange?

– How does informality in artistic practices and exhibitions, assembled and disguised in different forms and embedded in varying degrees, contribute to what we now consider and identify as a “Southeast Asian exhibition”?

As celebratory cum evaluative cultural and diplomatic activities and expositions circulate in anticipation of this year’s 50th anniversary of the ASEAN, we hope to continue our necessarily persistent investigation of the flows of national-regional-international power that orient, inform and confront artists and exhibition-making in the region.

for further question please contact



Application Deadline: June 30, 2017
Project period: 60 to 75 days between July – December 2017
Winner announcement: July 10 2017

Eligibility Countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor leste and Vietnam.
No. of Researcher per project: 1

Language of communication: English

1. Weekly journal and documentation

2. Regular update with curator and program manager
3. Public program talk/presentation in one of partner art space / organization
4. Publication

Up to 2,000 EURO
Residency with partner organization

How to apply
Submit a single PDF file include:

1. Project proposals  ( 1 page max)
2. Preliminary research plan / itinerary with timeline and expected budget
3. CV and Biography


Project Presentation
2 – 17 June 2017
National Gallery of Indonesia

Celebration Ceremony
15 June 2017
17.00 (Breakfasting)

Project period
10 May – 20 June 2017

Mutual Unknown 

Mutual Unknown is a project originated from gathering of curators who take part in CuratorsLAB. They questioned how a regional project can bring about the effort to create sustainable networking and real discussions on barriers and obstacles between art professionals in Southeast Asia region. The fact is that despite the technological advancements, there are too many communication barriers that need to be acted upon, especially those derived from differences in culture and language. If we believe that art could show a path in a period of political uncertainty, can this barrier of culture and language be examined through a relic-based art exhibition? Can our lifelong learning be seen on a cold hard record? Can social distance be ceased by an art presentation that is passive and detached?

With those questions in mind, we decide that Mutual Unknown exhibition shall be organized to mimic a ‘laboratory’ to put focus in process and interaction. This decision came up as an awareness of exhibition making, we do not intend it to be a revolution or innovation in the art world; especially, if we see how the development of this method has been adopted in various alternative art settings. This method serves as an appropriate response to the need to foster interaction, discussion, and human interrelation. As a mediation, a gallery shall consistently be a space for sustainable discussions between artists, curators, and the general public, where art production becomes a challenge-ready authority with interruptions and negotiations from all parties.

All in all, Mutual Unknown aims to enrich the human relation – who are, by chance, neighbors – in its effort to arrive at a new means in a limited time, which hopefully becomes a starting point to further discover issues and concerns of the younger Southeast Asian artists.

Henry Tan, Sally Texania, Rifandy Priatna

Henry Tan (Thailand)
Sally Texania (Indonesia)
Rifandy Priatna (Indonesia)

Azam Aris (Malaysia)
Fajar Abadi (Indonesia)
Kaung Myat Thu (Myanmar)
Leonard Yang (Singapore)
Noy Xayatham (Laos)
Nuttapon Sawasdee (Thailand)
Renz Lee (Philippines)
Tan Vatey (Cambodia)
Thuy Tien Nguyen (Vietnam)