Thursday 03 October 2019

The British Council launches artist-in-residence programme for socially-engaged Hong Kong-based artists

Fully-funded, nine-week residency available at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, UK

Deadline for application: 00.00HKT, 26 October (17.00 BST, 25 October). Full details and application here

The British Council in Hong Kong, in partnership with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and Phillips Auctioneers, is launching a pioneering new project aimed at developing the next generation of socially-engaged artists in Hong Kong. The British Council Artist-in-Residence Scheme 2019-20 will see one Hong Kong-based emerging or mid-career artist working in any discipline embark on a nine-week long residency programme between February and April 2020 at the CFCCA in Manchester, UK. 

The initiative, funded by proceeds from the auction of the neon artwork Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars by rising British Chinese artist Faye Wei Wei in June, will prioritise applications from artists with a track record in social practices and will be judged by a panel of experts from the British Council, Phillips and CFCCA. It is hoped that the outcome of the residency will be the creation of a new work or project that demonstrates how artistic and social collaborations can stimulate engagement and positive change in communities, including but not limited to projects or works that foster greater inclusion and wellbeing.  

This new artist-in-residence initiative is the first-ever partnership between the British Council in Hong Kong and the CFCCA, which – through its exhibitions, events, artist residencies, collaborations and research projects – has been a leader in bringing Chinese contemporary art and visual culture to a UK audience for more than 30 years. The unique gallery based in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter has a long history of working with artists, curators and researchers from, based in or connected with Hong Kong. The centre was originally founded as the Chinese View Art Association (CVAA) in Manchester in 1986, led by Hong Kong-born artist Amy Lai, to foster a positive understanding of Chinese identity and culture within the local Chinese community and the general British public.

In 2017, in collaboration with Manchester International Festival, CFCCA worked with Hong Kong artists Samson Young, Kingsley Ng, João Vasco Paiva, MAP Office and Ellen Pau. The same year, the centre organised From Ocean to Horizon, a group exhibition featuring established and emerging artists from Hong Kong, most of whom had previously never exhibited in the UK, including Ko Sin Tung, Sarah Lai, Trevor Yeung, Au Hoi Lam, Tang Kwok Hin and Kong Chun Hei. 

Following in this tradition, this brand-new residency will give one Hong Kong-based artist an international platform to raise their profile and dedicated space and time to develop a work or project with curatorial and practical support from CFCCA’s team.

Antony J. Chan, Head, Arts and Creative Industries, British Council in Hong Kong, said:

“The UK and Hong Kong have a vibrant and established tradition of nurturing cultural and artistic exchange, and the British Council is thrilled to begin another chapter in that story with the launch of this pioneering artist-in-residence programme in collaboration with CFCCA and Phillips. It is hoped that the residency will stimulate an exciting new work or project that is collaborative, participatory and connected to both the local and international context.”

Zoe Dunbar, Director, CFCCA, said:

“CFCCA has a long history of working with emerging and established artists from Hong Kong and Greater China to provide a space for conversation, debate and cultural exchange. This new artist-in-residence programme in partnership with the British Council continues in that field and we are delighted to be taking a significant step towards developing the next generation of Hong Kong artists.”

Nick Wilson, General Manager, Asia, Phillips, said: 

“Phillips is committed to supporting Hong Kong’s art scene, so we are naturally delighted to be part of this ground-breaking initiative that demonstrates how the entire art ecosystem – from grassroots artists to institutions to the commercial side – can work in harmony to create value for all.”

The residency will provide:

•24-hour access to a studio on-site at CFCCA – including a working and living space (single occupancy) 

•Administrative and curatorial support from CFCCA’s team during the residency 

•Budget of £2,000 for research, materials and production of new work/project

•Artist fee/living expenses of £18 a day (£1,134 total) 

•Economy return flight between Hong Kong and Manchester

•An open studio, or similar public event at the end of the residency period 

Eligibility criteria:

•Open to emerging and mid-career HK-based artists working in all disciplines; artists with a track record of socially engaged practices are prioritised

•Have not taken part in a previous CFCCA artist residency

•This opportunity is not open to students currently enrolled on a BA or MA course, and is for individual artists only – no joint/group applications 


Photos and video of CFCCA and Frail Silver of the Climbing Stars are available here for use

Keep up to date with the British Council in Hong Kong on social media:

Facebook: BritishCouncilHongKong 

Instagram: @britishcouncilhk 

Twitter: @hkBritish

Notes to Editor

About the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester

CFCCA is a unique art gallery. We have a strong year-round programme of socially engaged exhibitions, events and artist residencies. We work with emerging and established artists from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the diaspora to provide a space for conversation, debate and cross cultural exchange. Based in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, we’ve been part of the vibrant arts and culture scene of the city for over 30 years.


Since 2003 CFCCA has coordinated a residency programme, which invites artists, researchers and writers to work and reside in a purpose built studio next to the gallery space. This unique space provides opportunities for development and the space and time to work on ambitious projects. The CFCCA residency programme gives emerging artists an international platform from which to raise their profile, while enriching the arts ecology of Manchester.

About Phillips

Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewellery, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.  In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services. Visit for further information.

About Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars

Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars by Faye Wei Wei was originally commissioned by the British Council and sponsored by Phillips as part of the Neon Spark project for the inaugural SPARK: The Science and Art of Creativity, a British Council Festival of Ideas held at Tai Kwun in January 2019. It was fabricated in neon by one of Hong Kong’s last remaining neon light masters, paying homage to the creativity and skill of the artisans whose work once lit up Hong Kong’s streets. 


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, through broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. The British Council has been working with Hong Kong since 1948. In 2018, we marked our 70th anniversary, celebrating 70 years of cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Hong Kong.