Asia Pacific Performance Exchange

The Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) is an international residency program with a particular focus on American and Asian artists. APPEX programs (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2010) have brought together more than 250 traditional and contemporary artists of varying disciplines from America and throughout Asia - from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam -- for six week long intensive residency sessions on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and in Indonesia.

Cheng Chieh Wu & Josefina Baez

APPEX is an educationally based international exchange artists residency program that supports cross-cultural and interdisciplinary understanding; develops rigorous strategies for art making reflecting the nuances of cultural differences; and fosters new ways to experiment, collaborate and interpret artistic expression.

Together, CIP and APPEX have worked to define ways in which intercultural experimentation can create alternative modes of practice and, at the same time, help artists respond to the changes they see in the world around them. The rich, interactive workshop environment of APPEX provides artists with the opportunity to expand their aesthetic range through exposure to new performance practices and approaches to creative production. APPEX Fellows develop the ability to collaborate across discipline and culture; learn mutual and self-reflective critical techniques; and initiate life-long friendships and professional networks. The successful format of APPEX demonstrates how cross-cultural collaboration can provide artists with a more informed understanding of Asia and America as well as valuable insights into their own world view.

It is difficult to construct a viable web experience capable of demonstrating the spirit and energy of an APPEX workshop. Sometimes it is best to be there. We have tried to share some of the experience on our our site Ah Q! Performance Project which grew out of the APPEX workshops of 1996. In 1999 and 2000, the APPEX summer workshop invited writers fellows to consider "intercultural performance" as an aesthetic, social and political response to the shifting cultural and political landscapes of America and Asia. Research took place in tandem with the creative and collaborative work of APPEX Artist Fellows. As Writer Fellows interacted with artists and observed workshop activities, they developed research topics around the theme of Cross-Cultural Collaboration. In 2004, a volume of these essays titled "Narrative/Performance: Cross-Cultural Encounters at APPEX" was published and is available from the CIP office.

Header Photo by Jorge Vismara

Eko Supriyanto
APPEX artist Eko Supriyanto.

APPEX residency is made possible by The Ford Foundation, with additional support from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs the National Endowment for the Arts, The Ford Foundation Jakarta, The National Commission for Culture and Arts- Philippines, Japan Foundation, Soros Foundation, Saison Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and ANA - Arts Network Asia. The APPEX writers residency was sponsored by a grant from The Rockfeller Foundations' Arts & Humanities Fellowship Program.