About Us

culture360.org is a portal initiated by the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and managed by the Culture Department at the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

Culture360.org aims to stimulate the cultural engagement between Asia and Europe and enhance greater understanding between the two regions. Created for and fuelled by artists, cultural practitioners and policy makers, culture360.org is your platform to inform, collaborate, interact and exchange ideas with the arts and cultural communities across Asia and Europe.

As a reference tool, and a place for dialogue, this exciting portal will take cultural cooperation between Asia and Europe to a whole new level.


The Need

Stemming from several conferences and seminars amongst policy makers and cultural practitioners from the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) member countries in recent years, it became clear that there was a need to facilitate information flow and cultural cooperation amongst member countries. Studies showed that there were no comprehensive and multi-disciplinary resources that focused on Asia and Europe – one that targeted at cultural co-operation and acted as an interface between the interests of governments and cultural organisations, between policy makers and artists.

Though cultural information is available, it is still very disparate and not readily accessible. Much information is offline, and the quality and relevance of the information varies considerably from country to country. In addition, the language differences hinder co-operation between the two regions. The problem is even more acute in Asia.

The Process

As such, there is a general lack of awareness and appreciation of what Asia and Europe have to offer. That is why, the idea to create a multidisciplinary Asia-Europe cultural portal was planted during the 1st ASEM Conference on Culture and Civilisations (Culture Ministers’ Meeting) in December 2003, and reinforced at the Asia-Europe Cultural Policy Seminar in 2004. culture360.org was finally endorsed at the 2nd ASEM Culture Ministers Meeting in 2005 and acknowledged as an important initiative.

Conceptualised with the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA, Singapore), a feasibility study was carried out, entitled Cultural Partnership Mapping. In 2005, a vision group meeting culled feedback and ideas about practical steps towards the creation of this portal from various stakeholders. The process placed emphasis on research, consultation, utility and sustainability.

A full account on the process was published in 2005, ‘Cultural Partnership Mapping-Towards the Development of a Multidisciplinary Asia-Europe Cultural Portal’.

In 2006 a culture360.org Partners’ Coordination Meeting was set up in partnership with the Malaysian Ministry Of Information Communication & Culture. This set the beginning of the Asian Mapping Exercise aimed to redress the disparity in the availability and visibility of cultural resources between Asia and Europe.

It was finally decided that an incremental development strategy was the best approach for the creation of culture360.org. Therefore the site would take into account the priority of the stakeholders and be developed in phases. This way, feedback can be taken and incorporated to improve the site as it grows. The first version of the site was launched at the 3rd ASEM Cultural Ministers meeting in Malaysia in 2008 and the re-designed site was launched in April 2010.

The development of culture360.org is part of a process of stimulating cultural engagement between Asia and Europe, and not an end in itself. For this to be achieved, face-to-face meetings of practitioners, seminars and debates between policy makers and other offline collaborations will help to better mutual understanding between Asia and Europe.

Who initiated culture360.org?

culture360.org is an initiative of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and facilitated and hosted by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

What does ‘culture360.org Asia & Europe’ in the logo mean?

The name ‘culture360.org’ refers to the all-round, multidisciplinary aspects of arts and culture. ‘Asia & Europe’ refers to the geographical boundaries that refine the scope of information and exchanges that are featured on this site.

What is ASEF?

Established in February 1997 by the partners of ASEM (Asia Europe Meeting), the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) seeks to promote wider mutual understanding and closer cooperation between the people of Asia and Europe through greater intellectual, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges. The major achievement of ASEF is the establishment of permanent bi-regional networks focused on areas and issues that help to strengthen Asia-Europe relations.

What is ASEM?

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and co-operation bringing together the 28 European Union Member States and the European Commission with 18 Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Norway, Switzerland and the ASEAN Secretariat. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between our two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.

Why is the site only in English ?

Because English is the official language of ASEM and ASEF and this site being an initiative of ASEM facilitated by ASEF, English is therefore the adopted language for this site.

Why are only certain countries in Asia and Europe included?

Because culture360.org is an initiative of ASEM, only ASEM member countries are included in this portal. The ASEM member countries included are Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan,Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

The views expressed herein are in no way taken to reflect the official opinion or position of ASEF, ASEF’s partner organisations, or its sponsors.

This website has been produced with financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of ASEF and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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