News & events > Australian Arts in Asia Awards winners announced
14 Aug 2013

Australian Arts in Asia Awards winners announced



Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards. The Australian Arts in Asia Awards celebrate the important role Australian artists and arts organisations play in enhancing Australia's relationship with Asia. The Awards recognise, celebrate and promote the significant number of Australian artists engaging with Asia, who contribute to stronger, deeper and broader cultural links with Asia.


Annalouise PaulGame On

In September 2012,  Annalouise Paul, Artistic Director, Theatre of Rhythm and Dance presented intercultural dance-music work, Game On at the INTERFACE Festival in India.  Theatre of Rhythm and Dance is the first Australian company ever to be invited to INTERFACE and this was its break through international tour for an independent company supported by ARTS NSW and AusIndia Council. Featuring Aria Award® winner Bobby Singh and contemporary dancer, Miranda Wheen, Game On explores traditional and contemporary values and deeper communication between cultures. Its innovative use of classical Indian tabla and western contemporary dance languages in non-verbal communication highlights the commonalties between Australians and Indians to celebrate and unite in breaking down stereotypes. Concept and choreography by Annalouise Paul.

Bangarra Dance TheatreSpirit

Between July 2012 and June 2013 Bangarra toured Mongolia, Vietnam and Thailand with their production Spirit – a dynamic and evocative celebration of contemporary Indigenous dance, storytelling, theatre and music. It was inspired by Bangarra’s deep connections with Aboriginal communities in North East Arnhem Land and their rich traditional Yolngu culture. The evocative musical soundscape showcases traditional language songs from this region.


James AitchisonMr Midnight/Mr Mystery book series

Under the East-West pseudonym ‘James Lee’, James Aitchison has written two series of children's books for a Singapore publisher, Flame of the Forest Publishing/Angsana Books. Mr Midnight is a series of horror stories for the 8-12 age group and Mr Mystery is a series of mystery stories for the 10-16 age group. Between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013, 12 new books were published, with the works featured on the Singapore Straits Times bestsellers list for a total of 34 weeks.


Tekee Media IncLian Husi Klamar: Musika Tradisional Husi Timor-Leste (Sounds of the Soul: The Traditional Music of East Timor)

This publication is the culmination of an extensive 10 year project in East Timor. The author recorded the traditional music of East Timor, a deeply hidden culture in danger of extinction, thus preserving it for future generations. The book is published in two languages, Tetun and English and communicates the rich and diverse culture of Timor's music making to the world.

Visual art

Multimedia Art Asia PacificLight from Light

'Light from Light' was a major touring art project that was presented across five prominent venues in China and Australia between 2010 and 2013. 'Light from Light' comprised two identical exhibitions running simultaneously in Australia and China. Eleven leading artists from China and Australia produced two editions of their innovative new artworks so that they could be shown in two locations at one time.


Arts Centre Melbourne and Playking ProductionsCho Cho

'Cho Cho' is a bilingual (Chinese/English) musical with the script in Mandarin and English and is subtitled in both. The musical is a co-production between Arts Centre Melbourne and Playking Productions, and the National Theatre of China. 'Cho Cho' moves the classic story of Puccini's 'Madame Butterfly' to 1930s Shanghai (and from opera to theatre) and is a re-working of the acclaimed 1980s work 'Cho Cho San' developed by leading Australian writer Daniel Keene and director Peter Wilson.

Digital and film

Great Western EntertainmentSerangoon Road

Serangoon Roadis a detective drama series set against the tumultuous backdrop of1960s Singapore. It is the first long-form primetime television drama series commissioned by an Australian network that is set, and shot entirely in Asia. The production was mounted as a co-production under the Australia and Singapore Film Co-production Agreement, with personnel from both countries involved and collaborating in all production and creative elements. Serangoon Road is scheduled for broadcast in Australia on the ABC in late 2013.

Community engagement

AsialinkThe Bookwallah 2012

The Bookwallah 2012 was Asialink Art’s first roving international writers’ festival, taking five writers across India and Australia by train. The tour began on stage at the Mumbai LitFest, paused for events in Goa, Bangalore and Chennai, and finished in Pondicherry on the south-east coast. The writers were accompanied by unique luggage: this portable, pop-up library, filled with hundreds of Australian books. City by city the library shed its books: 1000 Australian books were donated to universities and local libraries along the way.


Warburton Arts ProjectTu Di Shen Ti: Our land, Our Body tour

Tu Di Shen Ti - Our Land, Our Body; Masterworks from the Warburton Collectionfirst opened at the Shanghai Art Museum in 2011 and travelled to seven major museums in Eastern China. The goodwill and partnerships it created with Chinese institutions made the second 2013-14 tour to Western and Northern China possible. Beginning in June 2013, the exhibition will visit a further eight museums, totalling 15 Chinese cities across both tours. The exhibition brings 65 masterworks from the Warburton Collection, which contains nearly 1000 paintings, numerous artglass and textile works by Ngaanyatjarra artists.


Arts Centre Melbourne and Playking ProductionsCho Cho

'Cho Cho' is a bilingual (Chinese/English) musical with the script in Mandarin and English and is subtitled in both. The creation and production of 'Cho Cho' is regarded as a model project of international cooperation by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China, which has already made two major special grants to support National Theatre of China's participation in this joint venture.


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian ArtSydney Pavilion

In 2012, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art was invited by the Shanghai Biennale, as a co-organising institute, to present the Sydney Pavilion as part of the Inter-City Pavilions project. The Inter-City Pavilions project commissioned curators and institutions from more than 30 cities in Asia, Europe and the Americas to present projects in various locations across Shanghai. The inclusion of the Sydney Pavilion offered an official collaboration between an Australian and Chinese contemporary art organisation.

Snuff PuppetsPeople's Puppet Project workshop in Dharavi, India

Snuff Puppets ran a 10 day People’s Puppet Project (PPP) workshop in Dharavi, India’s largest slum, and produced a spectacular outdoor giant puppet performance work with residents. The project was a collaboration with SNEHA, local producers and residents of Dharavi. This project brought together people with very different religious views, people with drug and alcohol dependencies and people experiencing severe disadvantage. This project provided a space to put aside their differences and work together for the first time. The giant puppets have remained with the Dharavi residents who have continued to perform with them at local cultural events.


Museum VictoriaThe PLACE-Hampi

The PLACE-Hampi is a museum installation which forms part of an extensive new arts and cultural precinct called ‘Kaladham’ (art place) in the township of Vidyanagar in Karnataka state in southern India.The museum honours the area’s archaeological site known as Hampi, and showcases a profound Australia–India collaboration and an extraordinary set of creative technical innovations which have been developed over many years.

Individual artist

Jayne DyerThe Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is Jayne Dyer’s permanent public art commission for Four Seasons, a prestigious retail and residential property in Beijing. Installed in September 2012 and sited in the atrium, it is the signature artwork for the property. The artist’s work is a steel wall sculpture of butterflies that appear to fly, suspended in space. It is in 700 parts, is 20 storeys high, visible and accessible from all levels. The unique work was designed specifically for the site and is intended to complement the visual transitions between interior and exterior (glass ceiling), earth to sky.

Small to medium arts organisations

Snuff PuppetsPeople's Puppet Project workshop in Dharavi, India

Snuff Puppets is Australia’s leading giant puppet experimental theatre company. Founded in 1992, their work transcends language barriers and connects with diverse audiences. Snuff Puppets ran a 10 day People’s Puppet Project (PPP) workshop in Dharavi, India’s largest slum, and produced a spectacular outdoor giant puppet performance work with residents. The project was a collaboration with SNEHA, local producers and residents of Dharavi.

BearcageThe Story of Australia

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Australia, CCTV (China Central Television, the national broadcaster) is working with the Canberra-based production company Bearcage to create a television series for broadcast on its documentary channel CCTV9 in China, and also internationally. The Story of Australia is a six part documentary series that focuses on the lives of Australians and Chinese who represent the contemporary relationship between the two countries, and offers an opportunity to explore the cultural and community engagement between the two countries. The Story of Australia is scheduled to premiere on CCTV in September 2013.

Major arts organisation

Sydney Symphony OrchestraThe Australia-China Cultural Exchange Program

In 2009, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra commenced formal relations with a number of venues and presenters in China. Since then, many visits and exchanges have resulted in the signing of Memorandums of Understanding between the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, the Guangzhou Opera House and the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, the only higher music education institution in southern China. The 2012 China Tour reached audiences of about 5,000 across six major cities in China. Performances in the Sydney Opera House will reach 15,000 in 2013 plus countless overseas audiences through web streaming and on-demand viewing. In 2013, 200 people in Australia and 340 people in China will directly engage in the Cultural-Exchange Program.

For more information about the Australian Arts in Asia Awards visit