Resources > Mobility Funding Guide: China
04 Apr 2024

Mobility Funding Guide: China

Mobility Funding Guide: China

The Mobility Funding Guide: Funding Opportunities for International Cultural Exchange in Asia, Guide to China provides an overview of funding available for cultural project to and from China. 

In this latest edition for China (April 2024), readers can find funding opportunities by country in most artistic and cultural disciplines. The guide lists national resources when available, as well as regional and international sources of funding, be they public or private. There are 2 national and regional funding organisations, coupled with 8 either private, independent or non-profit foundations or funds, with an additional 19 sources of funding (that focus on Asia).

Additional changes from the previous edition include: 

  • The exclusion of Hong Kong and Macau from this guide as these two regions have a lot of funding geared towards culture and the arts relative to Mainland China, and are also relatively transparent and accessible. Mainland China, on the other hand, is a much more complex region, and not many funding opportunities are well known to independent artists, especially those from overseas. We therefore hope that this research will be more specific to the situation in Mainland China.
  • Most of the funding information in Mainland China is only available in Chinese. However, given the rapid development of both translation software and artificial intelligence today, many people are able to utilise these technologies to machine translate and gain a basic understanding of the funding information. As such, this guide still encompasses grant programmes that only provide information in Chinese.
  • In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of arts incubation programs have sprung up in mainland China. Most of these projects were promoted by the government, sponsored by commercial organisations, and then organised by art institutions or curators. Due to the large number of projects, this research has selected a few representative incubation programs that have been more influential in China in recent years.

To make sure that the publication uses reliable sources, only regular opportunities accessible online are listed. There are many grants and arts opportunities in Mainland China that do not strictly meet the criteria of this research, as they tend to be relatively short-term, and can change drastically or even disappear again in two or three years, before a new grant programme is born. This also reflects the fact that although Mainland China is gradually investing more resources in culture and the arts, it does not yet have a well-developed funding system. This remains to be further researched in the future.

The guide is an attempt to gather all the resources in one document and is by no means complete. Rather, it is a starting point for research into funding for mobility in the Chinese context.  

Since 2012, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and On the Move (OTM) have jointly presented the Mobility Funding Guides for International Cultural Exchange for the 51 countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). 

Download the guide to China here and download the regional guide here.

While the guide focuses on funded types of support relating to mobility and cross border travels, here are additional funding schemes available in China that support other project related expenses:

1. Bei-bei Project

  • Bei-bei Project is a round of on-site art projects jointly initiated by Organhaus and the "Field in Action" Creative Support Programme. The project adopts a comprehensive form of residency/research/in situ creation, inviting project participants to carry out multi-dimensional and multi-threaded creation and art writing in relation to different related issues.

2. Japan Foundation

  • Arts and Cultural Exchange Small Grants: The Japan Foundation provides partial financial assistance for Japanese cultural introduction events, lectures, stage performances, exhibitions, film screenings, and youth exchange programs held in China for the purpose of promoting international cultural exchange.

3. RanRan Young Artist Incubation Programme

  • Artists-in-Residence Programme: This residency focuses on the role of historical memory in urban revitalisation, the status of the humanities after community transformation, and cutting-edge business innovation practices. By providing funds for residencies, support for local research, assistance, and other resources, the programme hopes to recruit mature artists with creative research capabilities to create a wide range of art.  

4. Red Gate Gallery

  • Red Gate Residency: This is an international artists residency programme providing artists, curators, writers, and academics with the opportunity to live and create work in China. The objective is to provide facilities for artists to easily start their projects and offer a community in which they can participate as much as they like.

5. Dancers Association China

  • Young Artists Platform of Dance: Since 2014, the programme has nurtured and supported a number of emerging young artists and outstanding original dance works, and has gradually become the most active creative center platform in the dance industry. 

Here are more insights on funding opportunities in China: 

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