‘Half a year: a reflection on recent residencies across Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia’

Shiro Masuyama is a Belfast based Japanese artist. He recently received a long-term fellowship award from The Japan Foundation Asia Center to undertake residencies across the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. He spent October 2017 through to March 2018 working at a series of consecutive artist residencies. He will reflect on his experience of working across Southeast Asia and offer an insight into his encounters with the various art scenes in a lunch time talk in Golden Thread Gallery.

Shiro has developed his artistic practice as well as his life through participating in numerous international residencies all around the world nomadically since 2002. After attending international residencies in IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2006 and Flax Art Studios, Belfast, in 2009, he settled down in Belfast. He occupies an interesting space as a minority Asian artist working in Northern Ireland and often acts as an international ambassador hosting visiting artists, instigating international exchange opportunities, developing international networks and introducing art from the North of Ireland to new audiences around the globe.

Through his recent travels across Southeast Asia he set out to reaffirm his Asian identity, exploring both the commonality and different sensibilities of people he met. He will introduce how he approached working in response to each of the countries he visited.

To date Shiro has participated twenty international residency programmes and has accumulated vast experience of this approach to cultural exploration. Shiro has received numerous awards including ACES Awards, Arts Council of Northern Ireland (2016); Individual Artist’s Award, Derry-Londonderry City of Culture (2013); The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York(2009-2010). He has exhibited his works in numerous group exhibitions including ‘Collective Histories of Northern Irish Art’, Golden Thread Gallery (2015) ; ‘Aichi Triennale 2013’, Nagoya, Japan (2013) and many solo exhibitions including ‘Identity’, R-Space Gallery, Lisburn (2017) ; ‘Self Sufficient Life’, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown (2015) and Fotoaura Institute of Photography, Taiwan (2015) ; ‘Intervention’,Golden Thread Gallery (2011). He has completed a public art commission entitled “Five Apples” in Ballymena, Northern Ireland (2015).

Picture : ‘Identity T-shirts Project with MES 56’
Shiro MASUYAMA featuring MES 56
Yogyakarta Indonesia
February, 2018