Vision of the initiators

City of Kunming

City of Kunming, China

Why Asia? Prof. Ching Lin Pang, the academic director of the Program: “Understanding China and other Asian countries is key to understand the world in the 21st century. The influences of Asian cultures in all realms of life are increasingly expanding. Asia is important in terms of demography and economic strength. Moreover it is becoming an increasingly important cultural and artistic hub, that creates and disseminates its cultural products and services to the global audience. Asian countries are now taking the lead in culture, design and arts no longer being passive consumer of Western culture and arts. The mutual flows between Asia and Europe tell us the story of a rising Asia that can contribute to a truly super-diverse cultural and artistic scene.

Why art education? Prof. Pascal Gielen, Director of ARIA  ‘Since we know not the economy, but culture is the base of societies we need to take material and immaterial culture as the central medium to communicate with each other. Mutual understanding is pivotal nowadays, in times of growing neo-nationalism and hyper-globalization. Global markets fail, because they do not recognize nor do they take care of local cultural differences. So, we need professionals who can take care with in-depth knowledge of cultural mechanisms, cultural values and differences. We need curators who can build with co-imagination and in co-creation next to the global market paradigm a resilient civil society paradigm.’

Why Intercultural and multilingual interaction? Professor Dieter Vermandere: “The dynamic and process oriented view on “curatorship” as “taking care of” and its constant contextualisation are essential tools that allow you to go out and about and find your way in the very diverse world that we are living in. Flexibility, adaptability and tolerance of ambiguity are attitudes that are crucial, because developments in science, technology, communication are increasingly swift and radical. We are no longer on one long train track where we can sit back and relax: we’re commuting on a hectic, fast paced subway system that requires changes, split second decisions and real-time information management. Good communicative skills are essential here