A twenty-first century world with its fast dissolving boundariesand global mobility is riddled with contention, localisation anda design and implementation of new spatial boundaries. Anenquiry into understanding border-crossing (philosophical,cultural and socio-political) is vital for a world to make-sense.LASALLE is pleased to host the students participating inthe international MA Graduate Semester Transcultural andTransdisciplinary Programme. Initiated by Zurich University ofthe Arts (Switzerland) in collaboration with institutions inHong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore, the semester titledEcologies – Matters of Co-existence provides young graduatestudents to make-sense of contemporary issues and topicalconcerns through critical engagement with artistic practice,research and cultural specificities. Students will criticallyevaluate concerns in-situ in different parts of the world.Ecologies coincides with LASALLE’s first interdisciplinary practicesymposium – Travels in Trans-Sensoriality. The aim of thesymposium is to foster a deeper appreciation of interdisciplinaryapproaches so as to inform contemporary artistic practices.Interdisciplinarity – as method – is a curricular activity atLASALLE. As such, both the symposium and Ecologies providea relevant arena to broaden the conversation around transculturalityand interdisciplinarity and emerging concepts and theoriescontextualising these. The challenge I place before participantsis to conceptualise an understanding of cultural andartistic practices outside of the world that their prefixes seemto determine: that is, can there be an imagining devoid of‘trans-‘ or ‘inter-‘? A transcendental moment, I believe, awaits.

Venka Purushothaman
(Academic) & Provost
LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

Symposium Guide

Symposium Program

About the Transcultural Collaboration International Graduate Semester Programme

We are convinced that encountering and debating transculturalissues is essential for young contemporary artand design practitioners to be optimally prepared for theirfuture (professional) life. Today’s world requires artistsand designers to critically reflect on manifold issuesand questions within a global framework. Thus, they arechallenged to position and distinguish themselves withindifferent political, social, economic, and cultural contexts.The program has two central characteristics that can beexperienced and explored in this unique setting. Its generalfoci are transcultural topics, such as traditions, identity,genealogy of the present, values, ethics, different formsof life, globalisation processes in general and betweenEurope and East Asia in particular. Their social and culturalsensitivity makes art and design practices ideallysuited to contributing to transcultural discourse and toexpressing a variety of topics through aesthetic means.The program’s second important focus is practical collaborationbetween different cultures and forms of art anddesign. This principal working method promotes intenseexchange about and first-hand experience of transculturalissues. It also helps participants to further differentiateand extend their own discipline. Students receive closesupervision and expert support from selected facultyfrom all partner institutions and from independent artistsand experts from various art and design disciplines.This year’s specific semester topic is called Ecologies –Matters of Coexistence and examines forms and aspectsof ecologies in different directions: concepts andcultural notions of nature, social or cultural environmentsas ecological systems, the influence of humanin the age of Anthropocene and speculations of biologicalbeings blending with artificial intelligence.

Partner and Collaborators

Zurich University of the Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, Academy of Visual Arts, China Academy of Art, School of Intermedia Art, Hangzhou City, University of Hong Kong, School of Creative Media, Taipei National University of the Arts, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts