Para Site is delighted to announce the 25 grantees of the NoExit Grant for Unpaid Artistic Labour:
The grantees were selected from over 110 applications by a jury consisting of artists Ocean Leung, Wong Ka Ying, and Samson Young, as well as Celia Ho, Para Site Curator, and Anqi Li, Para Site Curator of Education and Public Programmes. The jury decided to award 20 grants based on their individual assessment of merit and need and five grants were awarded by lottery from the remaining applicant pool. Each of the 25 grantees was awarded HKD 20,000 and the grants were transferred to their accounts last week.
Para Site has a long-standing commitment to fair remuneration of artists and other collaborators. Constantly working to reconsider the role of institutions in setting standards for equitable labour practices, within the past 12 months, Para Site has implemented several policies and projects including: full health and dental insurance coverage for all Hong Kong artists working on every Para Site project or engagement alongside their artist fee; the ongoing PS Paid Studio Visits which in the few months since its inception has already supported over 40 local artists with a studio visit fee (and one month of health insurance coverage) for every virtual visit; and the Hong Kong Collective Independent Art Spaces Fundraiser which we initiated to raise funds for 17 independent art spaces in Hong Kong in response to the pandemic.
Different from most kinds of financial support for which recipients are required to deliver set outcomes, the NoExit Grant for Unpaid Artistic Labour hopes to provide a small but unique and necessary contribution at the crucial (yet often unpaid) phase in artistic practice that allows thinking to flourish, outside of daily stress and without the pressure of production, functioning in a way like an artist residency without travel. The name NoExit was chosen by the anonymous funder who is generously supporting the grant, acknowledging with its existentialist undertone that there is no physical way for artists to easily travel and take part in exhibitions and projects overseas, largely limiting their income.
In 2020, artists receive subsidies for cancelled or postponed activities mainly through the Support Scheme for Arts & Cultural Sector disbursed by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC). HKADC grants up to HKD 7,500 for individual practitioners and HKD 15,000 for existing grant recipients. NoExit Grant for Unpaid Artistic Labour offers both more substantial support (HKD 20,000 to 25 Hong Kong artists) and through its unrestricted use covers items not supported by other grants, including living expenses. Put into context, the amount is equivalent to over a year of medical and dental insurance, a few months of studio rental, or a month of comfortable general costs.