Open Call for Operation PRD: All the Way South Research Fund

The Pearl River Delta (PRD) as a constructed geographical division originated from the hydrographic  integration of the Pearl River and its 
distinctive regional traditions and indigenous cultures. Since the  late 1980s, the geo-cultural construct has served as the foundation for 
governmental planning of the “Core PRD”, the “Greater PRD” and the “Pan-PRD”.Over the past two decades, the shared root of local culture has
been shaken and shifted by geo-political changes and economic reform. From the 1978 establishment of the first foreign-invested 
“three-supplied and one compensation” enterprise in Humen, to the more recent relocation of manufacturing and infrastructure
 investment from the PRD region to Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the global circulation of objects, people, capital, images and 
ideas has profoundly modified the everyday life and cultural landscape of the PRD.

Since its founding and opening in the end of 2010, Guangdong Times Museum has been committed  to research-based, experimental and 
discursive projects. As a unique case in the urbanization process of the PRD, the Museum designates its programming according to the 
history and context of the region, and devotes its programming to historicizing, presenting, and projecting the PRD’s artistic practice in critical 
relation to globalized mechanisms of cultural production and distribution.

Big Tail Elephants: One Hour, No Room, Five Shows opened in 2016 to inaugurate Operation PRD as a long-term project of Guangdong Times Museum. The exhibition reenacted the first few encounters between a group of young artists in Guangzhou and globalized capitalism.  These 
artists experimented with their artistic motives and languages through self-organized exhibitions, events, and visual-materially accommodated 
nascent yet abstract ideas that addressed globalization, consumerism, and commodity economies in the 1990s. The attested sociopolitical 
and economic current of the retrospective marked the PRD as the frontier of global capital flow and material production, where artists and 
institutions demonstrated the tendency to associate their thinking, practice, and action with the diversity and mundanity of everyday life and 
material culture.

In 2017, Guangdong Times Museum is launching Operation PRD: All the Way South Research Fund. As a theoretical orientation and 
action plan, the self-diasporic gesture of Operation PRD: All the Way South can be traced back to the 19th-century emigration of Cantonese 
laborers to the Southern regions and countries, including Southeast Asia and Cuba, in the period of colonial trade; its also a critical response 
to today’s global crisis of neoliberalism and neocolonialism. Northern countries, as representatives of modernity, are still regarded as the 
center and canon of knowledge production and cultural constructs under the worldwide imperial condition, which continue to marginalize 
histories, experiences, and knowledge of the peripheral and the local. The emergence of “Southern Theory” and social movements from 
Southern nation-states have aimed precisely at rectifying such inequalities. Located on the Southeast coast of China as an urban center of 
the PRD, the city of Guangzhou possesses many historical, cultural, and geopolitical attributes of the Global South. Our commitment to 
the southern-turn does not intend to reiterate the geographic division or socio-cultural hierarchy between the South and the North; rather, 
it situates the Museum in a rich and complex constellation of Southern narratives and imaginaries by focusing on artists, filmmakers, 
writers, scholars and self-organized activities that negotiate between global capitalism and local forms of interpretation and resistance.

Operation PRD: All the Way South Research Fund will initiate and support projects that fulfill the following criteria:

- Projects that engage with regional perspectives of the Pearl River Delta and the writing of local art history that intersect 
with the movement of globalization
- Historical research on the exchange and dialogue between China and other countries of the Global South with regard to 
the circulation of artistic ideas, productions and exhibitions
- Projects that challenge Northern-centric perspectives, and explore new networks of theoretical reflection and action
- Projects that develop critical responses to and investigations of issues of colonialism, nature, gender, class, and race 
under the framework of “Southern Theory”

Prioritizing interdisciplinary research and collaborative platform, proposals may take the form of a commission, publication, workshop, performance, screening, discussion, or other modes of presentation.

To Apply
Please combine all your application documents into PDF file and e-mail to prd@timesmuseum.org (If there is a video 
component in your files, please include it as a web link instead.)

Application Deadline
July 31, 2017

Required Application Materials
- Project proposal within 1000 words in English, including the statement, working schedule, presentation plan, budget, and a detailed plan of project realization
- Applicant’s portfolio
- Description of assistance needed for realizing the project

Selected artist or artist collective will be provided with:
-  Annually, two selected proposals that fulfill the above criteria will each receive a research fund up to 25,000 RMB (about 3750 USD)
-  One of the above two proposals will be granted an extra of 30,000-50,000 RMB for presentation in Guangdong Times 

Responsibilities of the awarded applicants
- To sign a research agreement
- To present three progress reports during the period of research
- To provide full documentary for project archive