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What is San Art Laboratory

Begin in May 2012, ‘San Art Laboratory’ is a studio and residency program initiated and managed by San Art in Ho Chi Minh City. ‘San Art Laboratory’ aims to provide 3 artists with a studio and living quarters for three months each. Successful artists will be granted USD1000 towards production costs and a small living allowance. The focus of ‘San Art Laboratory’ is the sharing of creative ideas via critique and discussion. The program facilitates regular group critiques – private discussions between the artists, San Art and select relevant members of our local community: architects, artists, writers, teachers, performers, etc… to assist the development of his/her artistic project in the session. The residency would be concluded with a presentation of final works (format dependent on nature of work ie. performance; reading; exhibition etc). From Session 1-8, ‘San Art Laboratory’ arranged a ‘talking partner’ for each participant: these individuals chosen from our local community, specifically invited to act as a kind of mentor due to their expertise being of relevance to the participant’s nature of artistic enquiry. Notice: During Session 8 (December 2015-May 2016), due to the increase in government scrutiny of San Art's programs, ‘San Art Laboratory’ needs to re-strategize the program and thus regrettably has to cancel Session 9 onwards. We will keep the community posted with further developments.

Why San Art Laboratory?

  • To offer artists the opportunity to further develop their ideas outside the pressure of the commercial market of art.

  • To provide artists with space to be able to experiment with their ideas in an environment that is nurturing, encouraging and engaging open discussion concerning ideas and technique.

  • To assist artists in the development of artistic proposals, to further their writing skills about their work with a broader understanding of their value on an international platform of contemporary art practice.

  • To assist participating artists create a body of work that critically challenges their own ideas of art making.

  • To provide artists the chance to build stronger confidence in their own ideas and artistic community, to persist with their own artistic vision.

  • To encourage broader awareness of international standards of art making that will assist the artist in future possible opportunities of showing their work locally and abroad.


San Art Laboratory is currently made possible by Vietnam Foundation for the Arts and:

Who can apply?

San Art Laboratory is open to artists under 40 years of age who are from and based in South East Asia: namely Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia and Timor-Leste. Session 9 opens beyond visual art to literature, design, sound, performance, architecture, and fashion practitioners.

Additional Requirements

Provide a porfolio of work that demonstrates dedication and commitment to furthering personal artistic ideas, demonstrated through completed works and research towards specific forthcoming projects. Understand that San Art Laboratory is trying to identify participants who could benefit from being given critique and studio space - so portfolios are required in order to best judge who would take advantage of ‘lab’ time.

An artistic proposal for the residency period - be it a research project for a novel, a performance, a look book, an architectural design - applications need to propose a feasible 3-month project in their application. The quality of such project will be essential to application assessment and selection.

Please see ‘Application Form’ for specific details.