• Issue
  • Mar 25, 2022

Public Domain: Crisis Response

Installation view of Buddha Seokgamoni Preaching to the Assembly on Vulture Peak (1755), repatriated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Courtesy LACMA.

On April 15, amid the Covid-19 pandemic’s first global wave, Yayoi Kusama delivered a message of hope and peace to the world, calling for the virus to “disappear from this earth.” Many of the year’s philanthropic projects were aimed at supporting communities in light of Covid-19 and other disasters. Governments across Asia, including those in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Singapore, and Hong Kong, announced relief packages for individual artists and organizations. Early in May, Adelaide’s Art Gallery of South Asia offered bursaries of AUD 10,000 (USD 6,450) each to visual artists, supported by the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation and the Neilson Foundation. Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art commissioned 40 artists for a four-part online and IRL initiative titled “Making Art Work.” Similarly, in Hong Kong, the nonprofit Para Site announced the unrestricted HKD 20,000 (USD 2,580) No Exit grant for up to 25 artists who have lost funding or other opportunities.