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MA UMI RESIDENCIES is a self-funded and not-for-profit, international site for artists and researchers. Our guests concentrate on a wide range of specialisations, disciplines and practices, but come together to live and work in the Northern Peninsula of Ishigaki Island, Japan. The residency is intended to create a lively platform; to collect, discuss, and experiment with the land, the ocean, and nearby communities. 


In order to support their research, participants will receive complimentary lodging in a large private studio for a duration of two weeks, along with airport pickup and convenient transportation within our village. Additionally, a production stipend can be provided, the amount of which to be determined through discussion based on the project.

MA UMI RESIDENCIES questions the nature of knowledge incorporated, produced, and transmitted by multiple forms of practice. Split between three locales, residents are encouraged to critically explore and celebrate Ishigaki’s natural, insular environment in all its complexities. At the end of the program, guests are expected to present on their work and residency experience in the form of a public presentation and discussion.


MA UMI | MAP Ocean

In the age of climate change, the ocean is a fundamental aspect of research, integral to the planet’s future development. Thus, an important motive behind transforming MAP Office into MA Umi–and moving from Hong Kong to Ishigaki–is to explore the concept of marine and coastal landscape in situ. Responding to the on-going global crisis of climate change, our ambition is to create a sustainable space, in both ecological and economic terms, that will facilitate shared and produced, biological, environmental, and productive meanings.


MAP Office’s contemporary practice combined a diversity of subjects and media that slipped boundlessly from one context to another–or deliberately from one island to another. Indeed, over the past 25 years, MAP Office developed a research-based practice that critically observed the complex development of Hong Kong and the extended Pearl River Delta region of Mainland China. First approaching the territory at large through its most recognisable densities of urban life and infrastructure, we gradually shifted our exploration to the region’s invisible islands and hidden communities. These include the rapidly disappearing fishermen’s culture and their remarkable knowledge about the edible and medicinal benefits of seaweed. Recent local, radical political shifts, as well as risks associated with global climate transformations, encouraged our determination to relocate. 


This new base is in Ishigaki Island, one of the southernmost islands in the Yaeyama Archipelago of Japan. Here, we will channel a life of academic research into creating a research centre and artistic retreat.

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