Opportunities for Artists - Open Call For Entries

The Sunny Art Prize, in collaboration with leading Chinese national and international cultural institutions, launched a series of new artist residency programmes. For each edition of the Sunny Art Prize, we will provide the winning artists with the opportunity to be part of a residency in culturally dynamic and significant places in China.

The idea of international cultural exchange, as provided by this open call for artists, was envisioned to complement the existing programme of international exhibitions from London to China. While the artworks shortlisted for the Art Prize travel to new exhibiting locations and engage with new audiences, we believe artists should also travel and exchange knowledge about their practice with new communities around the world.

Through direct interaction with Eastern culture, the artist residency aims to provide a profound, positive change to your practice as an artist as well as to you as a person.

Apply for the Sunny Art Prize now and experience the next level of art residencies.

Accepting all Medium Artists
Submission Deadline: 30 June 2022

During the artist residency, if you are shortlisted among the winning artists, you will be provided with sustained support throughout your journey in China. You will be able to create work while being provided with free accommodation, the necessary art supplies, as well as a studio space.

During the residency, you will also familiarise yourself with one of the strongest art markets in the world. You will be able to introduce your work to new art collectors through exhibitions, talks, conferences, and many other events devised to maximise the reception of your practice. You will also have the chance to liaise with local curators, gallerists, artists, and publishers that pump the local creative economy.

Artist Residency at The Gao Feng Chan Temple

The Gao Feng Chan (Peak) Temple, located in the De Qing county, Hu Zhou city, Zhejiang province, has a history of more than 1,500 years and is one of the eight major schools of Buddhism today. In August 2005, Hu Jushi and Wu Deshi became the new hosts of the Gao Feng Temple. They appointed experts who were asked to re-plan and design the temple. In the past six years alone, more than 30 million yuan (£3.5 million) has been invested in this re-development to restore the glory of this Buddhist temple.

According to the ‘Mo Gan Shan Mountain Records’, this temple was built in the first year of Liang Tian Jian during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 502). From the Tang Dynasty till the Year of the Sui Dynasty (AD 1274), there was a Zen master from the Lin'an Longxu Mountain who moved into this place, and he renamed the temple as Linji Daochang. In the year of the Southern Song Dynasty's demise (AD 1279), the Miao Zen Master retired to Tianmu and drilled a cave room in the mountain. He named the cave ‘Dead Pass’ and remained there in solitary confinement for 15 years while practising meditation. He is today known as the East Peak Buddha. During the first year of Yuan Zhen (AD 1295), the Miao Zen Master passed away, and the Emperor Yuan Wuzong’s honoured him with a title: ‘The Zen Master of Fo Ri Pu Ming Guangji’. On that day, the temple was named after the local mountain.

At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, the temple was destroyed during the war. In the 11th year of Ming Hongwu (AD 1378), the first reconstruction and expansion of the temple began. From the 11th year of Jiajing (AD 1533), the temple was fully refurbished and repaired in just thirty-one years (completed AD 1564). This last operation over thirty-one years included new expansions for the building such as the Tianwang Hall, the Daxiong Hall, the Tibetan Classical Court, and the Abbot Room. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, the temple had already surpassed the former’s size. In the years of Guang Xu (Qing Dynasty), there were more than two hundred monks living in the temple.

In the area surrounding the main temple, there are several buildings for pilgrims and tourists to stay. The covered climbing galleries connect all the buildings together, from the main temples to the side dormitories. One of these galleries is 300 meters long, making it one the longest covered corridors around a temple in the whole of China. In addition to the main buildings and the temple, with their corridors, patios, doors and windows, the gardens, and natural landscapes galvanise the majestic beauty of the area with their exotic flowers and trees.

Check the Previous Editions 2018 page to find out more about at the location and the residency.


Located in the Wangjing Soho, Beijing, in the last architectural project designed by Zaha Hadid, Fact of Art Education and Design (FA) aims at propelling an art education guided by the demands of the art and design industry. By providing resources from world-leading art schools and institutions, FA equips its artists-in-residence with the most recent and first-rate contemporary training and guidance throughout one of the most professional residency programmes. It is the embodiment of a rich creative experience and an inexhaustible resource of professional expertise from some of the most established and knowledgable tutors and artists. Its key location also makes FA an appealing international destination for creative people, allowing artists-in-residence the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. FA is a cauldron of people from different cultures aiming at exploring and developing the most inspiring contemporary art practices, situated in an area with one of the best art scenes in the world.

Artist Residency at The Contemporary Chinese Ink Academy, China

The Contemporary Chinese Ink Academy is a world-leading educational institute which is affiliated with the China International Research Association of Painting and Calligraphy (a member of China’s Ministry of Culture). The institute’s focus on academic research supports the creativity and abilities of artists through innovation by propelling an international research on modern ink practices. The institute provides one of the most contemporary training buildings, equipping its artist-in-residence's with the best facilities available in order for them to nurture their creative outlets.

The Contemporary Chinese Ink Academy has always considered its academic abilities a priority in order to preserve a strong theoretical and practical knowledge of Chinese Ink painting. The institute aims at a ‘wide involvement within contemporary practices’ and attempts to galvanise traditions through new ways of performing creative concepts and content. This is achieved by enabling others to evolve, expand and experiment with this traditional media and bring it into a new contemporary setting.  The Academy’s effort in experimenting with ink-painting while simultaneously preserving this traditional art, gives a new spirit and significance to both contemporary and traditional works.

Artist Residency at The Redtory Art and Design Factory, Guang Zhou, China

Our residency has been developed to bring innovative individuals to engage in socially and environmentally responsible projects to China. Redtory Art and Design Factory is located in three different cities across China - Guangzhou. It has become an integral part of the city’s history, and in the spring of 2009, the old and abandoned factory was revitalised to be a creative hub in the city. While supporting the growth of their creative industry with this renovation, the exterior appearance of the factory which has kept its industrial aesthetic resonates the city’s industrial past. Guangzhou Redtory Art & Design Factory is located at the east side of the central axis through the CBD of Guangzhou, Zhujiang New Town. With beautiful scenery overlooking the north bank of the Pearl River, Redtory faces Pazhou International Exhibition Centre across the lake in the south. In the north is the Tianhe business centre, making it a desirable creative district in the cultural centre of Guangzhou city, bursting with an exciting creative and artistic atmosphere.

Redtory forms a cultural central axis along with Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou Opera House, Guangdong Museum, new Guangzhou Library, and Guangzhou TV Tower. Following international standards for creative districts, Redtory has nourished comprehensive cultural industries and established itself as the CAD (Central Art District) in Guangzhou’s CBD. Since its establishment, Redtory has attracted internationally renowned galleries, designers, artists, art spaces, media, academic/art organisations, fashion stores, clubs, and cafes to open up their offices or shops in the district. As Redtory expands, their reputation continues to spread across China and further abroad.

Artist Residency in Yuchan Temple(玉蟾宫), Hai Nan Provance, China

Our artists' residency programme takes the winners of the Sunny Art Prize on a cultural journey in the Chinese region of Hainan. The residency takes place in the Yuchuan Temple, right in the heart of the region. As opposed to some Chinese mega-cities, this region is still characterised by the incredibly intact presence of century-old traditions.

From the temple itself, the winners will be able to explore a range of ancient rituals, cultural traditions and Taoist religious practices, including meditation, incense, and tea ceremonies. The region is also a cosmos in itself, with its awe-inspiring, sublime landscapes, and untamed nature. Each and every corner is filled with inspiration for the artist. The locals will also provide the artists with an opportunity for exciting cultural exchanges.

The capital city, Haikou will be a glowing lighthouse visible from the far hills around the north coast. The residency programme encourages the artists to visit the city, which will provide a stark cultural contrast from that found in the deepest areas of the region.

Yuchan Temple owns the largest Taoist architecture complex in the world, composed of nearly 20 temple buildings including the Yuelao Palace and the Bixia Palace. The structure of the building is intact, and the style is distinctive, systematically showing the cultural features of Taoism. Beautiful temples with exquisite carvings embody the ancients’ excellent talent and artistic creativity.

Hainan Yuchan Gong is located in the border area of China, an inconvenient location in which traffic access was restricted. This was limiting the circulation of information and communication with the mainland area. In recent years, however, with the rapid development of China and the rejuvenation of Chinese civilisation, the cultural value of Hainan Yuchan Temple has been re-recognized, and it has reopened as an official venue for religious activities. On 29th November 2003, the government formally approved the refurbishments of the Yuchan Temple, and it officially opened to the public on 12th April 2006.

The temple covers an area of 57,300 square metres and was built on the Wenbi Mountain. The garden of Yuchan temple was designed to blend with the surrounding natural landscape, including the Wenbi Mountain, in order to emphasise the Taoist idea of harmony between man and nature. For example, the Seven Stars Pavilion in the temple reflects the stars and universe beyond. After 9 pm at night it is possible to observe the alignment of The Plough with the Seven Stars Pavilion, creating a wonderful projection.

The home of Yue Lao. Yue Lao is the god of marriage in folklore tradition. He predestines the union of men and women by knotting a red string on their feet.

The Palace of Fate (转运殿)

The traditional view holds that fate conforms to the principle that the five elements (wood, fire, soil, gold, and water) are in harmony with each other and are compatible and commensurate. This would indicate that the world is a system of continuous movement and circulation in which the fate of an individual is neither absolutely good or absolutely bad. The key to diverting fate towards goodness lies in seizing the timing of such continuous movement and circulation.

Bixia Palace(碧霞殿)

Goddess Bixia is the daughter of the god of the Taishan Mountain, born on 18th April. In ancient China, the Taishan Mountain was the symbol of the vitality and infinite cycle of nature. As the daughter of the god of the Taishan Mountain, Goddess Bixia is responsible for the blessing of women and their children.

Taoism - the Secret of Longevity

Taoism is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao. Taoist ethics vary depending on the particular school, but in general tend to emphasize 无为 wu-wei  (effortless action), "naturalness", simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: "compassion", 俭 "frugality", and 不敢为天下先 "humility".

Laozi is traditionally regarded as the founder of religious Taoism and is closely associated in this context with "original" or "primordial" Taoism.

Birth of Laozi

The Taiji is commonly known as the "yin and yang”. In this cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organised into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive and Yang is the active principle. They have been seen and used in a variety of contexts and meanings such as the seasonal cycles, landscapes, sexual coupling, the formation of both men and women as characters, and in socio-political history.

Laozi is traditionally regarded as the founder of religious Taoism and is closely associated in this context with "original" or "primordial" Taoism.

Temple Activities

Tea ceremony

Taoism pursues the meaning of nature. The tea ceremony is often associated with a desire to communicate with nature on an emotional level. In fact, tea is regarded as something that can soothe and elevate the spirit and emotions of the drinker.

Incense ceremony

Incense can be used both as a tool for worship practices, and to treat diseases. This reflects an emphasis on its use in daily life, especially in regard to personal health. Generally speaking, the practice of using incense for health purposes is usually combined with other practices, such as the use of fragrant teas and spices, traditional Chinese medicines, etc.

The China (Hainan) International Incense Trade Fair is held every year by the Hainan Province Incense Industry Association, the Hainan Province Taoist Association and the Yuchan Temple.

In August 2017, the Yuchan temple invited 100 doctoral students from all over China to study Chinese ancient civilisation including its philosophy, history, archaeology, literature, linguistics, etc.

New year ceremony

The New Year ceremony at Yuchan temple is an important part of the Hainan folk tradition. People enjoy lion dances, dragon dances, Hainan gongs and drums, Hainan eight musical instruments, and other unique folk and cultural performances.

Breathing methods

Breathing methods are a basic practice in Taoism. Taoist Longevity Breathing methods transfer the pressure of the air coming into the lungs to the internal organs, especially the heart. This provides a gentle yet firm massage for the organs while increasing blood and chi flow, that helps to optimize the natural range of movement.

Meditation (Sit and Forget)

Zuowang (sit-forget) is a classic Taoist meditation technique. It is a state of deep meditative absorption and mystical oneness, during which all sensory and conscious faculties are overcome, and is the base point for attaining the Dao.

Vegetarian food in temple

Taoism emphasises the protection and nutritional balance of the body and following a more vegetarian diet is consistent with the "natural way" of the health law.

Martial art practices

Tai chi and Bagua Zhang (eight trigram palm) are Chinese martial arts practiced for both defensive purposes and health benefits. In the temple, the Taoist priests practice these arts in the morning, including exercises such as the five-animal exercises and the Baduanjin.

I Ching - book of changes

The I Ching is an ancient Chinese divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Yuchan temple invites Sichuan University Laozi Research Institute’s Professor, Shichuang Zhan to give talks about the I Ching and the Taoist culture.

Chinese calligraphy and ink painting - Master Bai Yuchan

Taoist priests in the temple practice Chinese calligraphy and painting during their free time. The temple also has a rich and varied collection of precious calligraphic works by masters like Bai Yuchan.

Master Bai Yuchan is the fifth ancestor of the Southern Taoism of the Song dynasty, and founder of Quanzhen Tao. He is also a famous philosopher, poet and painter of the Song Dynasty. His writings are some of the rarest treasures of Chinese culture.

Hainan environment

Hainan is the southernmost province of China, consisting of several islands in the South China Sea. The air quality of Hainan is far better than that of most of mainland China, since it strays away from factory pollution which has plagued the air on the mainland. Hainan's economy relies predominantly on agriculture, with more than half of the island's exports being agricultural products. Leading crops, other than rice, include coconuts, palm oil, sisal, and tropical fruits.

Most of the island has a tropical monsoon climate with warm annual temperatures. From January to February, the island of Hainan is affected by thick fog. This is caused by cold winter air from the north coming into contact with the warmer sea. Moisture evaporating from the sea condenses into an evenly distributed fog that remains from day to night.

Haikou (capital city of Hainan province)

Haikou, also known as Coconut City, is the province's capital and contains interesting historical sites. It is a major port situated on the northern coast of Hainan, by the mouth of the Nandu River. Haikou originally served as the port for Qiongshan.

Haikou arts and culture

Several large public buildings now occupy Guoxing Road, the new area for arts and culture. These include the Hainan Province Museum, the Hainan Provincial Library and the Hainan Centre for Performing Arts.

Hainan religion

The Hainan island has various religious practices, including Chinese folk religion, Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity.