Call for Artists: Climate Change in the Asia Pacific - Institute for the Study of the Asia Pacific
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Call for Artists: Climate Change in the Asia Pacific

Call for Artists: Climate Change in the Asia Pacific


From the 5th to the 26th of February 2022 the Centre of Austronesian Studies (COAST), based within the Institute for the Study of the Asia Pacific (ISAP) at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, will be hosting an exhibition which explores the impact of climate change within the Asia Pacific region.

The latest IPCC report (2021) on climate change states that: ‘The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years’.

‘Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened’. Furthermore, ‘global mean sea level has risen faster since 1900 than over any preceding century in at least the last 3000 years. The global ocean has warmed faster over the past century than since the end of the last ice age’ (around 11,000 years ago). ‘Surface open ocean pH as low as recent decades is unusual in the last 2 million years’, meaning the oceans are becoming more acidic. These factors are having a major impact on the flora and fauna of our oceans and the communities that depend on them. In the Asia Pacific region, small island nations are on the front line of these intense climatic impacts. How are we to respond to this crisis? Surely the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced…

Previous climate change communication has emphasised the global catastrophic impacts on humans and the environment (Feldman and Hart, 2016; Nisbet, 2009), leaving citizens feeling helpless and at a loss concerning what to do about the climate emergency (O’Neill and Nicholson-Cole, 2009). In a climate moderate country based within North Western Europe, the population of the UK is still relatively untouched by the horrific impacts of the climate emergency. Therefore, the population remains largely unengaged with the subject, still viewing it as an abstract or far away concept. How can we make the effects of the climate crisis more personally relevant to people living on the other side of the world from where those impacts are taking place? Invitations are open for artists to respond to the questions posed by this unprecedented situation and produce or send previously completed pieces of artwork that can communicate these impacts to a wider audience. Our aim is to effectively tell the story of the impacts on people who are experiencing these extraordinary changes throughout the Asia Pacific region, in order for audiences to build emotional connections and a sense of agency. Responses can be in the form of visual artwork using any preferred medium. This can include, painting or drawing, photography, print, digital media, poetry, storytelling and audio recordings. Other forms of artwork will also be considered. We can discuss how best to send and receive the artwork. It can be sent as a digital file and printed at a high quality at the University if this is appropriate. Invitations are especially extended to artists from, or based in, the Asia Pacific region who can perhaps bring a unique perspective to this subject. We believe this is a crucial story which is needs to be told.

The deadline for submissions is the 21st of December 2021.

The exhibition space is the PR1 Gallery at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.

Please contact exhibition curator Bob Walley at or Rowann Fitzpatrick on for more information or to submit ideas.

Feldman, L. Hart, PS. (2016). Using Political Efficacy Messages to Increase Climate Activism: The Mediating Role of Emotions. Science Communication, Vol. 38(1), pp. 99-127.
IPCC, (2021) Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.
Nisbet, M. C. (2009). Communicating climate change: Why frames matter for public engagement. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 51(2), pp. 12-23.
O’Neill, S. Nicholson-Cole, S. (2009). “Fear won’t do it”: Promoting positive engagement with climate change through visual and iconic representations. Science Communication, Vol. 30, pp. 355-379.