Isaac Ng Jun Fellowship for Emerging Translators – Call for Applications by 15 June 2021

Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia is committed to supporting the translation of significant art-related texts in the region, as well as to providing an opportunity for emerging translators to develop their skills, and to engage with a broad readership in a new special section of the journal. We are pleased to announce a fellowship, initiated and funded by an anonymous donor, to support the translation into English of texts originally written in any other language, and to facilitate the sharing of knowledge about significant art-related texts in languages other than English. Applications should be sent to by 15 June 2021.

Emerging translators, who are citizens or permanent residents of any country in Southeast Asia, are invited to apply for the Emerging Translators Fellowship by proposing a significant art-related text for translation into English. Successful applicants will be awarded the following:

  • A grant of between USD 500 and USD 1,000 (depending on the length of the text to be translated), to support the translation.
  • Mentorship and editorial support from the Southeast of Now editorial collective, as well as relevant experts as appointed by them.
  • Publication of selected translations (usually up to approximately 4,000 words in English) in Southeast of Now, in a special Emerging Translators Fellowship section, to appear both in print and online.


Each application should consist of one single PDF document which includes the following:

  1. A cover letter of no more than one page, explaining your reason for applying. The cover letter should include an explanation of why you believe you are an “emerging” translator, and a short statement of your financial need.
  2. A one-page summary of the text you are proposing to translate. What is the text about, and what argument does it offer? Who wrote the text, and what are some of their other significant writings, including any others available in English? Where, when, and in what language was the text originally published, and in what context? Approximately how many words is the text? Your summary should address these questions.
  3. A one-page statement of significance outlining the reasons why you have selected this text to propose. We are flexible and open to your own interpretation of why the text you propose is relevant to be considered art-related. What is its significance for readers and researchers interested in modern and contemporary art of Southeast Asia? What historical and/or methodological and/or stylistic insights does it offer? How will readers and researchers working in Southeast Asia benefit from having access to this text in English? Your statement of significance should address these questions.
  4. A CV of no more than two pages, including a list of previously published translations, if any.
  5. A sample of your translation and/or writing, of either published or unpublished material.


A selection committee, comprising the Editorial Collective of Southeast of Now as well as our anonymous donor will assess all applications and will award up to two fellowships per year.

Terms of Fellowship

Successful applicants must complete the translation within a period of six months, and will consult regularly with their mentors and/or the Editorial Collective during this process. Fifty per cent of the grant will be paid upon commencement of the translation, with the remainder to be paid upon submission of a completed draft, deemed publishable by the journal’s Editorial Collective. Texts deemed suitable for publication will appear in Southeast of Now in print and online.

Summaries and Statements of Significance Submitted by All Applicants

All summaries and statements of significance submitted will also be considered for publication on a dedicated webpage hosted by Southeast of Now, intended as a resource for readers and researchers, and an opportunity for emerging translators to promote their work. Over time, it is hoped that this freely available online listing of art-related texts in languages other than English may become an annotated bibliography of art-related texts related to the region, and may facilitate further research and other opportunities for translation. Applicants’ names and email addresses will be appended to their summaries and statements of significance; applicants who do not wish to be considered for inclusion on this webpage may indicate this in the cover letter with their application.

Inquiries may be sent to Applications are due by 15 June 2021.