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Artist Retreat Center

This project, rather than directly focusing on Mosuo culture, seeks instead to promote awareness of the Mosuo culture by inviting international artists to live at Lugu Lake for periods of one to three months. It is our hope that the work they produce as a result of their time there will both reflect their experience of the Mosuo people and culture, and help to make other people more aware of the Mosuo.

We are open to many different kinds of artist – musicians, painters, sculptors, writers, composers, etc. We don't seek to put a limit in this regard, so long as the artist will be able to produce some kind of product that can reflect their experience with the Mosuo. For example, a musician/composer could write music that integrated aspects of traditional Mosuo music.
A writer could write about their experience, or set a story in the Mosuo culture. A painter could do paintings of the local people, scenery, etc. If you are interested, and have a suggestion, please do contact us.

On our side, we will provide accommodations in a really nice Mosuo home, which is traditional Mosuo architecture, but also has an attached coffee shop that offers a few more ‘conveniences'. It is located on an isthmus (almost an island) that is surrounded on three sides by the clear waters of Lugu Lake, and behind it is the majestic “Mother Mountain” that is the center of much of Mosuo culture and religion. Although it is on Lugu Lake, it is relatively isolated from the major tourist traffic, so allows more freedom for individual work and study.

We offer sponsorships for periods of one to three months (we can consider renewing a sponsorship after three months), which will cover your costs for room and board while there, plus the assistance of a translator/interpreter when needed. We do not cover transportation costs for you to get there, you must cover that yourself.

Any/all products which result from your time there will remain 100% your own property, and you will retain all rights to them. However, we would ask that you repay our support by providing whatever reciprocal support and assistance you can. At the very least, that would mean including information about our organization in any display of your product; in the case of things like pictures or videos, we'd ask to have the right to use those products ourselves at no cost; and if you'd be willing to donate something, such as a painting, that would of course always be appreciated and welcome. Our goal is to have a result which is beneficial to both parties.

One note for prospective candidates – as we will be providing the funds for your stay at Lugu Lake, we have a reasonable expectation of a suitable finished product. For that reason, we will be screening potential candidates quite closely, and will take only the best. In that regard, you have the best chance of being accepted if you are an established artist, with a demonstrable history, and who are currently actively involved.

We are not a place for struggling artists to go to try to “find themselves”, nor are we seeking to provide someone who's hit a block of some kind to try to find inspiration. There is too much risk in such cases that we end up just financing someone's holiday, with no real results for either side.

Of course, if you are able/willing to cover all these costs yourself, we are more than happy to provide you with a place to stay, and help you get settled in. If you'd like to discuss your ideas, or talk with others about possible projects, please check out our discussion forum, or contact us directly.


© 2006 Lugu Lake Mosuo Cultural Development Association

photos taken by Danny Gawlowski and Josie Liming