ASEF Unplugged - Conversations on the Arts in Asia and Europe

Since it was first established in 1997, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) has been facilitating conversations on arts, culture and heritage. Its longstanding dialogue platforms have included large-scale formats (such as Experts’ Meetings, Public Forums and, more recently, ASEF Policy Panels), which have been organised in various cities across the two continents in partnership with arts organisations and Ministries of Culture.

However, in recent years, ASEF’s Culture Department has come to feel that such large-scale formats - that bring together a few expert speakers and large audiences - do not always provide adequate time and space for meaningful discourse. All too often, audiences are left with only a few minutes in a Question-&-Answer session in which to voice their ideas and interact with speakers.

Hence, ASEF Unplugged – a new event series offering more informal and intimate spaces for open, authentic and peer-to-peer conversations. Designed as a meet-and-greet session, ASEF Unplugged is a format responsive to the rapidly changing needs of an increasingly interactive and engaged audience.

ASEF Unplugged gathers smaller groups of cultural professionals for collective conversations, both among themselves and with international guests. Distinctions between speakers and audiences are expected to diminish dramatically. Any topic of relevance to the audience could be explored, be it the state-of-play in local arts communities or daily challenges faced by artists & managers. This new format also affords a platform for ASEF to present itself and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to wider audiences. 

ASEF Unplugged: Conversations on the Arts in Asia and Europe was launched in May 2018 in Prague, the Czech Republic in partnership with the Arts and Theatre Institute. ASEF Unplugged has been on the journey across Asia since then. 


ASEF Unplugged editions


ASEF Unplugged #01 – Prague

30 May 2018

ASEF Unplugged #02 – Adelaide

1 November 2018

ASEF Unplugged #03 – Mumbai

17 November 2018

ASEF Unplugged #04 – Almaty

28 November 2018

ASEF Unplugged #05 – Bangalore

28-29 January 2019

ASEF Unplugged #06 – Yokohama

12 February 2019

ASEF Unplugged #07 – Tokyo @ European Capitals of Culture PechaKucha Night

21 February 2019

ASEF Unplugged #08 – Tokyo @ EU-Japan Fest Japan General Committee Meeting

22 February 2019

ASEF Unplugged #09 – Dhaka

4 March 2019

ASEF Unplugged #10 – Kuala Lumpur @ KOTAK Five Arts Centre

9 March 2019

ASEF Unplugged #11 – Kuala LumpurPullman KL City Centre Hotel 9 March 2019

ASEF Unplugged #12 – Kuala Lumpur @ the 8th World Summit on Arts & Culture

13 March 2019

ASEF Unplugged #13 – Singapore @ Asian Civilisations Museum

26 March 2019

ASEF Unplugged #14 - Ljubljana 

5 April 2019

ASEF Unplugged #15 - Zagreb 

26 April 2019

ASEF Unplugged #16 - Singapore

Networks of Producing: Possibilities & Pitfalls

11 May 2019


For partners interested in hosting an ASEF Unplugged event in 2019, please email Ms Andrea ABELLON, Project Executive, Culture Department, ASEF at and we will get in touch with you to discuss further details.

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