I used to cart a data projector, a dvd player and five speakers including a subwoofer in a suitcase large enough for myself to fit into in foetal position. I would drag this cumbersome and awkward kit to church halls, school seminar rooms, people’s back yards and lounge rooms in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Tokyo, showing bits of work in progress on dvd and pitching the story of Chika Honda, a Japanese woman who spent ten and a half years in prisons in Melbourne for a crime she insisted she did not commit.

This is how I fundraised to present CHIKA: A Documentary Performance at the  Malthouse  Theatre in Melbourne (2005) and in co-production with the Performance Space at Carriageworks in Sydney (2008).

Performers from CHIKA also came to many of our larger fundraising nights to entertain our potential sponsors and friends became fundraising managers. At the end of the gathering, we would pass around a pouch and ask them to contribute any amount of cash or cheque. Organised in a tupperware party fashion, we liaised with our hosts for each fundraising event who invited their friends who thought may like to take part in realising an arts project. The list of contributors grew over time.

Recently CHIKA was invited to take part in Festival Salihara in Jakarta. Once again I found myself the need to raise the funds to make up the shortfall to take a team of 6 to Jakarta. However, unlike before, there are now internet based crowd funding sites that videos can be linked to, making it unnecessarily to spend many hours convincing people to leave their homes to be somewhere at a certain time and with the possibility that sometimes expenses such as providing refreshments outweighed contributions.

Yumi Umiumare, Thomas Fitzgerald, Satsuki Odamura in CHIKA. Photo courtesy Festival Salihara Archives / Witjak Widi














I decided to try an Australian based company for creative projects called Pozible, who’s site was easy to navigate, very friendly and efficient. On couple of occasions when I had some queries, they replied to my emails within couple of hours and there was a real person at the other end.

The donations came very quickly and efficiently. Within days we reached our target amount, and in the end, including the donations that came in directly to my bank account (some people did not want to go through the process on the internet), I covered all costs and were able to pay some humble artist fees.

I think part of its success came because I did not bulk email my request to donate. Like old fashioned Christmas cards, I wrote to almost everyone I knew individually, remembering each and everyone of them, and then directing them to the Pozible website. The CHIKA cast joined in on my efforts.

Whether it be fundraising events tupperware party style or crowd funding via internet, the support mostly came from people we knew – friends, colleagues and their friends. It helped that the Chika Honda story is that of human rights and that the art contributes to making our world a better place for everyone.

In a world where much of our practice is judged by its financial success, asking individuals to donate money is very humbling. It can go against our ego driven mode of wanting to be seen as a sustainable and thus successful artist.

But the most amazing thing about fund raising is that when the contributions come through, the artist feels supported by their community, encouraged to go on, and grateful that we are able to practice our art. This is most special.

With sincere thanks to our recent supporters that made our performances in Jakarta possible:

Akiko Hiratsuka Linda Luke
Ako Ganivet Lorna Kaino
Ann MacArthur Mary-Jane Field
Anne Grantham Matt Rooke
Anne Norman Merlinda Bobbis
Annette Shun Wah Michael Amendolia
Anonymous Miho Watanabe
Anonymous Moshe Rosenzveig
Anonymous Noriko Tadano
Anonymous Olivia Khoo
Anonymous Pamela Jones-Morton
Anonymous Peter Fraser
Anonymous Peter Walkden-Brown
Anonymous Ren Yano
Anonymous Ronald Dirkse
Ben Hills Russell Emerson
Christine Piper Ryoko Adachi
Dhondup Tsering Ryuichi Fujimura
Dik Mayhew Sachiko Hirayama
Dwight Dowda Sala Sawada
Emi Otsuji Sarah, Vic & Holly McEwan
Festival Salihara Sayuri Tokuman
Fiona Winning Shingo Usami
Fumiko Matsui Shoko Nagami
Gail Bryant Shoko Ono
Grant Cleary Shun Tanaka
Hideko Nakamura Terry Ashman
Hiromi Ashlin Tokiko Kiyota
Hiromi Kurosaka Tony Lewis
Hitomi Kurosawa Toshiko Shimizu
Indigo Willing Tramindo Pty Ltd
Izumi Ibayashi Tseen Khoo
Japan Foundation, Jakarta Tsuchiya Family
John Romeril Victoria Spence
Julie Murakami Vienna Del Rosario Parreno
Jun Hamana Wakako Asano
Kaz Preston William Yang
Kazuki Watanabe Yasuko Nakagawa
Kazuko Chalker Yuji Sone
Keiko Tamura Yuka Funabashi
Ken and Julia Yonetani Yuko Yamamoto
Keng Fun Loh Yumi Sakauchi
Kikuko Ota Yumiko Uozu
Kuni Sekiguchi Yuriko Nagata
Larry Lim Yushiro Mizukoshi

Our full list of supporters since 2002 is on the CHIKA website here:

ARTISTS: Mayu Kanamori, Macolm Blaylock, Yumi Umiumare,Thomas Fitzgerald.Keith Tucker, Satsuki Odamura, Anne NormanToshinori Sakamoto, Nick Franklin, Andrei Shabunov and Chris Harris. Video by Jon Armstrong.

Tempo Magazine 28 October 2011
Koran Temp 18 October 2012























Kompass Daily 21 October 2012















































CHIKA: A Documentary Performance was originally funded in 2002 by Australia Council for the Arts’ then New Media Arts Board for its creative development and assisted in-kind and in commission by ABC Radio National.

Presentation of CHIKA: A Documentary Performance by the OzAsia Festival at the Adelaide Festival Centre in 2008 has lead to our recent opportunity in Jakarta

CHIKA Jakarta performances were  presented by Komunitas Salihara / Festival Salihara , supported by Japan Foundation, Jakarta and Tramindo Pty Ltd

All photographs from Jakarta performances by Festival Salihara Archives / Witjak Widi


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