Two New Zealand artists will brush up on their creative energies in India and China in the first art residencies for Asia to be offered by creative New Zealand.

Textile artist Kelly Thompson and visual artist Simon Kaan will take up residencies in New Delhi and Beijing, offered by Creative New Zealand in partnership with the Asia 2000 Foundation of New Zealand.

Ms Thompson, a senior lecturer at the School of Art at Otago Polytechnic, will spend three months from late 2004 as artist-in-residence at the Sanskriti Foundation's Sanskriti Kendra campus on the outskirts of New Delhi.

Mr Kaan, a Dunedin visual artist, will spend three months from October 2004 as artist-in-residence at the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing.

Creative New Zealand will cover accommodation costs and provide $10,000 stipends while the artists are in residence. The Asia 2000 Foundation will meet the costs of the return airfares.