4A Beijing Residency
I got up at 6am and headed out for a bit of a run. It rained last night and there was a fair bit of wet, muddy clay on the road which made it a little treacherous. Once we were all up we had some coffee and headed out on foot to the markets around 4km up the road. Everyone met up for another huge breakfast of steam buns, bean porridge, fried bread stuff and super salty pickled things. Afterwards we went for a wander around the markets before walking back through the corn-fields to Shen’s place. On the way back we explored an abandoned house and studio, it turns out that the house belonged to a very famous artist and the amount of works, books and other belongings left throughout the crumbling building were a true spectacle. It was a maze of broken glass, crazy steep stairs, massive rooms and paintings, photographs and crates of work just left to rot. We didn’t seem to be back for long before another banquet was laid out for lunch. Fish, mushrooms, tofu, noodles, soup and an assortment of quail, duck and 100 year old eggs. I needed a bit of a nap after that. At 2pm we all gathered in the cinema for an afternoon of presentations. Justin, Eugenia and I did short presentations of our work followed by a couple of local artists Gao Daqiang and Sun Shaokun, as well as a visiting Korean artist Pyo Inbu. It’s great to get a bit more of an insight into what makes each of us tick. Sun Shaokun showed some incredible video works, one particular work titled Circumcision was pretty intense, she was stitching up her vagina with no anaesthetic. Afterwards we went upstairs to the dome for a sound performance by Xu Xiaoguo and Li Yanzeng. A whole bunch of us stuck around for another feast with loads of wine, drumming and a couple of impromptu dance performances. Justin emerged in full costume as Carrion and blew us all away with a chilling performance accompanied by drums and an amazing iPhone soundscape that somebody mixed on the spot. We met a whole bunch of local artists, I learned how to use WeChat and we all hung out for a while before heading off to bed.