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Artist in Residence (AIR) Program

Selection for 2019 Studio Residency in Switzerland

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Cathy Fu
T +86 21 6235 1889 ext. 845946

Artists in Residence

Pro Helvetia Shanghai is honoured to announce the final selection of 2019 Studio Residency in Switzerland. Thanks to the great enthusiasm of Chinese artists, we have received over 70 competitive applications. After joint discussion between our Shanghai and Zurich offices, we have selected the following candidates who will be granted our residency support: Chen Haishu, Chen Wei, He Qiwo (ErGao), and Hu Zi. 

We hope that these four artists will take opportunity of their residency in Switzerland to research, create, and engage. Our media partner LEAP magazine will co-announce and feature our residency program soon. The call for 2020 Studio Residency in Switzerland will be launched at the end of 2018.

2019 Studio Residency

A studio residency (3 months) in China or, conversely, in Switzerland gives artists the chance to gain a broad insight into a different cultural environment. The aim of the residency is to find inspiration, establish networks and contemplate new projects and cooperations. In addition to a place to work and accommodation, Pro Helvetia will provide specific coaching. The Swiss Arts Council covers the cost of travel, insurances and per diem.

About Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council

Pro Helvetia has a network of regional liaison offices. Pro Helvetia Shanghai, founded in 2010, represents projects in China (for mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau). Other regional offices include Egypt (for the Arab region), India (for the Indian subcontinent), Russia and South Africa (for Southern African countries). In order to enhance cultural exchange and artistic collaborations between Switzerland and these regions Pro Helvetia offers residencies in both directions. Swiss artists and cultural practitioners in the areas of music, literature, visual arts, design and interactive media, theatre and dance are eligible to apply. At the same time, Pro Helvetia facilitates residencies in Switzerland for artists and cultural practitioners from China.

For further information about the residency program and our projects, please visit Pro Helvetia Shanghai’s website www.prohelvetia.cn, and follow wechat account pro_helvetia.

Selected Artists

Chen Haishu

Chen Haishu was born in 1986 in Fuzhou, China and is now based in Germany. Chen focuses on the critical analyzes of condition of existence, social perception and collective memory in our modern society, especially under specific geo-political conditions, combining photography with other medium in his works to recontextualize photography and leave it to the future as visual document. His project has been selected as the Finalist of New Talent Award 2016 and the 9th Three Shadows Photography Award, and his works haven been shown in different photo festivals around Europe. For his residency, Chen plans to explore the connection between the Swiss society and “water”, the symbolic natural, cultural and economic resource of Switzerland, to create new works reflecting this relation.

Chen Wei

Chen Wei was born in 1980 in Yueqing, Zhejiang Province and currently lives and works in Beijing. His works are conceptualized staged photographs and spatial installations as representations of scenes. He recreates a peculiar dimension that blur the boundaries between realities and cinema, landscapes and dreamscapes. Chen was awarded the 1st Asia Pacific Photography Prize in 2011, and was also shortlisted for the Prudential Eye Awards 2015. During the residency program, Chen will continue to develop the “new city” project. Based on his on-site study in China and Switzerland, Chen will explore three-dimensional photographic presentations in urban spaces as well as artificial lights to further reflect on creation and exchange between the two countries.

He Qiwo (ErGao)

Multi-media dancer/choreographer whose work uses dance, film, installation and other creative strategies. He founded ErGao Dance Production Group (EDPG) in 2007 in Guangzhou, with a focus on dance theatre, dance film, community art and dance education. His productions continuously see the body as the primary medium, using diverse strategies to explore Chinese social and cultural identities, sex, gender and other topics. He was invited to participate at and commission for different dance companies and festivals, as well as art institutions. For his residency project, ErGao is going to shape a fictitious character, and work on the research and interview with the locals. He will record their bodies under the influence from pop culture, leading to the issue on the self-consciousness of the youth nowadays. As a final demonstration, Ergao hopes to give a showcase with video presentation and live performance.

Hu Zi

Born in 1981, currently lives and works in Shanghai. She works most often in gouache, but also in oil paint. In her long-term practice of making portraits, she collates individual experiences for the construction of a self-image by fabricating the unique touch of body boundaries, also brings together her understanding of exotic culture and her misaligned gaze on the opposite sex. The subjects addressed include rock gods, literary giants, great artists and so on. She is focused on the return to easel art in the traditional genre of portrait, take it as the best perceptual field for reconstructing the flesh, and make it compete with the body being alienated in the age of consumerism. Under the title “Portrait and Culture” for this residency, she intends to further research on photography, concentrating on the archival and documentary record of the medium, transforming it into proper image element and exhibition language that would apply to portraiture. She would especially like to explore the possibility that photography and painting contribute to each other as an approach.


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