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Visual Arts

“The Dwelling Place of the Other in Me” with Han Mengyun and YGRG


Date: March 26, 2022, 19:00-20:30 (CST) / 10:00-11:30 (CET)
Guest Speaker: Han Mengyun, Young Girl Reading Group (Dorota Gawęda + Eglė Kulbokaitė)
Interpretor: Jiajing Lily Sun
Meeting ID: 875 9834 2589(Password: qvTK83)
Zoom link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/87598342589?pwd=bUlraFY0U0ttSTluV2RhSjZCVU5Pdz09
Consecutive translation is provided for the lectures.
Supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council.

Writing is an act – not only writing with a pen on paper, but also the threading of a needle on a cloth, or a child’s scribble, or even a collage of images. It is an extension of bodily experience. French writer Hélène Cixous’ concept of “Écriture feminine” emphasises the interconnection between writing and the body, putting individual experience before linguistic normativity to resist rational dualism. In today’s cultural dilemma of emerging individualist tendencies, to slow down and reflect on the idea of “empathy” as the ability to understand the world around us may help to generate more diverse social relationships and closer social bonds, free from prejudice. In the exhibition “The Dwelling Place of the Other in Me” curated by Dot Zhihan Jia and Kechun Qin, ten groups of artists, through a semi-autobiographical narrative, place their desire to communicate within the folds of different materials and dimensions, capturing and translating the flow and passage of sentiments in the crevices of words through the mediums of text, sound, drawing, and video, and constructing a space that flows and which opens and closes freely.

The Dwelling Place of the Other in Me

Exhibition: Emerging Curators Project (ECP) 2021
Venue: Power Station of Art, Shanghai
Date: December 21, 2021-March 27, 2022
Curators: Dot Zhihan Jia, Kechun Qin
Artists: Chang Yuchen, Chen Zhe, Avita Guo, Han Mengyun, Kanthy Peng & Menglan Chen, Amiko Li, NZTT Sewing Co-op, Sixing Xu, Chris Zhongtian Yuan, and Jasphy Zheng
Exhibition Design: amass studio, studioEki Ong
Poster Design: sub:order

“The Dwelling Place of the Other in Me” focuses on the inextricable link between lived experience and written narrative. Like writing, reading is also an act of the body. In the dimension of the text, time no longer moves linearly, the subject ‘I’ in the text is no longer disconnected from the subject ‘I’ in the reading, and the individual is no longer an island. In the fourth edition of public programme series, artist Han Mengyun will be joined with the Swiss artist duo Young Girl Reading Group and engage in an online conversation on the subject of reading and writing from the body. In this artist talk, the two groups of artists build on their previous work across media to explore the visual reproduction of gender and language in more depth.

Courtesy the artist.

Han Mengyun (b.1989, Wuhan, China) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice spans painting, installation, text and video. Being multilingual, Han believes in the power of language and her visual art practice pays homage to poetry and literature. Her work Confession (2018-) reflects on her postpartum experience, during which her art practice experienced a pause. On the island called “motherhood”, writing became not only a part of her art practice but also a witness to her existence and experience on the periphery. Observing her daughter’s cognitive development in drawing and verbal expression, Han attempted to fathom the relationship between creative expression and procreation, and came to the realization that the meaning and power of making art and writing simply lies in their enactment.

Han received her B. A in Studio Art from Bard College in the US in 2012 and has pursued the study of Sanskrit at various institutions such as Kyoto University before completing her MFA at the University of Oxford with a research focus on Classical Indology and Indian aesthetic theories in 2018. She has worked at the British Museum and has previously taught at Rutgers University. Recent exhibition: “The Pavilion of Three Mirrors”, Ad-Diriyah Biennale: Feeling the Stones, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2021).

Courtesy the artists.

Dorota Gawęda (b. 1986, PL) and Eglė Kulbokaitė (b. 1987, LT) are an artist duo established in 2013 and based in Basel (CH). They are both graduates of the Royal College of Art in London (2012). Their work spans performance, installation, fragrance, sculpture, painting and video. Working together since 2013, Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė’s multi-faceted practice navigates between performance, fragrance, installation, sculpture, video and painting, all of which are rooted in feminist theory and fiction. Their winning proposal is entitled “Gusla” and derives from Polish rural folklore.

They have exhibited internationally including: Haus der Elektronischen Künste, Basel (2021); Kunstverein Hamburg (2021); Bündner Kunstmuseum, Chur (2021); Centre d’Art de Genèva (2021); Kunstverein Leipzig (2021); Swiss Institute, New York (2020); Den Frie, Copenhagen (2020); MWW, Wroclaw (2020); Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2020 and 2016); Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018);  6th Athens Biennale (2018); MMOMA, Moscow (2018); Kunsthalle Basel (2017); ICA, London (2017); MOMA, Warsaw (2016); Berlin Biennale 9 (2016); MaM, Paris (2015) among others.  Their solo shows include presentations at: Istituto Svizzero, Palermo ( 2021) Swimming Pool Projects, Sofia (2021); Lucas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf (2021); Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (2020); Trafo Gallery, Budapest (2020); Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London (2020 and 2018); Fri Art – Centre d’Art de Fribourg / Kunsthalle Fribourg and Wallriss (2020); Futura, Prague (2019); Cell Project Space, London (2018). They have also participated in numerous international residencies including: Alserkal Arts Foundation, Dubai (UAE); La Becque, La Tour-de-Peilz (CH); Onassis AiR, Athens (GR). Gawęda and Kulbokaitė are the recipients of CERN Collide Residency 2022 and the Swiss Performance Art Award (2021). The  duo are also the founders of YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP (2013 – 2021).

Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė, Sulk II, 2018, Installation and Performance, Spazio Maiocchi, Milan, Italy.

Jiajing Lily Sun is currently based in Beijing and works as a freelance editor, translator and interpreter. She holds a degree in M.A. for Art History and Criticism at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. Selected articles: www.monoseum.info

Dot Zhihan Jia lives and works in London. She is currently a lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University. Her research explores the epistemologies of the Global South and is particularly interested in oral herstories pertaining to a feminist historiography. Previously, she has completed a fellowship in curating at Goldsmiths and a curatorial placement at Tate Modern. In 2020, she graduated from the MFA Curating programme at Goldsmiths and subsequently completed an MA in History of Art at the Courtauld in 2021. She has been awarded grants from Goldsmiths University, University of Bristol, Arts Council England, etc.

Kechun Qin is a writer and curator based in Guangzhou, China. She received MA Curating Contemporary Art from Royal College of Art in 2021, and co-curated an online exhibition ‘Hear the Light’ in collaboration with Gasworks, London. Her writing on contemporary art has appeared in Artforumchinese version, Artspy and Fortune Art etc. She is the co-founder of te magazine, an annual bilingual publication focuses on anthropological fieldwork and contemporary art practices. Recently she is interested in Ethnography and postmodern Feminism.


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