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Chao Jiaxing | 2022 Research Trip

Switzerland | Visual Arts

May 1-15, 2022 — Visual Arts

Nationality: China
Residency location:  Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, etc.

An independent curator and researcher based in Shanghai. Between 2011-2015, she served as the curator and managing director at V ART CENTER, founded by the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. 2017-2019, She was the senior curator of Start Museum, located in the West Bund district in Shanghai. Her current curating interests are cross-disciplinary art practices and rituals as media in contemporary latitudes, which is also her curatorial project “Rituals in the Rituals of Future” targets. 2019, She won Fellows from Asia Culture Center, Korea, Travel Grant of CIMAM 2019 Annual Conference, Tokyo Arts and Space 2021 Research Residency. In 2021, She Edited the bilingual publication Under Construction: A History of Shanghai Art Institutions, 2008-2016.

As a curator, she has been always concerned with the ecology of institutions and their relationship with interventional (cross-disciplinary and self-assembly) collective creations in an environment where the fancy modeling and grand volumes of giant art museums in today’s China occupy each central position of cities, taking away spiritual and public spaces. But Switzerland has a completely different art ecology, especially the concrete system of large-scale art institutions. In addition, the off-space ecology of Swiss also coexists, such as the annual Zürcher Theater Spektakel, and several art festivals in Basel. As far as she knows, small ecosystems include organizations such as Zurich-based Last Tango, Rote Fabrik, Basel-based Salt, Wie wär’s mal mit.

She focuses on making cross-disciplinary collective creations, especially engaging them in a context (institutions), not only display. This might be related to her interests in research on institutional practices (the heterogeneity of local institutional production) during the past like the publication she did. In Switzerland, she wants to have a general recognition of the overall context of these museums and institutions who share the vision. During the research trip, she also targets to explore how those Museums absorb fluid ecologies like collective creation, ongoing projects, and how they work with independents. She’d like to benefit from the visit to the artist and curator Esther Eppstein who has been running her message salon art project since 1996, and who in 2006, teamed up with other cultural practitioners to launch the Perla Mode culture house. Esther initiated lots of artists’ first career stages and became an urban Legacy. Her practices format the dynamic possibility of the ecology of the independent. Chao will go through this method as a medium to explore art institutions, and museums, which altogether form the artistic ecology in Zurich, Basel and Geneva.

More about Chao Jiaxing

(Portrait taken by Angela Leung.)

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