Jan.15-Apr.15, 2019 — Visual Arts
Residency location: Winterthur
Partner organization: Villa Sträuli
Chen Haishu was born in 1986 in Fuzhou, China and is now based in both Berlin and Karlsruhe, 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 and natural conditions, and the role the media of photography plays in these situations. As a photographic artist in the era of image, Chen uses not only photography but also other medium, such as text, video, installation, performance, film and photobook, in his works to recontextualize photography and leave it to the future as a visual document.
His recent project Zona Rossa: A Report About The Volcano Vesuvius After The Last Eruption and Before The Next pays attention to the relation between human and natural threat. Using different visual materials, the project reveals the multiple characters of Volcano Vesuvius: it’s not only a natural object, but also a figure interpreted by politics, religion, history, culture and science. This project has been selected as the Finalist of New Talent Award 2016 and the 9th Three Shadows Photography Award. The photobook of the same title has been selected to the shortlist of Kassel Dummy Award 2017 and won the Project Funding with Spector Books. Chen’s works haven been shown in different exhibitions such as Istanbul Photobook Festival, PhotoIreland Festival, Festival for Photography Leipzig, Photobook Week Aarhus.
For his residency, Chen Haishu will continue paying attention to the relation between nature and human. Water is one of the most important natural resources in Switzerland. The water reserve of Switzerland accounts for 6% of that in Europe. Therefore, Switzerland is also called the “water tower of Europe”. As one of the elements that the Swiss are most proud of, water is a part of the landscape, a cultural image, but at the same time also economic and political resource. Chen plans to explore and experience the connection between water and the local society, and then based on this, to create new works reflecting this relation.