2022 — Visual Arts
Residency location: TBD
Partner organization: TBD
Ni Hao (b. 1989, Hsinchu City) received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. Originally trained as a sculptor, Ni’s work often combines sculptures, installations, videos and sound performances that explore the continuously changing power systems and structures in the world and our daily existence within them.
Ni’s work has been featured in exhibitions at places like Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack; Boston Center for the Arts, Boston; 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; New Bedford Art Museum, New Bedford; Queens Museum, New York; and MOCA Taipei. His most recent solo exhibitions took place at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, T293 in Rome, and Vacancy Gallery in Shanghai in 2019. Ni Hao’s Structure Study V was exhibited at the Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project, 2018. More recently, his work was included in The Eighth Huayu Youth Award exhibition at UCCA Beijing.
Like a poltergeist, Ni communicates through objects in playful ways. By breaking something and putting it back together in different ways, he is able to reveal different aspects of the same object that are otherwise invisible. Other times Ni creates work through the process of mimicry, by hijacking and imitating different making techniques of all kinds of objects, he is able to create artworks that speak through the specific culture and tradition behind those objects. In his practice, Ni is constantly trying to create a space of chaos by overlapping a wide range of subject matters such as geopolitics, environmental issues, sociology, dromology, internet cultures and ghost stories. During the collision of different phenomena in that space of chaos, new ideas are born and finally expressed through a suitable artistic medium.
For the residency, Ni will work on a large-scale installation that is inspired by the ideas of filtration systems. Filtration is one of the most important inventions in human history, because filtering out the dust and sand in the air as well as substances in water are not only critical to the health of humans and animals, but also important to all kinds of machines from car engines to high tech manufacturing. In the digital age of anthropocene, humans find themselves in increasingly uninhabitable environments due to pollutions, spontaneous natural disasters, and viruses. HVAC systems that create the ideal indoor environments are more crucial than ever. Access to information on media platforms alongside air and water, are also among the most contentious political issues of the day. Using the filtration process as a starting point and a metaphor, the installation consists of mostly fake commercial air filters of different shapes and sizes. Each air filter panel is meant to be an individual sculpture or painting that depicts layers upon layers of “dust” and “impurities” accumulated from different times and places. When the filters are assembled within steel structures, these installations suddenly become monuments full of stories from different locations that commemorate the fragility and the resilience of life. In the soon-to-be post-COVID world, he is interested in learning how the Swiss people practice the idea of filtration, whether it be fake news, refugees, virus, air, water, self-image, or their own history.