Residency location: TBD
Zhang Wenxin (b. 1989) now lives and works in Hangzhou. She received her bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Jinan University (2010) and her MFA from California College of the Arts (2013). She sees herself as a terrain builder. Her work is not to build landscapes and wonders, but to simulate the intricate terrain between human and non-human minds. She uses images, films, installations and soundscapes to bring forth perceptual journeys that guide the viewer to dive into the strata where mechanical time and magical time intertwine. Her work has been exhibited at Beijing Biennale, Guangzhou Image Triennial, OCAT Biennale, Mutek Electronic Arts Festival (Canada), and Breda Photo (The Netherlands).
“During the residency, I wish to work on my new video project. Inspired by Sentient Ecology theory and Daoist concepts of body and cosmos, I place my art practice among the porous zones in both geological and social terrains.
During the past two years, I have been making works in Guizhou, a mountainous province in China’s southwest. Despite the evident geopolitical, economic and historical contrast, in many senses, Switzerland and Guizhou are analogous. Firstly, both places are rich with mountains and karst landscapes and this geographic characteristic makes them resilient to many kinds of attacks. Secondly, In recent years, both Guizhou and Switzerland have become sanctuaries for Science and Technology Infrastructures, and many of them are located in caves or underground structures. Thirdly, both places are rich with cultural aspects about the making of time.
Following the traces of geological and technological forces, I will take on journeys in and beneath the Jura mountains of Switzerland to dive into the polymorphic time that resonates with underground rivers, archeological sites, watchmaker studios in the valley, bunkers date back to WWI, as well as underground scientific labs, and then render the journey into a speculative video essay. Before and upon my departure, I will deepen my research and start to make connections with artists, scientists and scholars in Switzerland and open up for unexpected communication and collaboration.
Grottos are places of passage between worlds. Hope to see you in the porous passage of time.”