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Artists in Residence Stories


Guillaume Pilet

2018 Studio Residency Artist
Shanghai, September 6 to December 2, 2018
Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA)

When do you return to a place to pursue an idea further? Swiss visual artist Guillaume Pilet shares how he fell in love with China during his three-month residency.

In Lausanne, Guillaume is a two-time recipient of the «Swiss Art Award». In Shanghai he set out to learn something new and used blue underglaze, a traditional Chinese technique, to decorate porcelain. At the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA) he had access to the ceramics workshop. On the surface of everyday objects as vases and plates he traces his storylines playfully juxtaposing traditional and modern elements, such as a scholar’s rock and a hamburger. At the end of his residency, he displayed his work at a courtyard style teahouse on campus.


Andreas Gysin

2019 Studio Residency Artist
Shanghai, September 18-December 15, 2019
Chronus Art Center (CAC)

Andreas Gysin was born in Zurich and is currently based in Lugano. His artist duo Gysin-Vanetti was listed among «Collection Cahiers d’Artistes» by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

«I consider this art practice as an experimental pool». Experimentation lies behind the glorious façade of digital reality and is reflected in Gysin-Vanettis’s kinetic and interactive installations, be that split-flaps, numerical digits, or geometric street signs. Each part of their work functions as a small glitch in one matrix, displaced from its original function but gaining a new reading of the abstract forms.

Andreas chose Shanghai as his destination, for it is the natural habitat of screens and LED technology. He benefited from his stay to work around the «found geometries» in the city. During his residency, he spent most of the time at Chronus Art Center(CAC)’s lab, however, without missing the opportunity to observe the city and scout electronic parts.


Marianne Halter & Mario Marchisella

2019 Studio Residency Artists
Shanghai, September 29-December 21, 2019
OCAT Shanghai

Following their first residency with Pro Helvetia Johannesburg in 2008, the artist duo Marianne Halter & Mario Marchisella returned for a second residency with Pro Helvetia Shanghai in collaboration with OCAT Shanghai. The duo has regularly worked together to create performances, videos and installations about urban spaces and everyday situations. Riding two bicycles, they got to know Shanghai from its old town to the modern parts while passing through different layers of the cities’ history. For the first part of their residency, they kept exploring the city to find inspiration. Only towards the last weeks of their stay, they started creating their work.

During their residency, the duo gave a lecture at OCAT Shanghai and created a new video work recording an in-situ performance. They have displayed their work «FINE» (2017) at dream video 100 during West Bund Art & Design. In December 2019, they’ve performed Notte di Ballo with Duo Belvedere (solo) during PHSH x TANC’s residency communication event at ZiWu, Shanghai.

(All videos above are taken by Action Media. All works credit to the artists.)

Gilles Jacot

2020 Studio Residency Artist
Shanghai, Jan.3-Feb.16, Mar.7-Apr.13, 2020
Studio Gallery

Gilles Jacot’s residency looks quite different from the way he imagined. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, quarantined Shanghai makes him feel isolated. He has held an open studio during the last week of his stay and interviewed with his host.

Gilles’ motivation lies in the confrontation with new environments filled with a multitude of cultural and social phenomena. To solve questions often overlooked by common media, in the recent one year, he has switched to larger canvas with a mixture of different visual languages and techniques. This tension he has observed of the surroundings has added a new emptiness to his paintings.

Probing into Shanghai’s alleys, he used a sewing machine to connect the canvas and packaging materials collected from daily lives. In his collage painting, the cartoon symbols remind of a local Pixar or Disney figure, and the decorative patterns reflect a constructivist order that fits well into China’s history. The word COVID may appear as a riddle in the corner of one artwork, and gets painted over the next minute. Just like the mark this special time has left him, obscure but unforgettable.

(Banner image provided by Studio Gallery.)

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Learn more

Listed below are our current and past artists in residence in the areas of the visual arts, design and interactive media, music, theatre and dance.

Check out Quotes from previous Chinese artists who have returned from their residency programs in Switzerland. For the studio residency finalists of 2020, finalists of 2019, and finalists of 2017 and 2018, please click in to view.

Mar.2 - May 23, 2017 | Innovation & Society, Music, Performance Art

Charlotte Hug | 2017 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location: Hangzhou Partner organization: China Academy of Art (CAA), Hangzhou Charlotte Hug, is a Swiss born intermedia artist, composer, improviser and musician of the extreme. Her innovative musical-visual solo performances in distinctive locations and her interdisciplinary work have created an international furore. Hug´s sound drawings: “Son-Icons” are the core of Hug’s artistic work and …

Country of residency: Mainland China

Mar.27 - June 22, 2017 | Visual Arts

Yves Netzhammer | 2017 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location: Shanghai Yves Netzhammer will participate in a residency project in Shanghai. After many years of continuous activity in display and exhibition practice – among other opportunities in Beijing and Shanghai, China, he plans to focus on the development of a script for a planned full length animation-(film)-feature. Whilst his stay in …

Country of residency: Mainland China

July 17-Oct.12, 2017 | Theatre

Zhao Chuan | 2017 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Zurich Partner organization: Rote Fabrik Zhao Chuan is a Chinese writer/ theatre professional. As the founder and mastermind of important Chinese theatre collective “Grass Stage” since 2015, he has devoted to the promotion of new social theatre movement and the creation of non-profit public space. Under Zhao’s direction, Grass Stage aimed to stimulate theatrical …

Country of residency: Switzerland

Aug.25-Nov.21, 2017 | Visual Arts

Lí Wei | 2017 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Winterthur Partner organization: Villa Sträuli Lí Wei is a visual artist who currently lives and works in Beijing, China. He received his BA from the Sculpture department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. Lí Wei adopts a hyperrealistic style in his sculptures, focusing on conveying the emotions of the figures. The objective …

Country of residency: Switzerland

Oct.3-Dec.29, 2017 | Visual Arts

Cao Shu | 2017 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Basel Partner organization: Atelier Mondial From 2012 to nowadays, Cao Shu is a lecturer teacher in China Academy of Art. From 2012 to nowadays, Cao Shu is teaching as a lecturer teacher in China Academy of Art. He makes animation and installation as the basic media, and taking long-term art plan as …

Country of residency: Switzerland

Jan.4-Mar.30, 2016 | Visual Arts

aaajiao | 2016 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Basel Partner organization: Atelier Mondial Aaajiao (XU Wenkai) was born in 1984 in Xi’an, and later moved to Shanghai, where he continues to live and work. Aaajiao is one of China’s foremost media artists, bloggers and free culture developers. In 2003 he established the sound art website: cornersound.com, and in 2006 he …

Country of residency: Switzerland

Mar.27- June 22, 2016 | Visual Arts

Nicolas Delaroche | 2016 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location: Hangzhou Partner organization: China Academy of Art (CAA), Hangzhou Towards the end of his residency, Nicolas held an exhibition “West Lake Stories”, which explored the Chinese adventures of the famous Wile E a.k.a the Coyote. He worked on a painting collaboration with the second-year students from the SIMA department at the Chinese Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Since …

Country of residency: Mainland China

Mar.2-May 28, 2016 | Visual Arts

Beat Lippert | 2016 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location: Shanghai Partner organization: Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MoCA), Shanghai Beat Lippert was born in Lausanne Switzerland 1977. After studying sculpture at Alanus-hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft, Bonn, Germany, he oriented himself to archaeology practice. His works has been shown at YIA Art Fair Paris, gallery 22.48㎡; Solo project at Basel …

Country of residency: Mainland China

April 5 – July 1, 2016 | Visual Arts

Benoît Billotte | 2016 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location: Shanghai Partner organization: Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MoCA), Shanghai Benoît Billotte was born in Geneva, Switzerland. A world travelling land-surveyor, the artist skilfully gathers readily available information, materials and texts from diverse media and translates them into maps, statistics, and architectural layouts, among other visible forms. Translated into statistics, maps, …

Country of residency: Mainland China

April 3-June 21, 2016 | Music

Coco Zhao | 2016 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Bern Partner organization: Stadtgalerie Coco is one of the most sought-after singers in China. His music provides the link between the Shanghai jazz era and the modern American jazz scene. Once a student of composition at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Coco has since been immersed in the study of Chinese traditional …

Country of residency: Switzerland

In China

A4 Art Museum, Chengdu

Founded in March 2008 and has held 37 contemporary art exhibitions and over 500 educational events since. Located in Chengdu’s Luxelakes Eco-City in a structure designed by architect Antoine Predock. Works to promote outstanding artists and the pioneering development of contemporary art.

Click for a detailed list of Q&A by A4 ARIE program.

AM Space, Shanghai

An independent experimental art space founded by Shanghai artists in 2008. Supports young curators, exhibitions, forums and workshops. They provide an exhibition and exchange platform for many art forms including visual art, performance art and multimedia, organizing academic exchange events and experimental art performances.

Chronus Art Center, Shanghai

China’s first nonprofit art organization dedicated to the presentation, research, creation and scholarship of media art. CAC with its exhibitions, residency-oriented fellowships, lectures and workshop programs and through its archiving and publishing initiatives, creates a multifaceted and vibrant platform for the discourse, production and dissemination of media art in a global context.

China Academy of Art, Hangzhou

Founded in 1928 as the first art academy with complete academic programs in China, China Academy of Art is in active dialogue with the global art world. With Nanshan Campus being finished in 2003, and Xiangshan Campus being fully functional in 2007, covering an area of 1000 hectares and total space of 300,000 sqm, the academy now has three beautiful and well-equipped campuses in Hangzhou.

Chinese European Art Center, Xiamen

For more than twelve years, the Chinese European Art Center has hosted and premiered international artists from all over the world. With studios, exhibitions, contemporary film festivals, concerts, lectures, workshops and an artists-in-residence program, the CEAC plays a central role in southeast China’s cultural landscape.

Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing

Located in the Xishan Cultural and Creative Boulevard in Beijing. With a focus on the critical viewpoint born out of cultural, historical and political relatedness instead of exclusiveness, they look within ourselves and promote dialogue with the cutting-edge art practices worldwide.

JZ Club/ School, Shanghai

JZ Club Launched in 2004, and has become the most representative of the jazz scene in China. The house presents everything from classical Standards, buoyant Swing, to refreshing vocals and modern Jazz Rock.

Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai

A private, non-profit contemporary art centre transformed from Shanghai Paper Machine Factory. The Museum presents the production requirements of various experimental theatres, featured contemporary art exhibitions and performances. McaM distinguishes itself through its promotion of contemporary art activities based on visual performance.

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) Shenzhen, Shenzhen

Founded in 2005, one of the seven headquarters of the OCAT museums. OCAT Shenzhen has a long-term commitment to the practice and research in the field of contemporary art and theory inside of China and in the international arena. Its programs focus on in-depth surveys, research, publication, and presentation of exhibitions. Residency space hosts artists from September to November each year.

Organhaus, Chongqing

An independent art organization made of artists and curators in cooperation. Started in 2007 and located within 501 Art Warehouse in Chongqing, with nearly 200 sqm studio residency and exhibition space. Organhaus is dedicated to the exploration of experimental and multi-media art focused on the progress of urbanization and globalization.

Po Leung Kuk, Hong Kong

Provides short-term residential services to local and overseas young artists, offering them a space for exchange, to inspire each other and explore the realms of creativity. Studio is located at a French-style historic building in Happy Valley, Hong Kong.

Points Center for Contemporary Art, Suzhou

Located on Dianshan Lake in the ancient town of Jinxi, on the outskirts of Kunshan. The center itself covers 2,000 sqm, filled with elaborate tower-and-pavilion style buildings, containing eight residencies. The international residency program is oriented to artists of all nationalities and disciplines.

Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, Shanghai

Launched in 2005, a new art & design institute located in the center of SongJiang University town in Shanghai. Under the umbrella of SIVA are seven schools: Design, New Media Art, Fine Art, Performing Arts, Cultural Creative Industrial Management, etc.

Studio Gallery, Shanghai

The studio gallery takes the artists’ actual work experience and real thoughts as its core value, supports the artist residence projects and topical exhibition programs. By means of long-term exchanges and dialogue with international artists and curators, studio gallery continues to initiate various topical exhibitions, research-based educational programs and publications.

Xinqiao Art Complex, Shanghai

Started in 2014 and located in Songjiang, one of the largest gathering place for art creation in Shanghai. Hosts 100 art and design studios and holds nearly 50 art exhibitions and activities every year. 20% residents come from abroad.

In Switzerland

Atelier Mondial, Basel

Embassy of Foreign Artists, Geneva

Gleis 70, Zurich

Rote Fabrik, Zurich

Stadtgalerie, Bern   

Villa Sträuli, Winterthur

Other Dossiers


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