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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.

Jan.29-Feb.2, 2018 | Design and Architecture

Yanyou | 2018 Research Trip

Nationality: China Trip location: Wintherthur, Zurich, Lausanne Yanyou Yuan Di, founder and director of Jiazazhi Press & Photobook Library. From 2011 till now, he has curated 20 books for Chinese photographers. Some of books he curated was nominate in famous photobook events, such as Aperture-Paris Photo, Kassel Fotobook Festival, Arles Author Book Award. He is …

Country of residency: Switzerland

Mar.14-24, 2018 | Theatre

Huang Jiadai, Wen Hui | 2018 Research Trip

Nationality: China Trip location: Lausanne Huang Jiadai and Wen Hui were invited to attend programmes of Festival International des Arts de la Scene de Lausanne, organized by Théâtre de Vidy. During their short visit, they had in-depth exchanges with the theatre directors and artists and explored intentions of upcoming cooperation. Ophelia Huang Jiadai Ophelia Huang …

Country of residency: Switzerland

April 2-June 30, 2018 | Visual Arts

Gabriela Loeffel | 2018 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location: Shanghai, Beijing Partner organization: N/A Gabriela Loeffel was born in Oberburg in 1972, and currently works and lives in Geneva and Bern. She is the laureate of the Swiss Art Awards in 2011 and 2016. She was listed among “Collection Cahiers d’Artistes” by Pro Helvetia in 2015. Her art practice mainly deals …

Country of residency: Mainland China

May 1-July 28, 2018 | Visual Arts

Zhang Ruyi | 2018 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Winterthur Partner organization: Villa Sträuli Zhang Ruyi (b. 1985) is an artist currently living and working in Shanghai. She works predominantly in abstract drawing, sculpture and installation. In her practice, sculpture occupies a unique space mediating artefacts, industrial experience and urbanism. Her artistic practice applies to the logic of life and falls …

Country of residency: Switzerland

June 1-30, 2018 (Shanghai), July 1-Aug.26, 2018 (Beijing) | Music

Yannick Barman | 2018 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location:  Beijing Partner organization: TBD Born in St-Maurice in 1973. This Jazz and electronical acoustic show includes both visuals and music. The artist plays trumpet and computer, accompanied by live electronic music. The compositions are realized from trumpet’s sounds, sampled and transformed then added with electronic beats. The result is the extraction …

Country of residency: Mainland China

July 3-Sept.27, 2018 | Visual Arts

Ye Funa | 2018 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Bern Partner organization: Stadtgalerie Ye Funa was born in Kunming, China in 1986. She currently lives and teaches at the department of experimental art, in the Central Academy of Fine Arts, in Beijing, China. Ye’s practice is concerned with the relationship between the realities of everyday life. She is interested in the …

Country of residency: Switzerland

July 10-Oct.5, 2018 | Music

Ban Lei | 2018 Residency

Nationality: China Residency location: Geneva Partner organization: Embassy of Foreign Artists Ban Lei was born in 1990 in Shanghai, China. He was also best-known for his stage name ‘BANBANBANBAN’ as a sound and game artist. 
His works follow self-operated artificial intelligence, and aim to create a world of unknown dimension. With the development of interactive computer …

Country of residency: Switzerland

Aug.3 to Aug.29, 2018 (Beijing), Nov.18-Dec.1, 2018 (Chongqing), Dec.2-21, 2018 (Shanghai) | Performance Art

Marie-Caroline Hominal | 2018 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location:  Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai Partner organization: Yinzi Theater, Ming Contemporary Art Museum Marie-Caroline Hominal is a dancer, choreographer and performer currently based in Geneva, Switzerland. Her practice includes video, drawing,
 music, choreography, and performance.
 She received her dance education at the
 Schweizerische Ballettberufschule in
 Zurich and at the Rambert School of Ballet …

Country of residency: Mainland China

Aug.8-19, 2018 | Theatre, Performance Art

Lai Huihui | 2018 Research Trip

Lai Huihui is invited by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council to participate at 2018 Taipei Arts Festival. The seminar offers up-and-coming young stage practitioners a platform for in-depth exchange in both theoretical and practical fields.  Lai Huihui is an independent producer and curator based in Beijing and Guangzhou. 2017 she co-founded St. Production. As a curator, …

Country of residency: Chinese Taiwan

Sept.6 to Dec.2, 2018 | Visual Arts

Guillaume Pilet | 2018 Residency

Nationality: Switzerland Residency location:  China Partner organization: Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts (SIVA) Guillaume Pilet was born in 1984, and currently lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has received “Swiss Art Award” in 2009 and 2010, and was selected as “Collection Cahiers d’Artistes” by Pro Helvetia in 2010. Since 2005, Guillaume Pilet has been involved …

Country of residency: Mainland China

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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