Monday, November 30, 2015

I Have Returnith! (Shenzhen Residency)

Did you miss me China?

I missed you.
I missed your terrible traffic jams. 
I missed your people yelling “WEI?” as loud as possible into their cell phones. 
Often right next to me on the bus. 
I missed your adorable children doing their business right on the sidewalk. 

She's actually being polite and letting him dump in a trash can.
I missed your late night street BBQ. 
I missed the way your people stared at me as I walked down the street, like I was from a different planet. 
But then when I said “Hello. How are you?” the blank stares turned into smiles. 
I missed your there is NO WAY you know what that says on clothing.
This young man is a head of the curve!
Your people made me crazy sometimes, but they have transformed my life in ways that were incomprehensible just two years ago. 
It’s good to be back. 
And of course it’s good to be back in the studio with my work.
No job. 
No students. 
No teaching. 
Just painting.

How Am I Able To Pull This Off ?

They gave me quite a few grey hairs, but it was worth it.

I started working on this plan about a year ago. I knew that I did not want to renew my contract in Foshan, but I had a year long work visa, which meant I would have 6+ months I could be in China and not teach English. In short, I could roam free in China; leave China, and then return as much as I wanted until March 2016. So the plan was to find an art residency program within China and spend the remainder JUST PAINTING. 

I also wanted to be in or near a major art market, so that I could check out the scene, maybe even shop my work around. Well not maybe shop my work around, definitely shop my work around. China’s major art center is Beijing, but with the pollution factor, that makes it a no go for me, not in the winter at least when the pollution is off the charts. Next is Shanghai. Ahhh Shanghai. I applied for a major residency there, what I call the Holy Grail of China Residencies but was not accepted.  

Wahwahwahwah. It happens. You apply and you either get in or you don't.

There are other places like Chengdu and some far off beautiful places, but not major art centers. But I did manage to find a place called the Da Wang Cultural Highland at the foot of Wu Tong Mountain here in Shenzhen. Plenty of space, nice apartment, free spacious studio, exhibition area, AND right on the border of one of Asia’s biggest, most influential cosmopolitan cities, Hong Kong. And from a previous post , you would know that Art Basel comes here. So you know, it’s kind of big deal. And I'm only 90 minutes away from HK!


Not much happened blog worthy during this time. Here I just have pictures of Da Wang and my trip back to Foshan to retrieve what I left behind.

The entrance from the main road.
My room.
It's a hell of a lot bigger than what I had at the school in Foshan. Score!
Writing desk.
The main road up the mountain to the residency.
One of the many streams around.
This gorgeous place is a two minute walk from my apartment.
People don't here don't give a fuck about NO FISHING signs! 1000 RMB fine be damned!
The spider is the size of my hand!
The entrance!
Don't eat the shrooms bro!
In the morning this road is alive with the sounds of birds.
These geese are assholes.
Cute dogs like this guy are everywhere.
New studio shot.
Collage. Collage. Collage. Collage.
Hello old friend.


All dance clubs in China are terrible, loud places filled with Chinese gangsters, wannabe Chinese gangsters, girls on took much coke, and drunk assholes that are trying to impress the former. So why did I go to one? I didn't have much else to do and I was with friends. And here in China, it's such a crazy collage of shit that doesn't make sense, it's almost worth going to just to see the spectacle of it. 
Like this guy for example. 
Whats his deal with the electric violin? 
Who the fuck thought that was a good idea? 
And his vest! Wow.

I have some other footage of this dude on my Instagram account, plus lots of other good stuff. Check it out.
But clubs are useful for good pictures that may or may not be used in paintings. Plus there are opportunities for T&A shots.

I'll use this in a painting I swear!

More research.
Lazer Skull!

More soon :)