The October residency of the artist-led residency program ’Mapping the Affective Landscape’ (2018) ended with a collaborative work:
Here where our bodies and minds are dealing with the uncanny effect of entering surroundings from which they evolved but have become detached, where apples and peaches are just an arm’s reach away, where doors are not locked and generosity is at large, we encounter none of the physical boundaries to which we have become habituated in urban settings. Immersed in cognitive overload, understandings of sharing and privacy begin to re-orientate.
We, Tika, Shuyin, Jixing, Witold, Qingwa, Adrian and myself, who participated in the October session realised quickly, that whatever it is we can do, it will only do justice to the abundance of growth and emergence around us, if we pool our skills. By the close of the residency we had compiled a ’Book of Findings’. By giving the location four weeks of concentrated attention, we ’found’ approaches, that tentatively explore the space between surveying and auscultation. Each contribution addresses a question raised by Erik Mueggler in The Paper Road, here somewhat condensed:
In what ways might the earth, as it emerges as a social being, serve as a resource for experiences that circumvent established ways of thinking and living the divides we make between the social and the natural? (see p.48)
ROAD TO HEAVEN #3 // 东巴神路图 #3
[alternative subtitle: A Practice-Based Approach to Theology]
an exhibition of work by Frog (Qingwa)*
Co-produced by Dr. Petra Johnson and HeJixing
@ LIJIANG CITY LIBRARY// 在丽江图书馆
from October 12-28th, 2018
*also featuring: video (work-in-progress) “A Road Closer to the Gods” by An Xiao Mina (USA), with translated transcripts by Lisa Li (CN); “Crane Dance” video excerpt from Jixiang Village’s Qilin Dance (filmed and edited by Petra Johnson); audio piece “An Interview” featuring Professor FanDahan (CN) and Dr. Petra Johnson (UK), transcript editing by WuShuyin and HeJixing (CN); collaborative pieces with Dongba HeXiudong, Dongba Yanjianhua, Dongba HeSiqiang (CN); “Dog Head” fabricated as a prop for the film “Lashihai’s Ophelia” by Greta Mendez (Trinidad/ UK); live appearance and interview with Dongba HeXiushan a.k.a. Sunny (CN)
The Dongba Road to Heaven funeral scroll is a long painting used at certain Naxi Dongba funerals.
During the funeral ritual, a Dongba priest guides the soul of the deceased through the levels of Hell, and towards Earth and Heaven.
“The Road to Heaven #3” Exhibition presents an unfinished Dongba Road to Heaven scroll painting.
I first began studying Dongba culture as an art student in 2011, seven years ago.
Since then, I have completed two Road to Heaven scrolls, seven Thangka-Style Dongba paintings, at least a dozen books of notes and observational drawings, and studies of ritual cards and wooden board paintings, under the guidance of multiple Lijiang Dongba teachers.
I painted my first Road to Heaven scroll in 2014 as an assignment for a Dongba teacher- it has now been returned to him and it lives in Tacheng village, ready for use in the next ritual.
I painted my second scroll in 2015-2017, as a study for myself. In 2016, that scroll was presented in an exhibition in Maryland, USA, and was also featured as part of a project in Mongolia, funded with a Visual Arts grant by the Asian Cultural Council. In 2018, the same scroll painting, when finished, was shown in exhibitions in Berlin, Germany and in New York City.
This new scroll, which is currently in-progress, is my third edition.
To encourage the interactive facets of cultural production, I encourage intellectual exchange as I invite visitors of all ages to evaluate the work and give feedback while it is being created.
There will be a presentation/ performance lecture during the opening event, as well as a box to collect feedback throughout the duration of the show.
During the closing event we can discuss the issues which have been brought to attention by the general public.
This gives the local community a moment to reflect on traditional Naxi Dongba culture, while also assessing how it is recreated and represented in international contemporary conversations today.
October 13th, Saturday
3-5pm @ the Library Exhibition Room
3:00: Extract from the Qilin Dance (Crane and Deer)- featuring guest performers HeJixing and MuXian
3:30: Speeches from Library Staff, Officials, Curators, and Lijiang Studio
4:00: Performance Lecture (“Post-Mortem Guidance Counseling: A Brief Intro”) by Frog
5:00: Library closes; dinner at restaurant
October 27th, Saturday
3:00-5:00: Readings of collected feedback; Q & A
Special thanks to Hannah Zhang, Jay Brown, and Lijiang Studio’s October residents: WuShuyin, Kartika Mediana, Witold, and Adrian (Trillion Rexford)
Peter Hagan, September 2018
The following is a short writing on roots in Lashihai. I was amazed by how close the family was to their farm and their home since it was something I had never experienced before. I called that connectedness “roots.” Problems arise quickly when talking about being “rooted” to a place. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Chinese men and women who left their hometowns for urban areas where they could make a more comfortable living. That is the result of a capitalist economy that has developed quicker than a community’s ability to cope. By doing so, they left a particular life that they are deeply connected to but that is completely understandable why they left. Maybe they did suffer a loss of identity but they gained modern offerings of freedom and comfort and are able to create and fulfill new personal ambitions. Further, are problems of scale: we can identify a house, a farm, a neighborhood, a city, or a nation-state as the home of our roots and find no conflict in feeling connections to multiple places at once. The problem, then, is a problem of definition. What are roots? How do we lay them? How do they affect us, the space and people around us, or the way we experience the world? Are roots really that important for survival? Are they becoming a nostalgia for a bygone era of humanity? The questions are important and so vast that my initial reaction to writing something about them was to compare roots to blackholes. That is why I struggle so much to write about the subject. There are no quick and easy answers for these questions.
On the He family farm there are three ancient pine trees, two within the family
compounds and one outside. Over generations, the trees have been bent into strange and
extraordinary but enchanting twists and bends, branching at odd and dramatic angles designed
and directed by human hands. In order to bring the trees to the shapes they are now, the family
lashed the trees with ropes and twisted metal wires around the trunks, tightening the restraints
until the shape is set. Now the trees are old, older than anyone in the family. They stand as
permanent effigies of the family that bound them.
Scientists say that, besides the taproot, roots grow opportunistically when the weather is
warm and the space is free. These old trees in the courtyards have root systems spreading deep
and wide; veins beneath a skin of concrete. Over the generations the trees grew bound with wire,
taking the shape defined by humans, leaving a permanent definition on the trees for their
lifetimes. But while their trunks are twisted and mangled, their roots are vast, untouched, and
unrestrained by the facsimile of the cement casing. The roots punctured those long ago.
Sitting at the table after lunch, Frog pointed out that the kitchen is older than the United
“Well, not all of it, but the beams and the frame are.” We sat silent in that distinguished
room. After a moment she said, “I don’t know if you noticed, but Grandpa walks the same paths
every day and sits in the same place every day. He must have some power in repeating that path
all the time. He knows the farm so well. Sometimes I see him sleeping in between the rows of
The Dongba conduct special ceremonies when a new home is built because it places a
human space permanently into the world, upsetting the balance between human and nature.
Generations later perhaps nature has accepted the settlement and then what exists is a testament
to the intimacy of their relationship: fertile fields and a family that remains. I am no Dongba. I
cannot say how effective the ceremonies are but I can see the depth of the bond. There, that farm
draws life from you like few places I have ever visited. It gives back food and warmth and for
me, a subtle awareness that you have stepped into a new stream of time, time that is still
insatiable but without supremacy in life. A time we can ignore and let run without chasing it
down the stream or feeling like we miss something as it drifts by. Our attention isn’t in a fleeting
moment, caught in regret; it is in the space around us, a space that has been colonized by the
roots of the family.
Roots run deep there. Deeper than any place I have ever visited or lived in or
experienced. Roots seemed to be present everywhere I went in Yunnan. That day Frog and I
talked about Grandpa I imagined him walking in invisible ruts carved into spacetime. The
alluvial farm transformed into an infinite plane of soft clay where Grandpa walked the same
paths for his lifetime, pressing and repressing footprints into the land. I imagined Grandpa
walking the same paths that his parents walked and the same paths his great grandchildren would walk. Eventually, I couldn’t separate him from the land. After so many generations how could farm and farmer be anything but one in the same? Even with smoking and drinking, Grandma said, “Grandpa has only been very sick once. He has only gone to the hospital once.” What happened to the farm when Grandpa was staying in the hospital?
Grandpa and Grandma must be able to see a remarkable amount of detail in the land
around them; the minutiae of the farm would be as familiar as fingernails. The alluvial farm
would be as clear in their memory as it is in reality; they live within both worlds simultaneously.
We all do. But Grandma and Grandpa probably do not suffer from the same fading memory that
we do since their memories are on and of the farm. Those are the roots that I’m writing about.
Roots are memory and are an entanglement of living. These roots span time by digging into
space. Grandpa and Grandma are as rooted to the land as the old pines in the courtyard. Their
walks are the blood in the veins. They are eternal caretakers of the land, which is them and their
family. Their relationships (and each one like it) are truly dense, thick and heavy. But mostly,
they are alive and alive in a way that you can point to and touch it and say, this is a life. This is
here and now and has been and I hope always will be.
On the He family farm there is an ancient pine tree growing in the middle of their
courtyard. Since a young age it has been coerced into twists and bends and branchings by metal
wires. Now, the tree is so old someone built a metal scaffold to hold its branches up. I worry that
a storm could tear it down in a night; a tree hundreds of years old gone in an evening.
I also wonder if the tree really is that old or if the growing process hides its true age. Even if it is
a young tree it is as much an artificial structure as the compound surrounding it, all planned and
planted. I asked a gardener how difficult it is to move a fully grown tree. Don’t do it unless it’s
absolutely necessary to save the tree, they said. The most difficult part would be carrying it. I
asked her how to treat the roots and whether or not they would be damaged. She said not to
worry, the taproot might be damaged when you dig it up but it will grow back and new roots will
take hold eventually, if you’re lucky. But moving the tree disconnects it from the vast mycelium
network, which takes it away from the neighboring trees. It isolates the tree in a new
environment amongst trees that share carbon, nitrogen, and water like a family shares meals.
You’ll run the risk of isolating the tree forever. You wouldn’t want that for yourself, would you?
On August 11th, HeWenzhao had the formal Opening Event for his studio down in Sima Village, beneath the highway. We took a group photo after he unveiled his new official signage by the front door. He invited friends, family, neighbors, artists, researchers, performers, Buddhist Lamas, Dongbas, and local Christian organizations too. Even Mr. Xuanke of the Old Town Naxi Orchestra made an appearance during lunch. The day's programming featured various speakers, Naxi songs, a Buddhist blessing, Dongba-inspired dance choreography, and a Qilin Dance around sunset, performed by Jixiang Village.
It's also Erge's birthday (the 12th)! And we've just welcomed our next round of artists to begin Petra's 3rd session of the year. Busy start to the season.
On a a related note: Qilin Dance is getting a lot of attention this year!
He Zhao's film studio attended HeWenzhao's event too, and now they feel inspired to film a full-length documentary on the Qilin Dance Revival. They've already stopped by Lijiang Studio to gather interviews, and now are looking to gather video footage on how the costumes and props are made. Teacher Su also visited last week, to conduct a costumed photoshoot down by the lake. I (Frog) am currently working on a Qilin Dance book and hope to have to done within a month's time- before the end of October. It's probably good for this various media coverage to happen simultaneously, we can cover the same phenomena from many different angles... HeJixing hopes it might uncover new paths.
More updates when these projects come to fruition!
Josh Feola brings this to our attention, that parts of Li Jianhong's CD recorded at Lijiang Studio Lonely Lodger are also available online for those (many) who don't have one of those old school disc-spinning laser-eye things.
Over the past 20 years, hip hop and electronic music cultures have flowed --often in underground channels-- between the U.S. and China. From The Wu-Tang Clan to Rap of China, the influence of this music on mutual perceptions the two countries is immense. The exchange of music has accelerated with the availability of digital tools that allow anyone to create, remix, and share music with the world. Through this process, the remix, sample, ‘beat’ have become the lingua franca of cultural interaction between young musicians in China and America.
Found Sound China, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation in partnership with China Residencies and Lijiang Studio, is building on this cultural momentum, and adding a much-needed element of personal “offline” connection. From July 1st to July 29, 2018, six talented young music producers -- three from China and three from the USA -- will come together to collaboratively creative original music, revealing the potential of digital music-making to explore the deepening connections between Chinese and American culture in 2018. For one month, these musicians will live and travel together through different regions of China while recording and remixing local sounds.
This year’s six fellows and six finalists were selected by a jury consisting of 5 musicians, residency curators, and educators: Kira Simon-Kennedy, Jeremy Thal, Wei Wei, Jason Hou, and Eddie Lu.
Naima Fine, one of our artists-in-residence from 2015, is moving forward with her audio-visual work on Yunnan's rhododendrons! Very exciting news. You can support her current project here:
"Hi folks! I've just launched a fundraising campaign to record a big work of ecological sound art I created as an artist in residence at LiJiang Studio in rural China in 2015. The work is a 'sonification' of a PhD thesis exploring effects of climate change on Himalayan Rhododendron flowers. I'm blessed to have some of Australia's best new music specialists playing for me - help me to pay them! I'm presenting this work at the International EcoAcoustics Congress in June, and will ultimately release the recordings as part of a multi-media album. Please check out my project, share it far and wide and donate if you can - any amount will help – and it's tax deductible too! Thanks so much for your support!"
An update on what our friends in Germany are up to...
Stop by if you're in Berlin around this time! I (Frog) am currently on the way, with an appointment to take a look at Dongba texts behind the vault at STAATSBIBLIOTHEK ZU BERLIN. Please contact me at email@example.com to meet up anytime between April 26- May 8th!
CHRISTINE FALK & ALFRED BANZE / CAMPING AkADEMIE e.V.
PICTURES, INSTALLATIONS & PROJECTS
PUBLIC COLORS/ PRIVATE LINES
The exhibition „Public Colors / Private Lines“ shows paintings, drawings and videos by Christine Falk and Alfred Banze, as well as participative projects that they have realized with their association Camping Akademie e.V. in the past 10 years in Berlin and around the world, often in Emerging and developing countries. New works created in China in 2017 form a center of the exhibition. The collection of the city museum is included.
EXHIBITION April 28 to June 24, 2018
Gothic House, Breite Strasse 32, 13597 Berlin Spandau
Mon – Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 12am to 6pm
VERNISSAGE on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 7pm
Performances by Dawa Frog Wing, Lijiang Studio, USA / China
and Arief Yudi Rahman, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Indonesia
Welcome: Gerhard Hanke, district councilor and Ralf F. Hartmann, cultural office Spandau
FINISSAGE on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 7 pm Music performance with Kopi Kaputa
Reading with Christine Falk, travel stories
ART / COMMUNITY / ART
Exhibition, lectures, performances, talks10 years Camping Akademie e.V.
A regional and international network presents Community Art
Arief Yudi Rahman, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Indonesia
Dava Frog Wing, Lijiang Studio, China/USA
Jiandyin, Baan Noorg Arts & Culture, Thailand (per Skype)
Andreas Dettloff, Art Foundation,Tahiti
Frank Gerlitzki, SAT, China/Luxembourg
Sokuntevy Oeur, Berlin & Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Kim Dotty Hachmann, Schillerpalais & Top e.V., Berlin
Carola Rümper, mp43, Berlin
Force Raik, Kitty-Yo, Berlin
Stephan Groß, AV-Gruppe Kopi Kaputa, Berlin
Tanya Barnau Sythoff, Berlin & Amsterdam
Christine Falk & Alfred Banze, Camping Akademie e.V., Berlin
Saturday, May 5th
14.00 Opening, artistic installations and information stands
4 – 7 pm Introduction, lectures & talks
7 pm Performances, artistic installations, information stands & music
Sunday, May 6th
2 pm artistic installations and information stands
4 – 7 pm Lectures & talks
Flier by Shaina Yang for the Vox Populi show in Philly! Featuring Lao Dan, Theresa Wong, John McCowen, and Shani Aviram
... and below is a video from the night (minus Shani's set, which happened just before)
Thanks to everyone who came out! So glad we made this happen.
And now we're gearing up for the 2018 session, curated by Petra Johnson. Expect website updates as the months progress! We've got four separate sessions with different rosters of participants, to be filed under chapter: "Mapping the Affective Landscape"...
"A female dongba shooting ghosts with her magic hat"
-by Kiran (age 5)
12 years ago, Jay Brown became a guest of the He family in Jixiang Village, Lashihai, near Lijiang. He turned it into a freestyle open art space. Many artists have been there. And that is the story of Lijiang Studio.
The neighbors, Er Ge and his family, and the friendly villagers nearby made the Jixiang village like a big family, embracing everyone who visits.
Later, an urban puppy named Dudu come to the neighbor Er Ge’s house. Dudu became the top dog and a big beautiful mother in the village. And she always accompanied the artists investigating, discussing, and working. She witnessed the road laid, the dam piled up, and the peach paradise implanted.
“DUDU” is the sound of a time-train 12 years long.
Like the migratory birds of Lashihai, those villagers who once left, then returned to the village again, those artists who once came, then returned to Lijiang Studio again.
Here are things people can’t forget.
With beginning from “DUDU”, let’s start “an encore party” of Jixiang Village.
From June 2017, many previous resident artists return to Lijiang Studio of Jixiang Village, and continue their research with new and different passion. The group’s re-encounters contain surprises. We sincerely invite you to celebrate with us by making make one expression, freely, nothing is forbidden.
Continuously Show and Transmit:
The works generated will be printed and distributed on A4 paper, as a broadsheet or flyer from a print shop in Lijiang. We also have our eye on the local Tuesday market at Fengle village as a venue, and shops or publics spaces where we think it is possible to have interactive situation. Ideas are welcome.
作品递交与联系：firstname.lastname@example.org, +86 18686503889
Deadline：June 30 2017
Mainly Continuously Activities Venues. (to be determined): City print shop, Tuesday village market, Village stores, Lijiang Studio
The documentation of this project will be edited, mostly by Lisa, into a book with “what returning artists did and did not do (or something like that)” and “out of Lijiang (or something like that).”
Thanks for your participation and contribution!
The series of paintings on display at Lijiang Studio are indicative of the people, objects, landforms and conversation that I encountered during my time in Jixiang Village and other parts of Yunnan. Many of the works are abstracted and process-based. I attempted to collage the essence of my experiences by implementing color theory, mark making, oil paints and waxes. The original forms created with paints were reconfigured when the waxes were heated: spreading, peeling or bubbling the oil pigment to create entirely new forms. Each composition has undergone a succession of this layering process through to the painting’s compostition. This exhibition, with the exception of the more figurative portraits of Grandmother and the black dog, is an abstracted compilation of the facets of Yunnan Province that I have experienced thus far.
(Please scroll down for English Version)
2016年7月9日 周六 下午二时
3. 基于时间的行为 －集体场域
特别鸣谢: 丽江工作室、正杰、和丽斌、和恒光 (二哥)、和雪梅、和仕元、和淑芬、和吉宇
联络电话：158 1064 8987（南茜）
Only Time Casts Shadows
Performance Art Encounter
Dates: 9 -10 July 2016
Place: Lijiang Studio – Jixiang Village - Lashihai – Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Organizers: Lijiang Studio and artists in residency - Rokko Juhász & Nanxi Liu
As the ending of our 2-month residency program in Lijiang Studio, we are looking forward an open encountering. Trying to focus on different modalities of the Time, we invite everybody to bring any object related to time and join us at Lijiang Studio. We offer three choices, while your contribution for any other possibilities is warmly welcomed:
1. Tell a story about the object in your own way
2. Do or let us do performance with your object
3. Let us preserve your object in Time Capsule
9th of July 2016 – Saturday2pm
1. Objects related to time
2. Exhibition opening
3. Time based performances – Group Situation
4. Music performances
10th of July 2016 - Sunday
1. Time Capsule Ceremony
2. Outdoor performances
3. Artist talks and presentations
Mu Xin Rong
Mu Yun Bai
Paper Group (Wang Bei, Sha Yurong, Yang Hui, Huang Yuejun)
Jixiang Village Orchestra
Special thanks to: Lijiang Studio, Jay Brown, He Libin, He Hengguang (Er Ge), He Xuemei, He Shiyuan, He Shufen, He Jiyu
Contact No.: +86 158 1064 8987 (Nanxi)
This upcoming Friday @ The Holy Underground (Baltimore, MD) /// featuring recent works and performances by Frog Wing and Louise Ma /// July 1st, 2016 /// 7-9pm
Samantha and Viccy's RECOLLECTIONS e-book is now in print, and it looks great! They did a fantastic job. Join us in at the Puerh Brooklyn Teashop to celebrate, this Sunday, June 5th (2-6pm). Brief Q&A at 3pm.
Fine Fine Small Mountain (Miranda Hill and Naima Fine) have this show coming up in Australia (Brisbane) on May 7th! Featuring musical pieces that were composed here in Lashihai last year- including collaborative visual works by MuYunbai and Frog Wing. Performances at 7 and 9pm. If you can't attend- tell your friends who live in Australia!
Reverse Garbage Queensland: 20 Burke St, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Australia 4102
May 7th (Saturday): 7pm, 9pm:
Facebook event page: link here
We're halfway through Spring 2016 session.
Jiacheng Chen (Nanjing, China) was here for the month of March, gathering info + digital footage on Dongba culture as preparation for a short film. Annie Rollins (USA) and Yung Chang (Canada) departed only a few days ago, after two weeks of script-writing and shadow-puppetry experiments.
Right now we have: Max and Mara (USA/ Germany) analyzing I-Ching, building radios + antennas, and making "The Book of Static" over in the New House; Juniper and Matt (USA) collaborating on a virtual-reality gallery/ headset viewing-experience; Hiromi Ueyoshi (USA) painting a zodiac mural; Musical duo Jim L. & Jim "Leo" W. (Taiwan) arrived on Tuesday and have begun surveying general "jammability" of all musical instruments that can be found in nearby vicinity of studio. Frog Wing's Dongba studies continue: coloring The Road to Heaven (II), Lady Dongba Crown, 13 Goddess Cards, and drawing various Tibetan/ Dongba deities.
This is the Human Body Energy Clock (a.k.a. Meridian Clock, Horary Clock): a diagram charting optimal functioning times for different parts of the human body. I found this particular image on this internet somewhere- I can't remember where (original source: comfytummy.com?)- but anyways, you can find lots of different versions of this chart through Google. Dongba medicine applies these TCM philosophies too. Lately, at the studio, we have been taking these theories into consideration as we go about our day-to-day tasks. If you have any thoughts, share with us in comments section!