Mapping the Affective Landscape: Chapter 9 by Frog Wing

Book 4 from September 30th to October 28th 2018


Chapter 9: At the close of the week of grounding

On the 30th September, the artists/scholars

Witold van Ratingen (Utrecht/NL) psychogeographer (under construction)

Kartika Mediani (Indonesia/UK) animation artist

Shuyin Wu (Canada/China) architect (website is under construction)

joined long-term resident artists/scholars

Dava Wing/Qingwa/Frog (US) interdisciplinary artist

He Jixing (China) filmmaker


Zhuming (ZhengShen Village) visiting scholar

and myself, Petra Johnson (Ger/UK/Shanghai) interdisciplinary artist

A few days before the end of the week of Grounding we are joined by

Adrian Tyus (US/Shanghai) filmmaker

Landings and Groundings

Within days of Witold’s, Shuyin’s and Tika’s arrival, a hype of activity ensues as if the abundance of peaches and apples, of chillies and sweet corn, of papaya and pears around us had thrown a gauntlet: ’Show us what you can do.’ And like the fruit and vegetable, we understood that whatever it is we can do, it will only do justice to the spirit of growth and emergence around us, if we pool our skills. Amongst the material gifts brought were many types of chocolates (someone had read previous entries on this website!) and a multitude of books which not only gave us plenty of food for thought but also inspiration for jointly putting together a book-in-formation. A book, that illustrates our attempts at recording an emergence of that which hovers in between surveying and auscultation. The book stages an encounter between psychogeography and a range of visual skills, from filming to drawing. The latter in particular distinguish themselves in that one has been honed to capture the movement and gestures of bodies; the other communicates the not yet built environment and the third the invisible world of amongst others, good and bad demons.

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Finally, the patience of the Chinese paper lining the wall since May has been rewarded. It has become a platform for discussions, a recording of late night speculations and solitary daytime observations.

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Whilst we are exploring which aspect of the locality either of us would highlight in the book, plans by the ‘Stalking Tao in Jixiang Village’ group, a long-term collaboration that had emerged in the interim between residencies, took on shape. The ‘Stalking Tao in Jixiang Village’ group is open to artists, farmers and scholars who are interested in exploring points of convergence between art and agriculture, a topic first raised by Li Lisha during her residency in July. By the end of July, Zhuming, Jixing and I had begun to research the feasibility of building a Qi Installation. The Qi Installation is based on an ancient technology used in Chinese agriculture that tells farmers when the soil on their farm is ready for sowing.

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Shuyin dedicated her architectural skills to the installation as soon as she arrived.

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...Qilin Master MuCongpei joined us to choose a site for a small version of the full-scale model behind the kitchen area, where the view across the valley is unobstructed.

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Simultaneously, preparations for Qingwa’s solo show: Road to Heaven No 3 at Lijiang Library proceed at a pace.

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During the week of grounding, piles of freshly cut wood begin to appear outside the farm compounds in the valley. Each pile evokes the prospect of huddling around a fire, of stories being told, of gazing at flames flickering or just bathing with others in their warmth. Sensations, the opening of the exhibition ’Road to Heaven No 3’ also manages to host and which are best told in pictures.

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"Road to Heaven #3" Show at Lijiang Library // 东巴神路图 #3 在丽江图书馆 by Jay Brown


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


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)

Acts of Founding by Frog Wing

Mapping the Affective Landscape

Book 3 from August 9th to September 6th 2018


Chapter 7: Acts of Founding

At the close of the week of Founding, I gather the ‘somethings’ found by this month’s resident artists:

Greta Mendez; Peter Hagan; Petra Johnson; He Jixing; Dava Wing/Qingwa/Frog; Wu Jiayu; Courtney Mackedanz, Wu Meng, He Xuemei and He Xiudong:

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Originally, …… a gathering of people, and a place where they would meet to resolve their affairs’ was described as a thing (Ingold, 2007; 5). Can any of the ‘things’ found: things that belong to this place as they contribute to its existence, synthesize into a transformed construction of site to the same extent that they contribute to changes in the trajectories of those who gathered here? Founding is always a reaction to something already there; it frames some new point of view. This essay speculates on as it describes how a gathering of artists can become an intensity, a ‘we’ of sorts. 

Saturday, 11th August 2018: Qilin Dance performance

Within hours of her arrival, Wu Jiayu encounters the movements she had studied at the department for folk dance at Xinghai Conservatory of Music some years ago and, for the first time in her life, she sees these movements in their context. This ‘quivering of a trajectory’ leads to the filming of seven short stories about movements: circling movements; relational movements; reflected movements; humorous movements. Films in which, in her own words, she found herself. 

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Like the multifaceted being it celebrates, the Qilin Dance performance acted as a catalyst for the rest of us too. On one level, the rehearsals for the dance at Lijiang Studio facilitated encounters between artists and local performers, mostly children and teenagers: a warming up to each other. An afternoon that gave both newcomer and local the promise of encounters with a familiar face on future walks through the village.

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For Courtney, the social aspect of the Qilin performance led to a trip into the mountains with a local Matsutake mushroom dealer. Apart from that, findings of a stick, a stone, some moss and a leaf led to a surprising change in her working methods, with slowness and an emphasis on non-verbal language taking centre stage.

For Qingwa/Frog, who is also a performer in the dance - she dances the crane, a parallel being to earthbound deer - the event sparks of a new project: 

a book of illustrations with instructions and guidelines on how to make a Qilin Dance.

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In my own work too, which this year had focussed on plants and by extension on movement without doubt, a change occurred. Animals re-entered my explorations of affective energies, in this instance: waiting. ‘My every step as I pace to and fro at the bus stop finds itself faithfully re-enacted albeit with a delay by XiaoLi, the dog. As a consequence, the slightest movement made in my ‘now’ stretches to include her now and the anticipated now of a passing vehicle. This pas de deux takes away the buoyancy with which I usually while away waiting time: the dance between the fluttering of my skirt and its shadow caused by abrupt movements.’ 

When asked about his relationship to the Qilin Dance, He Jixing who together with Jay Brown, He Erge and He Wenzhao had organised the performance at the official opening of He Wenzhao’s studio in Ciman Village on the opposite side of Lahihai, replied, ‘My role is Qilin Fan’: Fan standing for both food (Chinese) and dedication (English).

Wu Meng had opened the last shared studio session with the question ‘How do I record my walking route without using technology? If botanists move the earth to paper through writing, drawing and photography, how does the performer move the earth onto the stage? How do I record my body? ’  In this context, Frog/Qingwa’s response in form of an exposition of the four-dimensional world acts as a catalyst for a new question, ‘What influences the relationship between the shadow (us) and the manifestation of our heartbeat, our walking, our chanting in a four-dimensional world? Do rhythm and cadence act the way light does in casting shadows?’ 

Back in Shanghai, my grandson and I negotiate a large puddle. As we wait next to it for the traffic light to turn green, the puddle draws my attention. Across it’s surface floats the upper half of a nearby skyscraper. I search for the solid, the repetition of planes, the three-dimensional body whose reflection lies at my feet and marvel at the ingenuity and persistence of all those inquisitive people that had noted this phenomenon and eventually – by sharing their questions, their skills and their knowledge across time - succeeded in making mirrors.  

Founding as a synthesis of what happened before

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The previous residency had ended 

with the sudden death of nine puppies. 

Taking on board the sense of a recent tragedy but refusing to hear any of the details, Greta drew on the skills of He Xiudong, Frog/ Qingwa, WuMeng, He Jixing and evoked the uncanny of that night with her interpretation of unrequited loss of life on a local as well as a global scale.

In response to the prompt: ‘What questions are better asked from here than elsewhere?’

Peter contributed a new set of questions that could only emerge here and did so in a text I do not wish to summarise, so I invite you to read the attached pdf.

Founding as a staking out of ground for future events

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 In my continuing work with the plant world, the last week of the residency saw the harvesting of beans for seed rather than consumption. And whilst I had been reluctant to acknowledge the beginning of autumn through smells, textures and colours; the rattle made by the bean pods as I took them off their stalks gave me a thrill.

In this context, the question Greta had raised on the day of her arrival, ’What if we treat every encounter with change, with the unfamiliar, the new, the other, the ungraspable, the invisible as a celebration?’ provides an answer. As in the Qilin dance, by re-affirming delicacy, tenderness as well as voluptuousness, the art of pleasure is re-appropriated from other, commoditised futures. Pleasure: thoughtfulness; a sense of an argument reaching back in time; a dipping of toes into the uncanny.

In such a world, you might have an intense conversation about frogs over lunch; in such a world inquisitiveness allows for some form of contact and unexpected glimpses of recognition. 

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Ingold, T. (2007) Lines Routledge, London

Roots by Frog Wing

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?

One Day in a Week of Grounding by Frog Wing

Mapping the Affective Landscape
Book 3 from August 9th to September 6th 2018

Chapter 6: One day in a Week of Grounding
During the preceding week of Landing, the long-term resident artists

Dava Wing/ Qingwa/ Frog (US) interdisciplinary artist

He Jixing (China) filmmaker 7811f2

and myself, Petra Johnson (Ger/UK/Shanghai) interdisciplinary artist

were joined by

Peter Hagan (US/Shanghai) writer

Greta Mendez (Trinidad/London) dancer

Wu Jiayu (China) dancer

Courtney Mackedanz (US) movement artist

and Wu Meng (China) theatre and performance artist 1800秒的旅途 2014
链接: // 密码 password: bnhr


Our first week together was accompanied by a question taken from anthropologist Erik Mueggler’s book The Paper Road: ‘How do rules about how we must perceive inflect how we walk and see?’ (Mueggler. 2011.47). Mueggler juxtaposes the activity of surveying the landscape with that of auscultating: a listening to the depth of the landscape, ‘a mode of throwing out lines of communication to its hidden presences’(2011.45). Whilst surveying was done for the purpose of rule, he argues, auscultating is done for the purpose of regulating relations between human and non-human social entities. Frog/Qingwa, who has apprenticed herself to Dongba Hexiudong for several years, tells us that these experiences changed her perceptions of the world. My own experience of accompanying Hexiudong to the mountains and witnessing a 24-hour ritual back in 2006 also had a profound effect on my practice. Only to me it felt as if something that had been stunted was re-validated.

Three stories about rules of perception: 

(1) As a young child, my great-uncle, a freelance butcher, would take me to the surrounding farms, where he would have long consultations with the cow herdsman or the man taking care of the pigs. These men were unusual; caring, yet not at all interested in people and totally oblivious to my existence. When my great-uncle and his often monosyllabic counterpart had finished their to me incomprehensible discussion, they would leave me in the kitchen. Displaying a strained jolliness, the women would fuss over me, serving homemade bread layered with creamy yoghurt and a tangy fruit spread. There was a general feeling that the men had gone off to do something unsettling but necessary, a sadness about something that was going to happen somewhere on the farm and an effort to divert a little girl’s attention from it.

(2) One Sunday, at lunch, when every nook and cranny of the house had resonated with the sound of my father’s favourite opera, my mother cut the meat against the grain and my great-uncle stormed off, refusing to eat it. I was alerted to a subtle difference in taste and a profound difference in perception.

(3) Some years later my great-uncle showed me how he killed a pig. I was already old enough to wonder why there was only he, the full-grown pig and I. There was something clandestine about the situation. I was not sure if I should be there and I never told anyone. I witnessed the sureness of his hands, which kept the pig calm whilst killing it. We made sausages using the skin of the intestines.


It is after breakfast on the first day of the week of grounding, Friday, 17th August, that Greta tells this story (1):
Last night after dinner, when mushrooms foraged that day elicited sounds of delight from us all, we -Xuemei, Frog/Qingwa, Jixing and I with an orange plastic bag of fabric jumped into the car and headed off in search of the local seamstress. On entering the seamstress’ yard in Haidong, we saw children playing and a woman moving in front of a T.V. screen studying a dance sequence.

We had found a dancer but Alas! not a seamstress. Walking back, we passed the local shop. The old sofa and chairs in front of the shop were occupied by our neighbours. I greeted each one of them, in words, in gesture, with a smile, by eye. One of the women, the one who wore a Chinese hat, held a video playing music. I began to dance to the tune and her torso, cocooned in the seat, started to move too. I coaxed her up and we danced together, at times imitating what was shown on the video and at times dancing our dance. Everyone’s attention was edging us on. Seeking a rest, I left what had become a forecourt of joy and explored the back of the shop where I found more neighbours. They were playing mahjong. Xuemai joined them, whilst I became fascinated with the intensity of attention and the speed with which hands moved stones. By the time we walked home our bodies swayed to the rhythms of the breeze and the sounds of the night.

The morning after, Greta and Xuemai with help from Jixing, Wu Meng and Frog/Qingwa continue their search for a seamstress.

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Meantime, walking along Lashihai, Yuyu sees a sprinkling of sunshine on the mountain. By 11am the sky has become overcast. The light coming through in patches reminds her of a theatre stage. Her sense of being here is that people’s relationship with each other and the natural environment is very intimate. This gives her a firm foundation to explore her own affinity to trees. The questions that guide her are ‘What are we willing to see as real’ 我们所看到的都是真实的吗? 还是 你更愿意相信哪部分真实 and ‘How to express the unreal through a simple story?’ 用简单的故事,通过虚构的表达。She identifies four solitary spots: a dead, heavily pruned plum tree; a pile of pine logs; a tree whose crown is partly luscious with leaves and partly dead and an object made of wood. She thinks of them as a cast for a theatre of trees. What body language relates to such a stage?



Greta Telling Stories (2)

At about 1:50pm, when dresses have been fitted, when sacks of mushrooms have been purchased at the market and parcels have been collected, the glacier lifts her veil.

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All afternoon, WuMeng, Xuemei and Grandma clean the mushrooms bought at the market. They share their bad dreams and wonder. ‘How does a bad dream, scary dream, relate to daily life?

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Next to them, He Jixing and He Xingsheng jam a tune or two.



Meantime, Peter is setting off on a 24 hour journey to a wedding in Shanghai and ponders “Grounded” in Lashihai is more like tying a gossamer to the land and unraveling the spool as you wander about, sticking it beneath a rock, to a lake, to the glacier in the fog and the fog and the rain and the mud that dried on the white soles of your city shoes. Grounding is more like building a web, then. And what happens to the web when you leave?

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Courtney writes ‘Yunnan's land is fertile, I'm told. The air here is enveloped by soft-edged peaks of dense green and is the braiding together of more scents than I typically register at once. I walk on the red dirt road to practice absorbing the fragrance in its lush density and in the clarity of its distinct parts. These are the ideas too—at times a swarm and in other moments a stream. The ether here is a space of abundance, somehow vast and quiet while simultaneously cradling such rich entanglements.’
An undertaking, which returns us to Jay’s prompt: ‘What questions are better asked from here than elsewhere?’


Wu Meng addresses the question that opens the week of grounding, ‘How do perceptions inscribed on paper become interleaved with the substance of the earth, to inflect other perceptions?’ and asks, ‘How can I bring my perceptions to the stage rather than to paper? How can I track my walks? Are memories and feelings reliable?’

‘Leaving techniques aside, how can I use and trust my body?’
‘How can a walk be recorded without the use of technology?’
‘How can the body communicate the way a Chinese calligraphy brush does?

Frog/Qingwa observes, that whilst the pen can stop writing, that is it can stop being a pen, the body is continuous whilst on stage. And Greta adds, that body memory comes out through the dance. We continue to pursue the question ‘How does ‘it’ come out?’ in the context of what are the rules that guide our perception and how to communicate these on stage? Wu Meng describes the previous’ day experience of having been on a mountain immersed in foraging for mushrooms and the subsequent looking at the mountain on the way home, the being in and the looking at. How can she ‘play’ with these experiences? Repetition, explains Frog/Qingwa, leads to solids in the next dimension. She gives the example of the zero dimension (0-d), where the repetition of the dot leads to the line (1-d); the repetition of the line in turn leads to the plane (2-d) and the repetition of planes leads to solids (3-d).1 Therefore heartbeat, walking, chanting, all manifest in a further dimension that we can’t perceive. ‘We are literally, not poetically, transcending the third dimension.’ As we create content for this dimension, we become the shadow of it. When looking at repetition from this perspective, then either form of repetition, irrespective if it is for the benefit of consumption or an act of religion, is a form of worship.

Frog/Qingwa describes shamanic techniques used in Mongolia: the calling of an ancestor (who wants to be called) with an ever-faster beat of the drum. The ancestor ‘crashes’ into the body of the shaman and will be sent off again with the beat of drums. The shamans have no recollection of having hosted an ancestor. They remember having been in a field. Conversely we are the ancestors of the future.

Greta describes how through techniques of breathing and directing the circulation of oxygen through her body, she can activate muscle memory. A technique, she teaches her students who as future actors need to be seen to be connected to the role they are playing. Frog/Qingwa points out that whilst our bodies are capable of a lot of powers, our powers are also limited by what other people believe we have. Part of the ecosystem is that other people can be disempowering. ‘Maybe we can only access, what wants to speak through us’?

Contrasting being in a subway with walking, Wu Meng argues that whilst the environment on a subway restricts and homogenises movement, people’s thoughts are diverse. Foxconn, a factory in Shenzhen that makes I-pads, employed 300.000 to 400.000 workers during peak time. These devices contain not just the energy of the soul of the people who make them but also of the environments that get killed in order to mine the metals and minerals. The artist Li Liao (2013) worked in one of these factories as an inspector of circuit boards in order to demonstrate the disconnect between worker and product to an art audience. He needed to work for 45 days in order to earn enough money to buy one I-pad.2

Jixing shares a recent experience that shifted his approach to filming. When up until then his focus has been on what is happening on the screen, now his focus is on how to show the energy of that which is happening outside the screen. In response, Greta introduces the term ‘displace diagetics’ – when the sound from one place is added to another place.

The term evokes Joseph Rock3 playing Operas4 on his gramophone to the public in various locations in Yunnan.


1 See also Flatland (1884) by Edwin A. Abbott

3 Botanist and Explorer and one of the main characters in Mueggler’s book ‘The Paper Road’.
4 Operas came about during the 2nd half of the sixteenth century, because of a revived interest in the role of the Greek Chorus. Monteverdi, who wrote the first opera L’Orfeo, excelled at producing ‘a vocal style that is at first merely like dry declamation and only on repeated hearings begins to assume an extraordinary eloquence’.4 An Opera places words and emotions in the foreground. It’s characters live, breathe, love and hate and the music is an integral part of the work rather than decoration.

HeWenzhao and the Qilin Dance by Frog Wing

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!

Found Sound China fellows and finalists announced by Jay Brown

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. 

Check out the fellows here.

Leagues of Breaking Light- fundraiser by Naima Fine by Frog Wing

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:

From Naima:

"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!"

Leagues of Breaking Light is a body of work sonifying ecological climate change research. It translates and interprets ecological data and ideas into musical forms.

Public Colors/ Private Lines by Frog Wing

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 to meet up anytime between April 26- May 8th! 




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


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


show @ Vox Populi by Frog Wing


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"... 

《嘟!嘟!返场大会(2017)》招集令 LIJIANG STUDIO – A DUDU CELEBRATION – CALL FOR WORK 2017 by Jay Brown



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, +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!

Madeline Finn Painting Exhibition 麦德林·芬 丽江工作室画展 by Jay Brown

 Madeline Finn, 2016

Madeline Finn, 2016

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.


Only Time Casts Shadows by Jay Brown


2016-07-02 只有时间留下影子




(Please scroll down for English Version)


1. 用你的方式讲一个关于这个物件的故事;

2. 用这个物件创作你的行为作品,或者由我们来做;

3. 让我们将你的物件保存于时间囊。


2016年7月9日 周六 下午二时

1. 讲述时间的物件

2. 展览开幕

3. 基于时间的行为 -集体场域

4. 音乐演出


2016年7月10日 周日

1. 时间囊仪式

2. 户外空间行为现场

3. 艺术家讲座及作品呈现





阿    俊   


啊    东   

常    雄   

郭    子  


张    苗  


柏    青


Rokko Juhasz


Paper 小组(王蓓/沙玉蓉/杨辉/黄越君) 


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


He Libin

Mu Xin Rong

A Jun         

Mu Yun Bai        

A Dong              

Chang Xiong      

Guo Zi  

Liu Liwei          

Zhang Miao 

Kuang Laowu

Bai Qing    

Paper Group (Wang Bei, Sha Yurong, Yang Hui, Huang Yuejun)

Nanxi Liu

Rokko Juhasz


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)


RECOLLECTIONS Book Launch in Brooklyn by Frog Wing

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. 

  RECOLLECTIONS: 12 Vignettes From Lashihai Bilingual PRINT EDITION    * 12 chapters *    * 36 full bleed photographs *   * in English and Chinese side by side *    All books will be 10% off on the day:   $18 for books at the event   $20 for books purchased online at

RECOLLECTIONS: 12 Vignettes From Lashihai Bilingual PRINT EDITION

* 12 chapters * 
* 36 full bleed photographs *
* in English and Chinese side by side *

All books will be 10% off on the day:
$18 for books at the event
$20 for books purchased online at

FFSM: He Family Stories (Brisbane show) by Frog Wing

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