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
https://metropollination.com (under construction)
Kartika Mediani (Indonesia/UK) animation artist
Shuyin Wu (Canada/China) architect
https://shuyinwu434.wixsite.com (website www.wushuyin.com 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.
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.
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.
Shuyin dedicated her architectural skills to the installation as soon as she arrived.
...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.
Simultaneously, preparations for Qingwa’s solo show: Road to Heaven No 3 at Lijiang Library proceed at a pace.
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.