ART News

TOP 3 ARTIST RESIDENCIES IN CHINA & HONG KONG

26th October 2021 | Guest Writer: Camilla Fatticcioni
As an artist, why should you consider an artist residency in China? While Europe and North America have several hundred-year-old residencies programs, in China, residencies are new and fewer. For instance, today, New York City alone has over 70 active residency programs; cities like Shanghai are catching up, with a dozen programs hosting Chinese and international artists. As a result, China has a new, growing and flourishing art scene and fast developing market.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel
In 2000, the Chinese art market accounted for less than 1% of the global market. A decade later, China dominated the world: the country jumped from ninth to first place in 2010, according to Artprice's 2010 annual report on the world art market. Ten years later, the United States had the largest share with 42%, with China and the United Kingdom each accounting for 20% according to the 2021 annual "Global Art Market Report" sponsored by Art Basel and UBS.

The first artist residencies in China appeared in the late 1990s and early 2000s, dispersed throughout the Mainland's megalopolises and tiny villages. Ineke Gudmundsson, a Dutch curator, founded the Chinese-European Art Center in the southern port city of Xiamen in 1999 in collaboration with Qin Jian, Chair of the Multimedia Department at Xiamen University's College of Art.
As China's art world has grown at incredible speed over the years, new artist residencies have sprouted all over the country as offshoots of commercial galleries, museums, universities, real estate developments, and even luxury restaurants and hotels. In addition, artist residencies became catalysts for international exchange in the newly developed 798, 501, and M50-type art districts and creative zones spread in and around major cities across the country.

Since China still appears to be unreachable and unknown, many non-profit organisations have been established to help international artists overcome language and cultural barriers and find their art residency in China. For example, the non-profit mission of China Residencies is to map, research, and create a free online directory of opportunities in mainland China and Hong Kong for creative people from all over the world.

Unfortunately, most of art residencies do not take applicants outside China and Hong Kong due to the pandemic. As long as the border will remain closed for visitors, many artist-in-residence are waiting to have international artists soon from all over the world. The three artists-in-residence reported below are among the best ones in Asia, and being such, they usually have a long waiting list.

Swatch Art Peace Hotel
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel, originally known as the Palace Hotel and later renamed the Peace Hotel South Building, is located at the crossroads of Nanjing Road and the Bund in Shanghai's former financial district. Swatch has collaborated with notable artists for over thirty years. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is located in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Swatch Art Peace Hotel artist residency aims to bring together artists worldwide to experience a one-of-a-kind cultural environment dedicated to contemporary art in Shanghai. The residency focuses on creative exchange. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is built around a diverse collection of contemporary art.
Swatch Art Peace Hotel
Its artist residency program welcomes both known and unknown artists worldwide to live and work in apartments and workshops for three to six months. Dancers, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, writers, painters, conceptual artists, and many more creative people from all over the world live and work in the Swatch Art Peace Hotel's workshops and apartments, exploring China's most vibrant city. All participants are asked to leave an artistic "trace" of their choice at the end of their stay. Unfortunately, international travel is extremely limited in the current global situation, and many borders are closed. As a result, the residency can only accept artists (of any nationality) based in China for the time being.

In-situ | Hong Kong Artist Residency

In-situ is Latin for "in place," and it is a multidisciplinary artist residency for creatives who want to immerse themselves in Hong Kong and its culture. The residency emphasises rigorous experimentation and exploration to develop new thinking or making methods rather than outcomes.

They do not request detailed proposals or project schedules during the application process because they believe spending time in the residency should inform projects and ideas. More extended residency periods of two to three months are therefore encouraged.

In-situ is headquartered in the vibrant metropolis of Hong Kong. Known for its iconic skyscrapers and fast-paced lifestyle, Hong Kong is a modern international city deeply rooted in its Chinese cultural heritage. As a top travel destination in Asia, Hong Kong is an effortless city for international visitors to explore, thanks to its world-class public transportation system, walkability, and widespread use of English. Hong Kong is an important art hub in the Asia Pacific, hosting the Art Basel art fair, numerous prominent art galleries, and the M+ Museum. In-situ is strategically located in Kowloon's To Kwa Wan district. To Kwa Wan is a bustling residential area with a few industrial buildings lining the waterfront.

In-situ provides residents with plenty of studio space to work while still surrounded by traditional local aspects of daily life. Unfortunately, many other industrial buildings suitable for art studios are located on the city's outskirts, which are inconvenient and they lack the charm of residential life. However, the Cattle Depot artists village, a revitalised art community, is only a 15-minute walk away, giving the opportunity to explore its non-profit galleries, artist studios, and a performing arts theatre.

Residents will have access to a private studio and a full communal wood-shop as part of a supportive, creative community. In-Situ regularly holds artist talks and open studios, introducing residents to local artists and art professionals and keeping them updated on the latest gallery openings and cultural events.
Jardine Orange, Shenzhen
Jardin Orange, one of China's first artist residency programs, was established in 2016. It aims to promote the development of contemporary art in the region and provides opportunities for each artist who attends to grow and develop their style further. It also exhibits the drawings, sculptures, paintings, and murals created by its artists-in-residence.

The residency encourages all artists to experiment with their skills to incorporate a foreign "touch" to their aesthetics and to collaborate with those who work alongside them. Jardin Orange's mission is to make original art that brightens people's lives.

Each resident artist is provided with living quarters, studio space, art supplies, and a stipend during their stay. It encourages each visiting artist to engage in a deep personal stylistic exploration of their work while also providing autonomy and independence for their work process. Since its inception, it has welcomed approximately 100 artists from more than 20 countries, including France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ecuador, Azerbaijan, and China. During and after each artist's stay, the Jardin Orange Artist Residency publishes and promotes each piece of unique and excellent work produced through various channels, including large exhibitions and private events.

As an already well-known organisation, Jardin Orange is constantly striving to provide a high-quality and professional representation of each resident artist and their works. It has a solid promotional team that meets the highest quality standards for every client.

Jardine Orange, Shenzhen

Sometimes international artists are afraid to embark an experience in Asia due to language and cultural differences. Still, they don’t know that this is not the case for big cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen or Hong Kong, which are big international hubs and flourishing art markets.

The artistic life of these cities is vibrant and inspiring, which is an excellent opportunity to grow as an artist and to have new contacts. In China, the word 关系 guānxì, which means “connection” is essential in business relationships.
China is where you can grow your network of galleries and collectors and affirm yourself as an emerging artist.

About the Writer
Camilla is a sinologist and photographer passionate about Chinese contemporary art and culture. She received her BA in Chinese from the University Ca' Foscari in Venice, Italy and an MA in Chinese Art History from the China Academy of Art, China. Camilla is the author of the blog
perquelchenesoio.com.

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"Literally 'as far as I know', Per quel che ne so io is my dream to describe Asia with my own words through art and culture. I am a traveller, a China observer and a contemporary art lover. This blog was initially a mere diary of my first experience in China, but now is a key to understanding Asia from another perspective."
Camilla Fatticcioni