#slowtrainresidency

Making preparations to begin a #slowtrainresidency project. I am tentatively titling it "ManMan Yawaarai" (Go Slowly) for now... As virtual artist-in-residence, I will be taking over the @china_residencies IG account and posting observations over the next two weeks (Oct. 30th- Nov. 15th) while traveling by train from the border of Mongolia into Yunnan Province, China. The idea is to roughly retrace the 13th-century path of conquest taken by Kublai Khan's Mongol troops- via train- and to make work as I compare historical records with contemporary evidence of life in these locations now. 

Proposed route: Erenhot/ Erlian (border city), Hohhot (capital city), Baotou/ Ordos (Chinggis Khan’s ashes)- Beijing (capital city), pass through Chengdu (formerly invaded city), Kunming/ Tonghai (current location of the last Mongolian-Yunnanese tribe), final destination: Lijiang (Kublai Khan’s former outpost).

Preliminary sketch/ live drawing of hill composites, made from moving train (Beijing-Hohhot). 

Preliminary sketch/ live drawing of hill composites, made from moving train (Beijing-Hohhot). 

Thank You: to Kira and China Residencies for hosting, and to BUFU and AnXiao Mina for sharing news about this residency opportunity!


OBJECTIVES

 

-to study the [recent] history of the Mongolian-Chinese political relationship

-and understand it more deeply, by physically traveling the route taken through China by the Mongolian armies as they expanded Mongol empire across the Eur-Asian terrain

-to investigate contemporary relationships between ethnic-Mongolians in China and other Chinese ethnic groups, as well as attitudes held towards ethnic-Mongolians of Mongolia

-to observe current political/ economic situations of Inner Mongolia in person, and compare my notes with what is reported through CCTV news and other media broadcasts

-to see how usage of Mongolian language differs between Mongolia (adapted to Russian Cyrillic script) and Inner Mongolia (where traditional script is still in use, despite the region’s dominant ethnic group being Han Chinese)

-to study modern Chinese imperialism and management of Mongolian culture- especially in regards to commercial activities in the domestic/ international tourism industry of today’s Inner Mongolia 

-to further research and develop contemporary narratives that revive both Toroi Bandi (Mongolian folk hero) and the Xianu (Chinese mythological archetype)

-and, finally, to weave these cultural explorations into the network fabric of American (and International) Contemporary Arts- since i am American by nationality, and that is where I am creatively based when I am not working and traveling through Asia.

BUFU at LIJIANG STUDIO

Honored to be working as a translator/ facilitator with BUFU (By Us For Us) during their 10-day stay in Lijiang, from October 3-11th. They are gathering interviews and footage for a documentary film series that observes Black-Asian political/ economic/ social relationships from a global perspective (with footage from Korea, Japan, Ethiopia, Jamaica, China, and selected American cities). Film should be ready for screening in various locations by 2018. 

Check Lijiang Studio or BUFU website for updates soon. But also, follow them on their Instagram for regular posts on the filming/ editing process... 

BUFU interviewing Grandma He on location at Lijiang Studio (October 2017)

BUFU interviewing Grandma He on location at Lijiang Studio (October 2017)

Visiting Taiwan

"Yi" water vessel of Yi-yue Mid Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 10th to 9th century BCE)

"Yi" water vessel of Yi-yue Mid Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 10th to 9th century BCE)

Made a trip to Taiwan, stayed for 2 weeks. Some events/ places i checked out this time:

-NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM: (temporary exhibit) Splendid Accessories of Nomadic Peoples: Mongolian, Muslim, and Tibetan Artifacts of the Qing Dynasty. Full-sized ger on the third floor, with a framed print of Chinggis Khaan sitting in the center. I asked a museum docent about how I can find the original CK painting; he said that it's too valuable and they only take it out once every few years, the rest of the time they hide it away in storage, buried deep in the mountain behind the palace. So there you go. // https://www.npm.gov.tw/en/

Oh! and i learned about Giuseppe Castiglione (Chinese name: Lang Shi-ning); He was an Italian Jesuit missionary who lived in 17th-century China and made these uniquely hybridized paintings... Look at the way he painted horses, dogs, and birds. 

Giuseppe Castiglione/ Lang Shi-ning

Giuseppe Castiglione/ Lang Shi-ning

-DREAM COMMUNITY: a non-profit creative company that offers artist residencies and volunteer opportunities; at the moment they seem mainly focused on building parade floats, community theater events, and constructing a small new "world cultures" museum. How is this place, really? Please comment with thoughts/ feedback (if you have any). // http://dreamcommunity.tw/english/

An actual snail i actually saw. Bottle for scale.

An actual snail i actually saw. Bottle for scale.

-TREASURE HILL ARTIST VILLAGE: Rented a studio room here for a week. Pretty nice. Mostly quiet. They have creative residencies (applications in the Spring), hostel spaces, gallery/ show events, ceramics and metalsmithing workshops, a toy theater... Same office operates in three locations (I think). You can check out their website: http://www.artistvillage.org

-MONGOLIAN AND TIBETAN CULTURAL CENTER: in Da'an District. Library/ gallery of Mongolian and Tibetan cultural artifacts. Tiny ger on the first floor, with some old robes and what i thought was a horse-cart. Didn't expect to see books on Yunnan, but I did (probably because of the Tibetan connection), and one book had chapters on the Naxi, Lisu, Bai, etc... We could spend more time here. // http://www.mtac.gov.tw

-MONGOLIAN AND TIBETAN AFFAIRS OFFICE (IMMIGRATION BUILDING): near the NTU Hospital. I read that there's a ger library in here, too. But I arrived on a Sunday and didn't get to see it in person. D'oh // https://www.news.mn/r/328593

film still from the "Prophets" installation at TK Gallery

film still from the "Prophets" installation at TK Gallery

-TINAKENG GALLERY: Two Trees and a Mountain (Shi Jin-hua Solo Exhibition) // Plaster Gong (Su Yu Hsien Solo Exhibition)// Went to this show with two friends. I especially enjoyed the bleak installation/ theater audio happening down in the basement- Su's portrayal of Huang Hua-cheng's "Prophet" (1965)- reminiscent of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." // www.tinakenggallery.com

-I'm drawing in this photo, you can see my notebook but you cant really see me // (source: wastelandarts)

-I'm drawing in this photo, you can see my notebook but you cant really see me // (source: wastelandarts)

-WASTELAND ART SPACE: Came out here to see my friend Tsai but i missed Friday night's set, caught 4 performance pieces on Saturday night. It was interesting to see performance art in a Taiwanese context (especially after seeing it this summer in Yunnan), made me think bout it differently, but i couldn't really keep up with the verbal presentations/ discussion due to language gap. // wastelandsite

-DAD'S PERFORMANCES: I watched my father play with his band at Fuego, Sunmai (Long Sun Brewing), ZXDH Station for the Universiade 2017 Parade, the Senior Home, NTU Hospital, and the community center rehearsal space. That was almost a full-time job. I took it very seriously. 

/// Videos: @365videosproject (Aug28- Sept10)

 -Xia's LOL Institution: www.lololol.net [IG: @xia_lol ]

 -Xia's LOL Institution: www.lololol.net [IG: @xia_lol ]

WORKSHOPS @ MAESTRA VIDA

From March 21st- 31st (2017):

Lijiang Studio conducts an installment of Aztlan-Shangrila at the Maestra Vida school in El Tambo, Colombia (with Ernesto Salmeron, Paul Donneys, Dava Wing/ WuZhimi, and Jay Brown).

Find updates at --Lijiangstudio.org--


365videosproject: brief tour of #maestravida // The founders of this school believe in having no classroom walls, no bells, no textbooks, no homework, no grading system, mixed-age classes, non-structured personalized learning methods via real-life situations, and respecting students' need for freedom. This educational model has already been replicated in 8 other municipalities since the school started in 1994 (and counting). "Life is Teacher” @maesvida // #latepost march29 #wednesday #pedagogia


WORKSHOP GROUPS:

Ernesto Salmeron: drum-making/ music 

Paul Donneys: video filming/ editing/ production

Jay Brown: art techniques and experimentations

Frog/ Dava Wing: bookmaking/ journaling; theater/ storytelling with "The Color Bird"

WuZhimi: Dongba dance/ ritual demonstration

(Many thanks to everyone in Colombia for hosting us! I learned so much, and the process continues... Looking forward to the future)

quote for thought

RE: GLOBAL (NON-LOCALIZED) SHAMANISM

“Who works for The World?” -WuZhimi

“The message presented above by Byambadorj zaarin is one of the chief reasons why those of us in the Mongolian Shamans’ Association want to network with shamans from around the world. This summer at the 5th International Conference on Shamanism we invite as many shamans from as many nations as possible to attend so that we can establish a World Shamanism Federation, so that shamans from the entire human community can work collectively for the healing of our world and promote the revival and growth of shamanism everywhere on earth. In Mongolian tradition the shaman serves the community, ought not this responsibility to also include the entire world community as well?”

-Sarangerel Odigon (from: buryatmongol.org)

CosmiKnots @ NERVE Performance Arts Festival

CosmiKnots presents: "A CALL-OUT BEFORE THE FALL-OUT: Public Ceremonies for the Church of Consumption" -this weekend at the NERVE Performance Arts Festival in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Featuring: Qpon (Frog Wing) // #krittykouture (KK de la Vida) // FATHERFIGURE (Rain Love) // Hardley (Rachel Johnson)

March 17-19 

FRI (7-10) SAT (7-10) SUN (6-9)

 


IG: @cosmiknots

Tumblr: https://cosmiknots.tumblr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cosmiKnots

***As part of the soundtrack, CosmiKnots featured random clips on Youtube, Ft. Lauderdale radio on a Disney-princess boombox, static noise, and music by Dasa Transmute and Alienood420 (SplashZone is now available on iTunes, click HERE)

Lancaster Against Pipelines [fundraiser]

Our friend Dana is helping to organize the Lancaster Against Pipelines Fundraiser! My brother Jeeshaun and I will both have pieces up for auction.

I decided to send in this set of 8 prints, called "Rumugu," from the Dabba Card series I made last year. Each print has a little paper slip attached, with this background info written on it: 

RUMUGU: A type of Nature God, the name meaning “water source.” The top halves of their bodies look like human beings, while the lower halves resemble reptiles’ tails. These deities come in twos, with a pair assigned for each of the four compass directions (North/ South/ East/ West). 
This Rumugu color-print is from a commissioned series called “Dabba Cards” by artist Dava/ Frog Wing (working under the name WuZhimi). The Mosuo are an ethnic group with a traditionally matrilineal society, and Dabba is the name of their folk religion that values a balanced relationship between Humans and Nature. These paintings were based on a set of original Dabba cards that were used in rituals for expressing apology/ gratitude to water. The rituals are held near water wells, community pools, springs, rivers, or at other similar sites where human beings take and use water for daily consumption. 

You can find the original versions of these prints in the Dabba Ritual Room at the Luoshui Mosuo Museum, which is located at the edge of Lugu Lake in Yunnan Province, China. 

For more info: www.theparhelia.com // Or contact Dava directly: theparhelia@gmail.com

EVENT DETAILS:

Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP)- A non-profit grass-roots coalition of county residents opposing the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline aiming to transport fracked natural gas from northern PA to an international export station in the Chesapeake Bay. These funds specifically will support an encampment along the proposed route of the pipeline.

-Date: Sat, Feb 18th 5PM-Close

-Location: Kennett Brewing Company 109 S Broad Street, Kennett Square PA

[Ancient tomorrow] Movie Premiere

I was invited to attend the Ancient Tomorrow movie premiere at the Ahrya Theater in Beverly Hills last week, so I went my brother Jee-shaun and our friend Blake. We finally got to meet Dan Shaw (vortex detective) from VortexMaps.com.

Our Molecule-Orbs are featured in this post-premiere interview with Dan Shaw, JJ Yosh, Ann Seid, and Oliver Ades. Thanks Dan! This is a Facebook "live video" so i cant repost it here on my site; here is a screenshot instead. I want to transcribe some of the commentary in this interview, for later reference, just in case. 

***DISCLAIMER: To be clear, I do not think the pyramids were "built by aliens"

and I am aware that some people find the idea offensive. I do believe the pyramids were built by the human societies located in their respective geographic regions (Peruvians in Peru, Egyptians in Egypt, Chinese in China, etc). I do not believe there is any kind of conspiracy network surrounding the vortex sites, attempting to keep us from knowing some kind of "hidden truth" that we're "not supposed to know," aside the alienating language and rumors used by some of the conspiracists themselves.

However, I do suspect that vortex sites around the world illuminate commonalities between our intuitive and logical processes as a species, especially what we assume is driven by/ towards divinity (or an otherwise authoritarian decree)- and that our actions unknowingly reinforce geometric planetary structures- and that these phenomena deserve further questioning and deeper investigation, especially now that we have instantaneous global communications/ travel technologies/ tense political relationships to boot.

JJ Yosh brought this conversation to the big screen, and I'd love to talk more about this later, but for now here's a blog post with a couple of links as a placeholder.... TBC. See you soon. 

365 Videos Project

I started this project where i post 1+ video per day, every day for a full year. Most of the short videos are uploaded on Instagram (because its faster and easier to do), but some videos will be uploaded on Youtube or elsewhere. Considering it as an exercise in educating myself about video-making, documentation, social media/ algorithms, and public presentation of my working process 

IG: @365videosproject 

Youtube: 365videosproject@gmail.com

ghost yak

Ghost Yak is a like a spiritual garbage truck. If/ when you hear the cymbal ringing, you can go get your garbage can of unwanted memories, thoughts, and dreams, and bring them out onto the street corner. Leave them with the Ghost Yak and it will take and carry them into the Center of the Earth and set them all on fire. And then you'll never have to worry about those things in the same old way again. 

Happy New Year/ best wishes for your 2017.

Clip from "Clown Triggers" /// video by Khokhoi

Bell Foundry Fundraiser

The Bell Foundry in Baltimore (where I briefly lived and worked at this summer) was shut down earlier this month, following the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland. Residents were evicted with only an hours' notice to gather their belongings. If you'd like to help fund the rebuilding process, please see their campaign here

Satellite Fair/ Miami 2016

-edited-

-for the need to look back and rethink-

 


Room #23 all together (Rindon Johnson, Sarah Wang, Sessa Englund, Shaina Yang, Shanti Lalita, Dava/ Frog Wing). 

Room #23 all together (Rindon Johnson, Sarah Wang, Sessa Englund, Shaina Yang, Shanti Lalita, Dava/ Frog Wing). 

From the group statements:

"DAVA / FROG WING- Various artifacts from the ongoing Dongba research project. The sketchbook is visual documentation of this year’s trip to Mongolia. The yak skull developed as a companion on that journey. 

3 performances: Thursday- Art is Never Ready, Friday- Book Reading, and Saturday/ Sunday- Zuud (Dream). /// Contact Frog for times: theparhelia@gmail.com /// 917-yyy-zzzz"


***THANK YOU: to Disclaimer Gallery, to my fellow artists, and all our supporters for sharing this experience with us! Your trust is invaluable! and for that, I am grateful.