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).
Thank You: to Kira and China Residencies for hosting, and to BUFU and An Xiao Mina for sharing news about this residency opportunity!
-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.