International contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth has fostered arts education in local communities by supplementing exhibitions with lectures, seminars, workshops and special events. One of Hauser & Wirth’s latest projects—which launched for this first time this summer—is an exchange residency for post-MFA students from CalArts and the Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University in the UK.
From Hauser & Wirth’s website:
The initiative has been designed to support emerging artists affiliated with these universities by offering them locations to live and work for an intensive short-term period in Los Angeles, USA and Somerset, UK. The program encourages independent work while providing support through contact with academics, curators, and artists.
CalArts alumna Sichong Xie (Art MFA 17) was selected for the June residency at Bath School of Art & Design, and Fiona Haines was chosen for the CalArts residency.
Xie’s performative and photographic practices examine issues of cross-culturalism within global communities. As stated on Xie’s website, “Her current body of work explores Chinese culture versus American culture, her female gender versus the patriarchy reflected in municipal sculptures in China, and Chinese communist politics versus the ‘only one child’ generations.”
Her residency culminated in a three-hour performance at Hauser & Wirth Somerset titled, Walking with the Disappeared. The work is based on memories of her family’s history during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The endurance piece is constructed as an abstract conversation between her grandparents and herself. One of the most significant movements in Walking with the Disappeared is Xie’s repetitive recreation of her grandfather’s political illustration of a donkey that he drew during the Cultural Revolution and was punished for. The work also featured performers Jinglin Liao and Dan Jin.
Haines, who recently completed a Masters in Fine Art specializing in Sculpture and Photography from Bath School of Art and Design, produced four sculptural works while at CalArts. On her website, she describes the art as being created “in response to the omnipresence of Californian seismic activity.” Haines’ practice aims to make the invisible visible and to capture what she calls fugitive essence.
At the end of the CalArts Summer Residency, Haines participated in a group show, Giant Extra, in the John Baldessari Studios on campus.