K11 × ArtReview Residency Update: Pongyu Wai, Lin Zhu, Emanuele Dainotti and Roel Heremans

Pongyu Wai at a temporary carpark next to the Heartland. Courtesy the artist

The second group of artists to take part in the K11 Group × ArtReview Artist-in-Residence programme have completed their residency at the K11 art village in Wuhan, where they explored new directions in their practices, working closely with the local landscapes and communities.

During the two-month residency, Hainan-born, Hong Kong based artist Pongyu Wai continued his meditative ballpoint-pen drawings. In these works, fluctuating, parallel lines reflect the movements and pauses of his hand, during which process Wai contemplated how ‘each marked line is like an irreversible act of storytelling’. In Wuhan he also situated such acts of embodied narration within local encounters, producing a continuous work on a long scroll (213 x 366 cm) of Xuan paper, which he carried to nearby parking lots and construction sites, as well as a workshop space where he met and listened to the stories of local dwellers. 

Lin Zhu, Life is Sweet, 2023, plaster, acrylic paint, candles. Courtesy the artist

Coming from a background in architecture and often working with two-dimensional mediums, Ningbo-born, Shanghai-based artist Lin Zhu explored a new direction of artmaking focused on social and performance-based practices. Her resident project Life is Sweet comes from her exploration of urban ruins in Wuhan. At an abandoned factory dormitory, for example, she collected items left behind by previous residents, which she sees as representing the ‘personal histories during the deconstruction and remaking of a city’. These items were then reinstalled inside the dilapidated rooms – an act that turns the discarded objects into micromemorials of the inhabitants’ transitory encounters with the resident block. 

Roel Heremans & Emanuele Dainotti, wwwhispers (details), 2023, Fine Art Giclée print on silk. Courtesy the artists

Artist duo Emanuele Dainotti (b. Milan, based in Milan and Antwerp) and Roel Heremans (b. Brussels, based in Brussels and Stockholm) usually work with film and new media. At Wuhan they explored contemporary Chinese sci-fi, literature and politics. And in the process these existing research inquiries came up against new interests in children’s games, in particular what’s known as Chinese Whispers. For their work at the residency they reflected upon the act of whispering – how it preserves a space of intimacy and trust while delineating a boundary between the whisperers and the larger world. ‘I don’t perceive art residencies as isolated from the local inhabitants of the places that host me,’ Dainotti said in an interview. ‘The very process of creation unfolds as a continuous dialogue and exchange with both the people and the surroundings. It mirrors an act of cocreation, sometimes unconscious in nature.’ 

The one-year artist-in-residence programme in K11 art village hosts emerging artists recruited through an international open call and selected by K11 Art Foundation and ArtReview. The residency offers each artist an integrated studio and living space, and a curated outreach programme encompassing studio visits and seminars.

Pongyu Wai, along with the first group of artist residents Coco Ho and Gerry Li, has been invited to participate in Boundless Reverie: Chinese Savoir-Faire and Contemporary Art, which will be held at K11 MUSEA in Hong Kong from 26 March to 19 May 2024. Co-presented by the K11 Art Foundation and the K11 Craft & Guild Foundation, the exhibition will feature the artists’ research and works created during their residency, alongside a selection of recent works of ten other emerging contemporary artists including Jes Fan, Dominique Fung, and Chris Huen Sin Kan.

The third group of artist residents have commenced new projects at the K11 art village in Wuhan, starting in January. Stay tuned…

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