An additional blog post in English!
I thought it might be a good thing to make an additional, but short, blog post today since most people don’t speak Swedish, and someone might find my experiance so far of Bejing and the Red Gate residency useful.
Ok, I came to Beijing one week before the residency started. My thought was that it might be good to do some sightseeing so you get used to the environment before you begin with your own work. Actually I couldn’t have been more right! (Keep in mind that I’m only staying for one month.)
The first week was absolutely great even though I was all on my own. I stayed at a very good hostel downtown in a hutong area somewhere in the middle east direction inside the first ringroad. I can most definitely recommend the hostel, it’s called Fly by Knight Courtyard Hostel. You can actually stay there for free as a visual artist if you donate a piece of art and if you won’t mind staying in a dorm. Otherwise it seemed to me cheap enough to have my own room for a week.
Then I came here to the residency, and I’m staying in one of the studios that are located, I don’t know but maybe 30 or 40 kilometers from downtown. It has been very good to see both the downtown area and this place since Feijiacun is absolutely more village-like. People are very friendly here and it is easy to make contact even though you might not always really understand eachother, but you get a hang of it!
It might seem like I’m exaggerating, but I almost started to cry when I saw the studio (Emma knows that it’s true!). This is like a studio I’ve always wanted to have. Of course people have different preferences so this is from my point of view. Some people sure might find it a bit rough, but it is a studio and not a hotel.
It is also a very good place for getting work done, though the heat some times is getting to me (but I knew it would be hot this time of the year), because the problem downtown is that it might be to many distractions, like all the time. So instead of getting work done you might end up just sitting at a bar somewhere just looking at people passing by (that can of course also be totally enough depending on your project). Even here in the village there can be a lot of distractions and this is just a quite small place.
My feeling so far is that I want to come back already and I haven’t even yet left! There are so much to see and do here! (I will most definitely get one of those “I love Beijing” t-shirts before I go back home ;))
This is some of my work so far. I’m doing new patterns out of things I find around here. It can be everything from a small branch from a cypruss to a kids toy or maybe the swat from the studio next door!
This is the “Fly by Knight Courtyard Hostel”. They also have a wonderful roof terrass, mostly they seem to just hang their laundry there but you can also go up there to have a beer and just sit down and listen to the sounds from the city.
You will probably find small “gardens” around the city at the most random places!
A popular street downtown where you can find a lot of clothes, music instruments, restaurants and cafés among other things.
The studio I’m staying at.
Flowers just around the corner of our studios (and a lot of wines that must be very beautiful in the autumn.)
Wonderful people that I met because I started to eat at their restaurant. I never knew what I ordered though, I just pointed at some Chinese characters ;).
Some of the food you can find in one of the village markets.
Don’t worry about not being able to find enough art supply!
It’s easy to find inspiring things in the village, it’s just to take a stroll down the main street.