Dan Hays, painter, was selected with London-based artist Diego Ferrari. During the fellowship Hays delivered a series of lectures in three different cities, met with artists, critics, architects, business people and professors of art in various universities, as well as creating works on his impressions of China which were exhibited at the end of the residency.
Hays began working in photography and created 64 digital images of Kunming in a new ongoing work. The residency culminated in an exhibition titled Kunming Residents, where Hays showed 20 of these prints and one painting developed from a photograph taken in Kunming. Many of the images involved layered representations of landscape, from digitally produced advertising imagery to wall paintings.
Hays writes about his Fellowship:
I did not find artists working close to my area of concern as a painter, yet it was rewarding to develop relationships with artists working in a different environment, and consider my practice from a new perspective. Moving into photography was a complete and wonderful surprise and made me question all of my work, seeing it in a new light. Distancing [oneself] from one’s usual environment, or culture, must always be an essential factor in considering the value of artists’ residencies in general.
Upriver Loft, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China was set up in 2001 by Ye Yong Qing and Zhang Xiaogang. It is a studio and gallery complex comprising 20 artists’ studios and a 2000 sq ft exhibition space. Upriver Loft promotes discussions and exchanges between local and international artists through a programme of residencies and exhibitions.