This upcoming Friday @ The Holy Underground (Baltimore, MD) /// featuring recent works and performances by Frog Wing and Louise Ma /// July 1st, 2016 /// 7-9pm
Samantha and Viccy's RECOLLECTIONS e-book is now in print, and it looks great! They did a fantastic job. Join us in at the Puerh Brooklyn Teashop to celebrate, this Sunday, June 5th (2-6pm). Brief Q&A at 3pm.
Fine Fine Small Mountain (Miranda Hill and Naima Fine) have this show coming up in Australia (Brisbane) on May 7th! Featuring musical pieces that were composed here in Lashihai last year- including collaborative visual works by MuYunbai and Frog Wing. Performances at 7 and 9pm. If you can't attend- tell your friends who live in Australia!
Reverse Garbage Queensland: 20 Burke St, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Australia 4102
May 7th (Saturday): 7pm, 9pm:
Facebook event page: link here
We're halfway through Spring 2016 session.
Jiacheng Chen (Nanjing, China) was here for the month of March, gathering info + digital footage on Dongba culture as preparation for a short film. Annie Rollins (USA) and Yung Chang (Canada) departed only a few days ago, after two weeks of script-writing and shadow-puppetry experiments.
Right now we have: Max and Mara (USA/ Germany) analyzing I-Ching, building radios + antennas, and making "The Book of Static" over in the New House; Juniper and Matt (USA) collaborating on a virtual-reality gallery/ headset viewing-experience; Hiromi Ueyoshi (USA) painting a zodiac mural; Musical duo Jim L. & Jim "Leo" W. (Taiwan) arrived on Tuesday and have begun surveying general "jammability" of all musical instruments that can be found in nearby vicinity of studio. Frog Wing's Dongba studies continue: coloring The Road to Heaven (II), Lady Dongba Crown, 13 Goddess Cards, and drawing various Tibetan/ Dongba deities.
This is the Human Body Energy Clock (a.k.a. Meridian Clock, Horary Clock): a diagram charting optimal functioning times for different parts of the human body. I found this particular image on this internet somewhere- I can't remember where (original source: comfytummy.com?)- but anyways, you can find lots of different versions of this chart through Google. Dongba medicine applies these TCM philosophies too. Lately, at the studio, we have been taking these theories into consideration as we go about our day-to-day tasks. If you have any thoughts, share with us in comments section!
Yasuhiro Morinaga continues to develop material from Lijiang, invited to show a video of the making of the recording of He Xiudong released last year:
今回展示されている中国雲南での調査を経て制作された映像作品「Forgotten Kingdom – Dongba Shaman in Lijiang」は、森永が現地に約5ヶ月間滞在し、地元の方々の信頼を得てはじめて撮影し得た貴重な映像です。
Artists have always cut freely across different areas and disciplines to give us fresh surprises and joy.
Yasuhiro Morinaga is an artist working freely across several different fields—design and art, visual experiences and auditory experiences, ethnology and anthropology, field surveys and cutting-edge technology—with recording as his linchpin.
His work roams far and wide as a matter of course, from collaborations with choreographers and visual artists to sound design for international films and field world on folk music and rites around Asia.
His exhibit is “Forgotten Kingdom – Dongba Shaman in Lijiang,” a video work created after fieldwork in the Yunnan province of China. Morinaga spent around five months in the region, gaining the trust of the locals to film this precious footage for the first time.
Respecting each other’s culture and fostering connections in culture and the arts is extremely important as we continue to live in this global age. By interpreting the word “spectrum” not only as something that shows static boundaries between domains but also as activity that connects individuals, countries and regions, and various separate territories, we can perhaps see its numerous latent possibilities.
191 Henry St //manhattan\\oct3//6pm
In our compressed version of Lijiang Studio these days Sarah Lewison will hold a workshop on Seed Bomb making (with discourse). Based on her work with duskin drum on the nature of being in a time of melting, we draw from permaculture and microbiology to experimentally enact discursive seed bombs. Through an aleatory group reading/making, participants are invited to temporarily lose control of imagining feelings about futures...come join us Sunday September 27th 3:30pm 191 Henry St (Chinatown/LES, not Brooklyn).
Here is a link to more thoughts on the seed bomb with duskin drum and Sarah Lewison:
Lijiang Studio will continue it's residency at City Bird Gallery, celebrating with an all day event and evening music show. We'll be celebrating with tangyuan, moon cakes & edamame.
3:30PM - Sarah Lewison, Discursive Seed Bomb Making
5:00PM - Sarah Lewison, Probiotic Perfromances
7:00PM - MUSIC
Wu Zhimi, Dongba Ritual Dance
Crystal Pascucci, composer & cello
Josh Sinton, bass clarinet
Bill Solomon, percussion
Mark Clifford, vibes
Ryan Ross Smith, composer (animated score)
Crystal Pascucci, cello
Mark Clifford, vibes and percussion
Mark Clifford, composer & vibes
Crystal Pascucci, cello
Danny Meyer, sax
Harris Eisenstadt, drums
If you're in New York around this time, come and attend one of the workshop events or musical performances*:
- September 20th: (3-5pm) Sarah Lewison's Pickle-making Workshop
- September 20th: (6-9pm) Opening Party: Performances + experiments (Crystal Pascucci, Bill Solomon, Matt Sargent, Wu Zhimi)
- September 22/ 23/ 24th (10am-10pm): Open hours + Music rehearsals (Crystal Pascucci, Bill Solomon, Matt Sargent, Mark Clifford)
- September 27th: (3-5pm) MOON FESTIVAL- Sarah Lewison's Seed-bomb Workshop; eat Pickles
- September 27th: (6-9pm) MOON FESTIVAL- Performances + experiments (Crystal Pascucci, Bill Solomon, Matt Sargent, Mark Clifford, Ryan Ross Smith, Wu Zhimi)
- October 3rd: City Bird Gallery/ Lijiang Studio INDEX- Closing Party (Ernesto Salmeron, Ricardo Gallo)
*Week-long continuous metabolism with Ernesto Salmeron
Apologies that we couldn't include everyone from the last 10 years into this one show- We had to narrow down our choices of indices to fit the limited amount of space- but all past residents will have their name listed in a scroll piece that will be part of the collection on display...
Please stop by, say hi, and join the reunion- we would love to see you!
City Bird Gallery
191 Henry St.
New York, NY 10002
September 20- October 3, 2015
with work and performances by:
Alfred Banze // Bill Solomon // Christine Falk // Crystal Pascucci // Dan Talbot // Emi Uemura // Emily Bates // Eric Van Hove // Ernesto Salmeron // Frog Wing // He Jixing // He Zhengkun // He Xiudong // Jay Brown // Josh Sinton // Li Jianhong // Li Lisha // Matt Sargent // Mark Clifford // Mu Yunbai // Naima Fine // Na Yingyu // Ricardo Gallo // Ryan Ross Smith // Samantha Silver // Sarah Lewison // Saskia Janssen// Sylvia Winkler // Stephan Köperl // Viccy Adams // Wu Zhimi // Yasuhiro Morinaga
Show statement and artist bios: here
Upcoming dates that WuZhimi will be appearing in New York:
- Thursday, August 20th: Chinatown show, at City Bird Gallery (6-10pm)
- Thursday(s), September 10th: Quadrivium: Infinite, at City Bird Gallery
- Saturday, September 12th: Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival
- September 20th- October 3rd (specific dates TBA): Lijiang Studio INDEX, at City Bird Gallery
Michelle Trick (a.k.a. Ozzo Ombro/ LiLi) came and visited the studio during the month of June. She built a loom out of scrap wood on her first day, then spent the rest of her stay weaving textiles inspired by the month's on-site experiences. She also conducted a few one-on-one breathwork sessions and shared a few relevant ideas with some local peoples before heading off to Shanghai.
Frog helped facilitate Michelle's interactive installation, "Fire Ceremony," during the Lesser Heat Festival. It features 174 Fire Drawings to illustrate breathwork-relevant philosophies... mainly the idea that fire is a powerful cleansing element, and useful for spiritual healing.
Fire Ceremony for the Lesser Heat Festival 2015
"A fire drawing is a blessing for your home.
Fire has the power to reveal and burn away death. It shows us the feelings buried inside us and clarifies the mud in our minds. A person who is often near the electromagnetic force of fire is a healthier, happier, younger, lighter person. Communities that socialize and cook around fire are closer knit and stronger.
These fire drawings are sacred objects, visual prayers made during a period of intense focus, little sleep, little food, and meditation. The images appear abstract, but they are based on the direct observation of flame and visions of energy seen during meditation and bodily purification practice.
Each visitor to Lijiang Studio is encouraged to take a single drawing as a blessing. In order to complete the blessing, each visitor should contribute the power of their own positive intentions to a blank page, and leave the page behind."
-M. Trick // www.ozzoombro.com
Saturday July 4th we will have a gathering at the studio to perform music written here recently, and the dongba Wu Zhimi will bless the Jixiang Giant Orb.
WuZhimi failed get the mixture ratio right the first time. She tried fixing it by soaking the scroll and scrubbing in the morning, but it only worsened the surface quality. So HeXiudong came over on the weekend to help. After mixing and applying a new batch of primer, they gave the scroll a thorough rub-down with a large courtyard stone.
Ask WuZhimi what she learned, and this is her best guess:
- Choose a sunny day (with low-to-no winds) for this project.
- Boil a pot of water; melt approximately 1 teaspoon of Nupijiao (hard glue pellets) in it.
- Take the eyeballed-amount of Nuomifen (sticky-rice powder) that you dissolved in cold water earlier, and add *some* of that in.
- Remove from heat source.
- Take the eyeballed-amount of Mianfen (flour) that you dissolved in cold water earlier, and add *some* of that in, too.
- Stir to mix evenly. The final product should be white, thin, and watery. Refer to cell-phone videos and try to imitate that consistency.
- Lay out scroll on hard, flat surface (concrete is fine, and probably better than wood). Apply mixture onto cloth with brush; work briskly. Cloth should be uniformly wet, but not over-soaked.
- Let dry under direct sunlight. Before scroll is *completely* dry, rub across it with smooth hard rock or glass bottle, to flatten surface in preparation for drawing.
- After rubbing, let dry completely before rolling up for storage and/or reworking with ink.
Part of the fun of our trip to Wumu was bringing a certain double bass and a certain cello - along with their players, ahem, Miranda Hill and Crystal Pascucci. Jay had in mind playing unscheduled, somewhat intimate somewhat random "musical offerings" on Wumu's steep, narrow, and poopy streets, but with the rain dragon and the wind goddess at play, there was enough going on in town already. This left us on our last night an opportunity to play at the Cultural Center in Wumu, which is quite a special public resource currently administered by our host He Jixian, the community minded autodidact dongba researcher from Wumu.
Here's a quote and recording from Miranda Hill on the evening:
"We did a concert on our final night there, of mostly improvised music. After we’d finished playing, we asked if anyone else wanted to perform, and people just started standing up and singing songs. Naxi songs, songs from school, recitations. It was quite amazing. Here is our final improv for the night, based off the Naxi song that I’ve been playing with."
After many scheduling stutters we finally made it up to Wumu this year with Er Ge, Jay, Miranda, Crystal, Jen, and Lizzie to see what He Jixian was up to. An exceptionally dry year here, the rainy season is a month late already. The village decided they would do a ritual, last performed in 1984, to invoke rain. The ritual invites the naughty wind goddess, who often associates with wandering souls who enjoy bringing trouble to the stable and orderly life of the village. Recently she has been blowing the clouds away before they could form rain. She is vain, though, and the villagers built an altar with an effigy of her as a beautiful Naxi woman, and her favorite things such as mirrors, hair ribbons, and flutes. The idea was to distract her long enough for the dragon spirit, invoked the night before, to stir up some rain. The dragon was constructed in Wumu's thriving cultural center and ran through the village, people waiting at every turn to splash the dragon (and everybody else). He Jixian explained that Wumu is one of the few villages around here to combine Han (dragon) and Naxi (wind goddess) elements in the same ritual.
Unfortunately, something didn't go well, and either the wrong spirit was summoned or the wind goddess did not take the bait: it still hasn't rained, and He Jixian is starting to get very sensitive about this topic.
RECOLLECTIONS book launch, by Samantha Silver and Viccy Adams: with stories collected last year from Lijiang + Lashihai! Check it out if you're in New York this weekend! Bring your iPad if you have one.
"Next Sunday join Two.5 for the launch of our digital art book Recollections.
Inspired by our time living on a farm in South West china, Recollections is a slice of life seen through interviews, poetry, and recipes, paired with photography and published digitally on our custom built platform." -S.Silver
Sunday June 28th from 3-6 at 594 Broadway, Suite #1212
Frog and LiLi took a 5-day trip up to Tacheng to observe two rituals: a wedding and a baby shower. More photos later. Here is a diagram of the set-ups for both rituals, to stand-in for now.
(Drawing by: HeXiudong)
Trash here is something I've been ignoring for a while, but the variety is fascinating...
Today (Sunday) Fine Fine Small Mountain went the former school, now the Old People's Center, and the practice space for the village orchestra, and the closest thing to a central public space in the village, to celebrate Earth Day by exchanging stories or songs for festively potted flowers or mint. They gave away some flowers and got a pretty groovy flood-drum-mouse-angel-tiger story from Mu Zhang. And got to listen to the orchestra, at long last.
Naima Fine and Miranda Hill, working as Fine Fine Small Mountain, are at Lashihai, absorbing, processing, and making. These are the projects they have initiated at the studio:
- A composed suite of 6 sound portraits – one of each of the 6 He family members (our hosts), inspired by their personalities and appearances; and portraits of them by former visual arts residents at the studio.
- An aural recipe "book" of Naxi recipes, in Naxi, Chinese and English languages. The "book" will feature step-by-step descriptions of local recipes accompanied by the sounds of the recipes being prepared. Available for download.
- Create a graphic score based on the silhouette of the mountains surrounding our village, and a developed visual representation of the tonal qualities of Chinese and Naxi language telling stories about these mountains;
- Create a mechanical "percussion machine" onsite installation at LiJiang Studio predominately using found rubbish;
- Compose music a) interpreting sounds of wild animals and farming in the local landscape; and b) using ecological data as direct notational input (data examines potential indicators of climate change, collected from a nearby transect by a team from Kunming Institute of Botany).