Swedish artist Lina Baeckström was invited to live and work in Kunming for one month, here is the introduction from the artist:
I was TCG Nordica’s Artist in Residence during the month of April this year, but my journey began back in 2007. For one year the city of Kunming in southwest China was the place I called home. I was one of the culture course students and also a volunteer in Nordica’s Art Gallery. Through my work in the gallery I had the opportunity to meet many great artists and see a lot of art, both local and foreign.
Two years later I returned to China to start working as an artist myself. In March 2010 I arrived in Beijing and during two weeks I explored the famous 798 art district which gave me a fantastic insight into contemporary Chinese art. Some of the photos I took near the art district are currently showing on the island of Gotland in Sweden where I have my very first photo exhibition called “751”.
As an artist in residence in Kunming I worked mainly with photography. My idea was to materialize my impressions of the Chinese society, with focus on allocation of power and Chinese history. I built different settings out of red and yellow LEGO that were photographed towards a blue background. Some settings were built with a specific place in mind like the Forbidden City; others were models after my perception of circumstances in the country in general. During my AIR month I gave a talk at English Corner in Nordica on the subject: “my 798 experience” and showed all my photos from Beijing and artefacts I bought in 798. While in Kunming I also had the opportunity to go to an art community in western Kunming to visit some artist studios and see their art. Having lived in USA, Sweden, UK and China I’ve come to realise how different our perspectives of the world can be depending on where we grow up. To incorporate this idea into the project I bought big round lanterns that symbolize different worlds once painted on. Working as an artist in residence I learned a lot about the various aspects of the life of an artist. The journey from idea to finished art work can truly be a magnificent roller coaster.