Wow, where to begin? It is certainly great to be back home after two months in China. And it certainly was an amazing experience- I return with new friends, memories, perspective, and a desire to return! I have only been back for a day, and while there is still a lot of the experience to process, photos to share, and acclimating to do, I already have some initial thoughts about the residency and ways I think it will shape the next few years.
1. I am feeling incredibly reenergized! After a long and somewhat bumpy flight from Beijing, I was planning to take the day off yesterday to recuperate from jet-lag. After a normal night's sleep, however, I awoke refreshed an eager to play tennis! Afterwards all I really wanted to do was go to the studio. Having spent two months of near constant 10-12 hour work days in the studio has only made me want more.
2. I have a clearer vision of my work. How I want to make work, why I want to make work, and how I want to share that journey with others all came into clearer focus during my trip. I am excited to share more details about this soon.
3. I have more enthusiasm and determination to create a better working environment for myself and for my students. I also have more determination to improve my living space at home. I have always understood the value of well designed space, but fixing the problems around me have seemed bogged down by lack of time and money. I see more clearly now that they were more bogged down by lack of creative problem solving and no small amount of laziness on my part. This enthusiasm I know can be easily eroded. I am really hoping I can hold onto this knowledge.
4. I have renewed enthusiasm for teaching. The connection between making my best work and sharing knowledge is more clear, as well as ways in which they can feed each other. I am looking forward to being able to share much of what I learned!
5. I plan to make more residencies a significant part of my artistic practice. It has been too long since I have had an experience like this, and I have let my artistic "reserves" become too depleted. I am resolved not to let that happen again.
6. I want to invest more deeply into another place. I am increasingly aware that having amazing experiences isn't enough, that I want to find ways to give back to a community that is very different than mine. That will take years of investment of time and energy.
Maybe that place is Lanzhou. It is pretty incredible what they are doing there and the ways in which my skills might help. Time will tell.
the studio chair
A place for me to ramble on when I need to take a break.