East Asia: selected artists-in-residence 2025

Pro Helvetia Shanghai

Pro Helvetia Shanghai is pleased to congratulate and announce the final selection of Residencies 2025. 

This year, we are thrilled to have received 249 applications through our annual open call. After undergoing a joint discussion with our colleagues in Switzerland, we have chosen the following nine candidates, who will be granted our support to realize their proposals in 2025. We wish them a fruitful exchange set to gain inspiration, establish networks and generate new projects. 

Artists from Switzerland selected to residencies in our region:

Tomas Baumgartner | Visual Arts

Based in Zurich.

As an artist who works primarily with sculptural and installative approaches, Tomas Baumgartner‘s drive can always be traced back to a curiosity about how the mechanisms of memory and imagination are entangled with the world of physical objects and spaces.

A research on the tradition of ‘Zhizha’ will form the center of his stay. It is a custom that centers on the ritual burning of paper objects, which are model-like replicas of worldly valuables. At the same time, he will devote himself to a longer-term exploration of the phenomenon of souvenirs.

Colin Bottinelli | Literature

Photo by Quentin Keller

Based in Biel.

Colin Bottinelli started writing around ten years ago and has since broadened his artistic activities to include visual art and music. His writing projects focus mainly on the city, and the intimate relationship we can have with it. He writes poetry in free verse.

In Shanghai, he will continue his research on urban spaces and how we live in a city, through a new literary and illustrative project centered around the practice of table tennis, the discovery of a new place, adaptation, and the urban environment, called Looking for a table. It is a textual project presenting an image of the city through the lens of a sport and its practice.

Rebekka Friedli | Visual Arts

Photo by Jean-Pierre Balmer

Based in Bern.

Rebekka Friedli developed her personal practice focusing on videos and video installations. Her artistic work suggests a translation of metaphorical concepts into audiovisual experiences, uncovering hidden perceptions and evaluations in everyday language. She is a co-founder of Kollektiv Beton.

The overarching theme of ‘On Inner and Outer Spaces’ is an artistic reflection on the connections and interactions between physical and metaphorical spaces in the dynamic urban landscape of Macau. The collected recordings will form the basis of a video installation that juxtaposes images and thoughts, reflecting on inner and outer landscapes.

Anan Fries | Transdisciplinary

Photo by Ryan Molnar

Based in Berlin and Basel.

Anan Fries (they/them) is a transdisciplinary artist. Their artistic practice is located at the intersection of digital and performing arts. Their work is inspired by posthuman and xeno-feminist discourse and revolves around topics such as reproduction, techno-spirituality and the entanglements of nature and technology.

During their residency in Taiwan, Fries would like to continue their research on techno-spirituality and look at contemporary spiritual practices that use young technologies. In a playful and speculative approach, Fries would like to make Audrey Tang a central figure of their research. Anan Fries will study tech-inspired philosophical concepts such as ‘hacking as a mindset’ and ‘digital resilience’ while seeking exchange with local artists and thinkers.

Jessiquoi | Music

Photo by Manuel Lopez

Based in Bern.

Jessiquoi (pronounced Jessi-kwa) is an interdisciplinary music producer who also works closely with visual elements such as dance, martial arts, and world-building set and stage design. With a rapt affinity for sci-fi, she explores and blurs the boundaries between inner worlds and reality, creating electronic soundscapes that reflect on our current time from the point of view as if it were already past.

In China, Jessiquoi will build on her fascination with traditional pillars of Chinese culture such as wushu (martial arts), guzheng (Chinese harp) and the Mandarin language, collaborating with local artists to create a body of work that reflects on the past, present and most importantly, the future.

Artists from our region selected to residencies in Switzerland:

Chen Yifei | Visual Arts

Based in Guangzhou and Berlin.

Chen Yifei, as one of the editors-in-chief of Prickly Paper and one of the initiators of the Chinese-language art self-media “Jasagala”, is involved in the practice of community art through DIY and mutual aid. In 2023-2024, he is conducting research on community art and self-organization in Germany.

During his residency in Switzerland, he plans to visit Sanit-Imier, Lausanne and Zurich to explore the threads of Anarchism and Dada art in Switzerland a century ago, and to communicate with contemporary Swiss self-organized communities, trying to write a story about mutual aid across time and space with book and video.

Hong Tianyi | Performing Arts

Based in Beijing.

Hong Tianyi is a theatre director and playwright who captures the interior landscapes of contemporary life, depicting tensions between the individual and the world in a surrealistic tone. Her productions have been invited to Wuzhen Theatre Festival, Beijing Fringe Festival, Aranya Theatre Festival, The Sound and Fury Play Reading Festival, etc.

Her residency project Be Water is a continuation of her practice of landscape. She will study the hydrographic features and history of the Lake Geneva region in Switzerland, and create a series  of fictional texts in which human communicates with waterbodies. Starting from the texts, she will enact a site-specific experience by the lake that interrogates the future of human-nature relationship.

Liao Wen | Visual Arts

Based in Hong Kong.

Liao Wen’s artistic practice focuses primarily on sculpture, video and performance. She draws inspiration from puppetry, anthropology of myths and rituals, medicine, art history, and her own bodily perceptions. Her works often interrogate the social order, technology, and disciplining power projected onto the body while simultaneously imagining the possibilities of the future body.

Her residency in Switzerland will continue her long-term investigation into rituals, myths, and the body. Liao will explore the Swiss festivals from the aspects of material symbolism, bodily projections, taboos and transgression. Through photography, video, sketches and interviews, she will put together a lecture performance and develop renewed readings of the human condition.

Suo Er | Literature

Based in Guangzhou.

Suo Er is a novelist who wrote Night of the Felling (2020) and Noncorrelation (2023). His writing focuses on the microcosm of the new generation of human psychology, and on the other hand, he tries to break out of the visible kinship and integrate the perceptual world, deep time, and the occult, intervening in history with critical fabulation and exploring the possible connections between things.

His writing project Guava Airship focuses on the changes and diaspora of marginalized Chinese groups. Die Erscheinung is a collection of texts that measure the gap between individual time and the diachronic social spectrum. This residency is an extension of both. He will research the local Chinese community in Switzerland and other minority nomadic groups, exploring their survival state, social networks, cultural conflicts, etc., and transforming them into multi-dimensional narratives.

More information

The call for our residency programme is open once a year, from January until 1 March.

A guide to residency partners in our region

This brochure (2022 version) will guide you through the various residency programs in different corners of greater China that might offer you inspiration.