501 Art Space, China

Chongqing Aerobics is a film made during a month long residency at the 501 Art Space in the summer of 2013. As an artist who usually works collaboratively with others, I was curious about how I could form relationships across language and cultural barriers. One morning, I observed a group of ladies exercising together in the street, as I looked on, I noticed that different members of the public were joining in - I decided to give it a go. I was welcomed with only a few curious glances. Following that, every morning (except rainy days) I joined the group, each morning it connected me with where I was.

Towards the end of my stay, I took an interpreter from the gallery along, so that we could have a conversation (the ladies had begun asking me questions, but I couldn’t respond other than holding their hands). They asked me about my home, my marital status and my art. I asked them about how they organised themselves, why they exercised in the street and how long they had been meeting there. On my last morning in Chongqing, I asked permission to make a film, which they granted.

Chongqing Aerobics has been exhibited twice at CFCCA, in 2013 & 2016.