Rain Wu | December 2019
Rain Wu is a Taiwanese artist living and working in London. Her art practice examines our manifold relationships with nature, she is currently working with the temporality of perishable materials as sculptural mediums to instigate questions and discussions around how we live in the state of climate emergency.
Rain graduated from the Royal College of Art (Architecture MA) and University College London (The Bartlett School of Architecture, Architecture BSc), and is a qualified British architect (RIBA, ARB). Her artwork has been exhibited in Sharjah Biennial, Taipei Biennial, The Palestinian Museum, London Design Biennale, Lisbon Architecture Triennale; she is one of the Designers in Residence at the Design Museum (London) in 2016, an artist in residence at The Van Eyck (NL) 2018-9. Since 2017, she teaches as an associate lecturer in Interior Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts London.
For the residency at Pico do Refúgio, she will make new works from a recently started series, The Sea Rises and Totally Still, using boiled-down seawater from the Atlantic Ocean as the medium in order for the works to dissolve and reconcile with its surroundings. Each seawater painting is of a fictitious place while referencing the language of map making to give a sense of scale and space. The series reflects on the idea that geographer Alistair Bonnett poignantly pointed out ‘when the world is fully codified and collated... a sense of loss arises.’
Referencing that reality has no beginning or end, each seawater painting fluctuates with the environmental changes and exists in its own continuum.
Thoughts on remote residencies and the experience at Pico do Refugio
Rain Wu, 29 march 2020
Having been based in London for over a decade, it is sometimes hard to imagine living and working elsewhere- like many other cities, it draws you in and locks you up. Remote residencies are the perfect antidotes to balance the hegemonic view of the singular way of being. To paraphrase Bruno Latour’s words ‘attaching oneself to the soil on the one hand, becoming attached to the world on the other’ I find the to-and-forth between different surroundings one that opens up the spectrum of how we live and work as well as being a portal to examine the environmental questions on the planetary scale.
In a practical sense, materials found in natural surroundings are for me sculptural mediums rich with encrypted meaning and geo-archival information - I see them as collaborators that inspire thoughts on our relationship with nature. Working in Azores in the month of rugged winter, I am exposed to unexpected encounters with the invisible agents in the air- humidity, wind, heat and microbes. Seeing my seawater paintings manipulated by the weather has crystalised the environment in its most undeniable presence. My time at Pico do Refugio has added a very unique development to my series The Sea Rises and Totally Still.