We're excited to announce that Annie Ling and Eugene Gladun will be our next #slowtrain virtual residency artists, taking over the China Residencies Instagram while they rides trains from Xi'An to Kashgar, departing on November 10th by way of Yinchuan, Lanzhou, Zhangye, Jiayangguan, Dunhuang, Turfan, and Urumqi.

Born in Taiwan, Annie is a Canadian artist committed to intimate narrative projects and expanding a visual discourse. Drawing from a nomadic upbringing, her work often explores the relationship between place and identity, addressing subject matters of a socio-environmental nature. Following studies in visual journalism at The International Center of Photography in NYC, Annie was a fellow of Reflexions Masterclass. Currently, she is interested in experimentation with immersive media while teaching community workshops in 16mm filmmaking. Pushing against the boundaries of visual journalism, Annie has applied unconventional techniques by experimenting with different film formats, overlaying written text on photographs, making exposures out of bullet-riddled light sensitive paper to create monotyp es, and experimenting with both analogue technology and virtual reality. Creating images enables Annie to explore questions, challenge perceptions, develop a voice, and find meaning in the process.

81 Bowery is one of the last-standing lodging houses, home to dozens of immigrant Chinese laborers.

[From Annie Ling's series "81 Bowery"]

Iceland holds the highest rate of single mothers in the world.

[From Annie Ling's series "Independent Mothers"]

Eugene was born and raised in Soviet Union in the small republic of Moldova and immigrated to the United States in his teens. He studied graphic design at RISD with a focus in Interaction Design. Following his studies, moved to Germany and immersed into a unique subculture of Wandergesellen (Journeymen craftsmen), on top of acquiring a new array of design skills and mentors. His artistic practice is rooted in traditional painting and has stemmed into a myriad unexpected directions. He also relishes crafts, tinkers with objects, obsesses over constructing and repurposing boxes, and reinventing items salvaged from the streets. His influences date back to working mentors from the Repin Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg and Netherlands, Poland, Iran, the US. He is curious about production techniques, artist processes, and the way emotion is carried through the techniques and design decisions employed.

"Hundreds of mini street tent-eateries line the streets in Seoul at night."  Oil sketch by Eugene Gladun

Miniature oil sketch of NYC's Madison Square Park by Eugene Gladun

Annie & Eugene's project proposal:

What has been most formative to our development as artists have been the multiple cross-cultural, social-economical, and political migrations we share. Familiarizing ourselves in new terrain and observing new cultural signals became a learned skill for both of us and an intrinsic part of our shifting identity and practices. 

Lately, Eugene has been preoccupied with visual representation on a compact scale—creating portable works on the move, on postcard-sized panels or easily accessible everyday objects. This format promotes play, and a level of intimacy within a limited space and time. Considering the cross-cultural significance of the Silk Road as a channel for facilitating the exchange of goods and ideas, this slow-train residency will be treated as an opportunity to engage with fresh surroundings that will guide the creative process and shape tangible observations. 

In transit, Annie will assume a meditative posture towards the landscape by capturing moving images as she contemplates this historical passage with contemporary geo-political and environmental considerations. The intention however is to resist a didactic response, rather make space to simply confront and process the meaning of land and loss. Accompanied with the essays of Susan Sontag onboard the train, Annie seeks to challenge her role as a documentary photographer positioned behind the camera and to experiment in self-portraiture with select participants in locations encountered off the train. 

Follow along on their #slowtrain residency on Instagram !

 If you can, please donate to help support Annie & Eugene's #slowtrain residency!