Introduction to Shanghai/Beijing Residency

By Cori Beardsley, MFA 2011
Left to right: Wang Yi, MFA 2010, Mitchell Martinez, Class of 2012, Samuel Evensen, MFA 2008, Cori Beardsley, MFA 2011, Kiley Ames Klein, MFA 2011 Friend, Cao Yi, MFA 2011
NiHao Academy community! I wanted to introduce the CAFA, Shanghai University Residency program that Kiley Ames Klein, Samuel Evensen, Mitchell Martinez, and myself; Cori Beardsley have been on since August 20th.  Wang Yi (alum Shanghai University-2008,NYAA 2010) and Cao Yi (Alumni of CAFA-2009, NYAA-2011) have been our generous, energetic tour guides, translators, and dear friends-welcoming us so warmly into China and explaining the culture, art and history along the way.  

We started out in Shanghai, visiting cultural sights like Old and New City, museums, and important galleries. Staying at the University Hotel at Shanghai University, We met 15 students from Shanghai University and other Universities in China (graduate and undergraduate).  We worked from the model, and on our own projects in the studio with them for 10 days.  We also traveled and worked Plen air for two days to Xi Tang, a beautiful ancient water city.  Back at the studio, Samuel Evenson led a great anatomy class one morning and we exchanged in discussions about our contemporary art worlds, working representationally, and what we strove for as artists.  Wong Yi's took us to his studio and we were thrilled about his new work.  He also took us to local markets and antique shops- insight about the history of China that gets submerged in the sea of modernization.The generosity and hospitality we received in our introduction to China was overwhelming, our big wide eyes were busy taking in all the new sights, people and culture. 

And off we were on a FAST 5 hour train ride to Beijing.  We are staying in an apartment that Cao Yi found for us that is a half a mile from school, and we have a terrific 1,000 sq. ft studio with a skylight in the Graduate Oil Painting Building.  After we stopped jumping up and down in the studio we quickly got to work.  Art supplies are very cheap and accessible, the spaces are BIG and the art is BIG.  So our ambitions went soaring.  Ren Rui and Janet Fong from the Public Education and Development Program at the Museum of CAFA are arranging a show for us of the work completed on this Residency in the Museum while the Biennial: Super Organism at the Museum is up.  To be continued...


  1. Why does Cao Yi look the most exhausted in the group shot? The studio looks amazing!

  2. haha, Ian CAO got so much food at this time!

  3. Wow-sounds like a great experience! Shangai looks futuristic, so different from when I visited China in 1980... Hope you get to see the buried warriors (? dynasty)

  4. Yes!! Kiley, CaoYi and I travelled to Xian and saw the terra-cotta warriors! The ancient art in China was mind- blowing.