ZHUJIAJIAO RIVER POEMS, 2014
Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum — Zhujiajiao, China
Curated by Wang Nanming
Zhujiajiao River Poems was created for a solo exhibition while in residence at the Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum in Zhujiajiao, a 1,700 year-old water town. Living and working in a Ming Dynasty building on the Cao Gong River with all the overlays of both ancient history and contemporary life offered a unique experience for a newcomer to China and rare opportunity to observe its relationship to its water and its rivers.
Watching the river while working in my studio or taking long walks through the town, I looked for links to China’s history and culture through the details of objects, food, music, and movements in daily life or rituals. I began to notice the reoccurring movements in different activities – like the rowing of the boats, the movement of a Taiji master’s hands, the motions of harvesting snails with long bamboo poles, the movement of the water after a passing boat. I would catch fragments of traditional songs, whiffs of smoke from the cooking of food, and smells of fish frying on open flames. These observations formed a point of departure for both my drawings and my video as I strove to capture the essence of this experience along the river.
Water Soundings: A Conversation with Margaret Cogswell –
essay by Wang Nanming
RIVER FUGUES – Margaret Cogswell
A book of essays and images of 17 years of River Fugues projects and drawings available.