As the winner of the prize "Artist in Residence" at The Swatch Art Peace Hotel (Shanghai, China) during the 15.16 edition of the Arte Laguna Prize, the Roman artist Silvia Manazza unveils the behind the scenes of her stay in spring 2017 at the Residency of the popular Swiss watch company. As the artist herself states, it was an exchange opportunity with artists from all over the world and a huge challenge at a stage of maturity in her life and artistic career, adding new precious items to her own cultural bagagge:
Living for three months in Shanghai as a guest at The Swatch Art Peace Hotel has been an extraordinary experience for me. Despite my age [born 1957], I realized I could take the challenge and interact with artists from all over the world, from a range of artistic backgrounds.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel, by making available to artists a number of atelier-apartments in its historic building, aims at creating a context where art and luxury merge through creativity, in one of the most thriving centres for contemorary art, Shanghai. Now her stay is over, Silvia Manazza encourages artists to live the same kind of experience:
It would be great if every artist could live my same experience because only in this way you really realize how highly universal the language of art is and how stimulating working with different artists can be. At the beginning I was a little worried, I thought I would not be able to fit in or stay away from Italy for so long. What happened instead is I worked hard and with energy: China offers such strong suggestions, difficult to forget even when you are back home. One of my artworks especially resonates with the time I spent at the Residency: it's a rickshaw I made with linings of old mattresses, a common material in my artworks. The work is a tribute to the noble Shanghai neighborhood where The Swatch Art Peace Hotel is located. The work is called "The Bund". It is made not only with cloths but also with old city maps. Another artwork, "The last Xi'an warrior", also made with found fabrics, is now at the Italian Consulate in Shanghai. "Made in China" is the series of works I created during my stay in Shanghai. I should exhibit them this coming autumn at the city's House of Culture.
Photo Credit: The Swatch Art Peace Hotel