The American artist Jeff Leake tells us about his experience at The Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China, which began in June and ends on September 8th, 2019.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel and its residency program is an additional example of the brand’s commitment to supporting talent and creativity and on this occasion it did so in collaboration with the 12th Arte Laguna Prize which gave Swatch the opportunity to choose, among several artistic proposals, Jeff Lake as the winner of a three-month residency in this unique space which includes 18 studios where artists live and work in a stimulating urban environment.
Jeff Leake arrived in Shangai on June 14th to start this new and exciting adventure. As he tells us, this has been one of the most incredible experiences of his career, and has already made a tremendous impact on his art. “Having this space and that much time solely dedicated to making art is a gift that has allowed me to grow and explore new directions in my work.”
For Jeff, one of the most significant aspects of an art residency is the people you connect with.
Thanks to one of his fellow residents at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel he met the gallerist of Ying Gallery (Beijing) who decided to organize an exhibition showcasing the works of Jeff Leake and two other fellow artists, Jamie M. Lee and Jiang Peiyuan.
The show will display the works that Jeff created during his stay in China, a group of paintings on wood strongly influenced by his experience at Swatch, which can be seen as a reflection on the complexity of cultural interactions. The paintings are cut into stylized cloud shapes conveying the notion that what we see in the clouds often reveals something true about ourselves. One of the main themes that runs through Jeff’s work is the difference between the intended message of the stories and symbols we use to convey cultural ideals, and how we really interact with our environment and each other.
A California native Jeff Leake holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from UC Davis. He has shown nationally across the United States and internationally, he has been awarded numerous grants and awards including the Arte Laguna Prize, Ford foundation Golden Spot award, the Oregon Art Commission, and Regional Arts & Culture Council as well as residencies at Caldera, UCROSS, and Swatch. He currently lives and works in Portland Oregon.