Tag Archives: Christophe Demaitre

in kind exchange + the stroke of a pen | ifa gallery | brussels


sergey balovin brings his mad talent and energy to brussels this afternoon for an experimental happening presented as part of THE STROKE OF A PEN group exhibition during it’s last week at ifa gallery.

sergey has spent the last few years traveling around the world engrossed in his project, IN KIND EXCHANGE.


in a commitment to sustain all his daily needs while strictly avoiding monetary transactions, he has been able to survive exclusively through goods exchanged with people that are excited to trade tangible, useful things to him for beautiful, customized portraits he makes on site.

the unexpected skill present in sergey’s pen and ink illustrations reflect his classical training as a painter in russia before setting out on the wilder path he navigates now, as an artist with no use for a monetary system.

if you are able to see this happening while it’s ongoing today at ifa gallery, then you are in for a real treat. enjoy.



THE STROKE OF A PEN | vernissage [images]


thank you so much to everyone that made it to the opening night of THE STROKE OF A PEN this past weekend at ifa gallery and joined to help kick off this show in style.

this group exhibition is a collection of multi-disciplinary work and will be running from 21 february – 15 march at ifa gallery, brussels. each work is a separate response to events surrounding the recent charlie hebdo attacks and explores the theme of illustration: it’s power, it’s purposes and it’s limits.

images from the installation and vernissage are just below.


work by alexander ouairy, dai guangyu, susanne junker [left – right]


THE STROKE OF A PEN | ifa gallery [more details]


“ifa gallery showcases a group of artists commissioned for the exhibition, THE STROKE OF A PEN, each artist interpreting the title as he or she sees best, whether figuratively or with more violent overtones.

christophe demaître melts photography techniques and ink with sensuality. zane mellupe explores the importance of line in the landscape with her marble sculpture. christopher paul gill’s collages underline the necessity of freedom of expression, as does susanne junker with her feminist-themed photographs.

kathryn gohmert’s drawings are the expression of the underestimated carnage that took place in baga, nigeria, on the same date of the charlie hebdo attacks. wu junyong and dai guangyu concentrate on the issue of ink in contemporary chinese culture. alexandre ouairy proposes in “blank project” a series of 100 silk-screen prints on art paper, all numbered and signed. the contract signed during their acquisition defines the artist’s moral right toward his artwork.”

thestrokeofapen10 - website

[work by dai guangyu, susanne junker, zane mellupe]

thestrokeofapen04 - website

[work by zane mellupe, kathryn gohmert]

thestrokeofapen01 - website

[work by zane mellupe, kathryn gohmert, wu junyong]





i am very pleased to announce that my recent illustrations – completed during a residency in shanghai last month – will be part of ifa gallery‘s upcoming group exhibition,  the stroke of a pen, with work by other talented artists: dai guangyu, christophe demaitrechristopher gillsusanne junkerzane mellupealexandre ouairy and wu junyong.

the exhibition runs from 21 february – 15 march, 2015, and you are also very warmly invited to the vernissage on friday, 20 feb, from 5 – 9 pm if you are in the brussels area then.

[the stroke of a pen • group exhibition]





secret vii footage | ICS


so thanks to the team at ICS, we now have a copy of the footage aired a few weeks ago on shanghai’s largest local network which featured a great interview of all the artists of the secret vii.

this last exhibition, THE ESSENCE OF RANDOM, is to be our last guerilla pop up exhibition for some time. and just in time, as it looks as if the secret vii aren’t so secret anymore.

see the inteview footage on vimeo here [sorry, mainlanders. time to fire up those vpns again].



secret vii did its last pop-up exhibition as a group this last week at shanghai art space. some photos taken by susanne junker from the night are just here.





the ICS crew were there conducting interviews which are planned to air on june 15, 8:30 pm.

see more information on stageBACK’s website here.






M120: MOGANSHAN REUSED 莫干山路120再创 造


this guerilla group exhibition includes more than 30 artists representing varied disciplines [painting, photography, video, found object installation, performances and electronic sound performance].

so please drop by sunday afternoon between 4 and 11 pm. we will be at moganshan road 120 expecting you.


[M120: MOGANSHAN REUSED | 莫干山路120再创 造]

the rubble site – 120 moganshan road in shanghai, china – is located right next to the main art district in shanghai: m50. just over 10 years ago, artists and galleries moved to an old textile factory located at this address. this complex was threatened with demolition for years while newly build high rises changed the surrounding of this art oasis. eventually it became more commercial over the years and could therefore secure its existence. the modern apartment buildings and new galleries also had other neighbors, the residents at number 120. small lane houses meandered in narrow alleys, with laundry drying above our heads as people cook their meals in the entry ways of their nearby homes. the inhabitants lived in this area for many decades – even when m50 was already established with its cafes and bookshops. now it is over. 120 moganshan road has been destroyed. most residents are gone, but lost shoes can be found in the rubble, while glimpses of wallpaper are visible on certain walls from the exterior of buildings.

german artist and initiator of gallery eigenheim in weimar, konstantin bayer, had a special afinity with this neighborhood. after curating the exhibition space, island 6 shack, during 2008. a continuous dialogue was formed between east and west through the medium of art using this unexpected setting. the site of this former cultural exchange is now a gaping hole. after two years, bayer met some of the remaining residents again, and found the formerly existing exchanges were still in place. with the design to create guerilla art in an urban living space, bayer is now planning to install a 24-hour group installation on this site, collectively showing with a handful of grass roots shanghai galleries. 2000 square meters of demolition ground will be revived to make a space for art from different mediums with the purpose of dramatically touching on the topic of the rapid development and change of life occuring now in china as well as call attention to the specific characteristics of temporary urban structures. the demolition site appears now  as a juxtaposition to modern, glittering shanghai with its new world expo site and countless renovated areas all around the city now.

M120: MOGANSHAN REUSED is an example of the positive exchange that can occur between people from different parts of the world and backgrounds by using art as a common language. before everything is gone. before everything is uniform. take note: art doesn’t need white walls.”

“这片碎石所 在——中国上海的莫干山路120号,紧邻上海著名的艺术区 ——‘M50’或‘莫干山路50’。10年前,艺术家们和画廊们陆续搬入这里的一个老厂区。长 久来,这个老厂区一直饱受周边越建越高的商业大厦的吞食。逐渐地,连这片绿洲本身也不得不变地愈加商业化以维持其存在。 这块现代的 艺术区和高楼大厦也有着另一些邻居,那就是居住在120号的上海老居民。那是一个典型的传统的中国老居民区,如同我们在欧洲时可以想象的。小巧的房子挤在弄堂两边;衣服在我们头顶晾晒;居民们 在家门口做饭。这些居民就这样居住了几十年,甚至当M50建起他们的小咖啡 店和书店,以及来了络绎不绝的欧洲艺术客们。然而,它要结束了。莫干山路120在拆毁中,并即将完全消失。大部分的居民已经离开,但在一面 墙上的涂鸦仍在尖叫:“哈哈!我们还在这里!”鞋子零落在我们脚下的碎石间。墙纸也依稀可见。老上海活的场景!

konstantin bayer,这位德国艺术家和空间‘Eigenheim’(在德国魏玛是一个人们熟知的街区名字)的创造人。在他2008年大学的交换项目期间,在莫干山路120号,他创立了island 6 shack’一个艺术展览的小空间。这样一个小小的空间却一直努力在传统生活与艺术间,在 东方与西方间创建一种对话。 两年后,bayer再次遇见剩下坚守着的老邻居们和那种不需要语言的默契。以他熟悉的方式,在这片特殊的空间形态里,konstantin正在和旁边的一些画廊合作一个24小时的艺术项目。2000平方米的拆迁中的形态将被重新装置来展览艺术。与此同时,去指出中国发生着的这一异常迅猛的变化;也让 更多人看到这一发生着的奇特的都市形态。拆迁形态,仿佛一个对照,与这个正在世博着装下崭新闪亮的大上海。

总体上说,艺 术作品和艺术家们试图要以各自的方式去体验眼前这一发生中的都市形态。事实上,真正的艺术家和创造性的人们总是抽到最短的那根签,我 们的工作空间被剥夺或变得昂贵让我们不得不搬离。“莫干山路120再创造!”提供这样一个可能性,即世界来自不同地方的艺术家在这样一个发生着得形态里用艺术进行沟通,并 对我们这些艺术创造者们的将来提出:在一切消失前。在一切变得程式化前。请看到!展览艺术并不一定都要在精致的白墙前.”

“gleich neben dem galerieviertel in shanghai, dem so genanten m50 auf der 50 moganshan road, befindet sich heute eine abrissstelle. vor gut 10 jahren waren künstler und die ersten galerien in eine alte textilfabrik auf die 50 moganshan road gezogen. der komplex war jahrelang vom abriss bedroht, während sich in nächster nachbarschaft hochhäuser in die Höhe schraubten. uber die jahre entwickelte sich dann in der 50 moganshan road eine kunstoase, die schließlich immer kommerzieller wurde und dadurch ihr bestehen sichern konnte. doch die modernen wohnblocks, die künstler und galerien hatten noch andere nachbarn – die bewohner der hausnummer 120. ein typisches chinesisches viertel, genauso wie wir es uns im westen vorstellen. kleine reihenhäuser schlängelten sich zwischen den engen gassen. die wäsche spannte sich über einem, und vor dem hauseingängen wurde gekocht. 120 moganshan road ist platt gewalzt worden. die meisten leute sind gegangen. in den ruinen liegen einzelne schuhe, man erkennt noch tapetenmuster. ein alltagsbild in shanghai.

der deutsche künstler und initiator der galerie eigenheim in weimar, konstantin bayer, kannte dieses viertel nur zu gut. in einem abschnitt seines auslandstudienjahres  arbeitete er dort 2008 und kuratierte einen ansässigen kleinen ausstellungsraum, das island 6 shack. dort gab es einen stetigen dialog zwischen tradition, moderne, kunst, ost und west. doch da, wo dieser austausch stattfand, klafft nun ein loch.  nach zwei jahren traf bayer jetzt einige der restlichen bewohner wieder. die schon 2008 vorhandene, gegenseitige sympathie besteht nach wie vor. in gewohnter manier, kunst im alltäglichen lebensraum entstehen zu lassen, plant bayer nun ein 24 stunden kunstprojekt auf dem areal, bei dem auch große glerien mit dabei sein werden. 2000 m2 braches abrissland sollen wieder belebt werden, um platz für kunst zu schaffen und auf den rasanten wandel in china aufmerksam zu machen. die abrissstelle wird als gegenpart zum glitzernden shanghai, zum brandneuen weld expo-viertel und zahllosen geputzten fassaden in den blickpunkt treten.

zunehmend wird in shanghai von kunst und künstlern die identifizierung mit der aktuell fortschreitenden stadtentwicklung erwartet. gerade künstler und kreative ziehen dabei jedoch oft den kürzeren, denn arbeitsraum wird einfach zerstört oder unbezahlbar. M120: MOGANSHAN REUSED ist ein beispiel des positiven austausches zwischen menschen aus unterschiedlichen teilen der welt, den kunst auf den veg bringen kann. es ist auch ein gedanke an die vielen schaffenden der näheren zukunft. bevor alles weg ist. bevor alles einheitlich ist. schaut genau hin! kunst braucht keine weißen wände.”

[konstantin bayer | artist, founder of galerie eigenheim]

see the online catalogue of M120 on their galerie eigenheim’s website here.

M120: MOGANSHAN REUSED [18 july]


this sunday, 18 july [4 – 11 pm], m50’s post-apocalyptic sister-showspace, m120, will be hosting an exhibition of multi-disciplinary work from many different local and foreign artists exploring the ideas of destruction, creation, collaboration, genius, ecstasy and doom amidst piles of rubble and demolition.

it would be fantastic to see you there.