apexart Fellowship


Modris Svilans is an artist based in Riga, Latvia. He is in NYC as an apexart New York City Fellow from September 9 - October 9, 2014.

Damali Abrams is a NYC-based artist traveled to Seoul, South Korea, as an apexart International Fellow from July 1 - 30, 2014.

Posts tagged with "Li Mu"

diary May 12,2011

I am sitting in the park of Union Square
I fell the winds,
I hear the sound of birds,the leaves,the sound of cars
I fell the vibration of the metro from unground
I feel my breath
Some dogs walking with owner
Two squirrelsfinding foods beside my foot
Is it different with china?I ask myself.
They are same.
If you say they are different,
Just because your heart have difference.
It is moment I am in New York.

After lunch with Steven,Julia and Cybele,my travel is beginning.
I meet Walter de Maria’s 2 works in 2 different space. Earth Room and the Broken Kilometer.He is a minimalist and land artist based in New York . He had criated many our familiar landart in art history.Faced the works,I nothing say.simple,simple simple……I standed a long time in that place.

Thanks for Steven,Julia,cybele and Julian,they are so kind to me.

Friday 13 May 2011 Cloudy

My resident-apartment on 15street.I lived here just a month,but now it’s my home.Where is my home?I often asked myself.The village in Feng county,Suzhou’s apartment,Shanghai’s apartment or here?All they are not belong me,but all they are my home.I don’t think I belong ever place.now I living this place,the place is my home.
I running in Union Square park in the morning.I like a cityzen in this city.

Many street-artist in NYC.They are sing at metro,street or park..They are a part of cluture in the city.They playing nice music.They are be resepcted.They injoy this.It not same in China.In China they are ragged,they are pursuited by plice.

Where is weiwei A?He is a prisner in the jal now.
Confident,yes,self-confident.I can said my feeling from every face on the street.They are all confident regard of fat,thin,beautiful,clown,long,short,rich or poor.people are beautuful because confidengt.


I am like an ant droped in the back of an elephant. I want to know that the all of the monster , but I am so small. The elephant is New York. I live in Manhattan, went to Brooklyn, New York’s suburb’s party. In every place, I said to myself: This is New York. But another voice told me: this is not New York.
what is New York? I have to give up the idea in order to understand New York.

Why there are so many fat people in street? They are mostly black and white. They remind me of KFC’s fried chicken, yes, the idea that not be overstated. In China, we will trouble because of his obesity, and dieting to lose weight. But the people here, not mind. They let their wanton expansion of the body. Perhaps this is brought about by the consequences of fast food, fast food stores in everywhere, cheese, butter, meat and bread. McDonald’s is a specialty production of this place, spread to all corners of the world.

Last weekend, a friend invited me to attend a barbecue party in a village, of course there are mostly Chinese. Most of the Chinese people is keep their own circle. Have been the low status of blacks, race issue has been the country’s ills. Later, after the black struggle and fight for their constant, their access to equality can see today. The Asians have a more marginal position in gradually, as they rarely like the black struggle for their own power. At the end, this friend told me that I should take pieces of cash, met black ask you for money in night, give him, then quickly walk away.

Apexart provide me a schedule, I have followed this form to carry out the daily itinerary. Table of contents does not MOMA, Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chelsea gallery district, etc., but a park, Family Museum, a street, a performance, yesterday I attended a symposium on the cooking . I understand their good intentions, which coincides with my point of view ——— entire city is a real art gallery.

Tuesday,May 17,2011 raining

Sunday,May 22,2011 raining

I love NY.I can find this sentence everywhere.but,NY like me?I don’t know.

I have strong intersting in performance art. At first the generation of performance art was againsed to the businese in art.It can be collections,sale,today,but it’s creativity and scene is can not be replace by other art medias.
Of cause performance art itself is facing a problem, how to break the boundaries?Just like this show,I think it does not break the shackles of their own systems.

We meet Steven that afternoon,we talk about Apexart.”There are so many art gallery and space in New York,but they never do something about art,they are businessman.There are so many artist in the city,but they never created art,they are not real artist.”he said.Apexart woulden’t any help artist become famals and rich,no chance to artist.But Apexart will give more help to artist for their creation.

All the afternoon,I want to find these small gallery in Handwich.They are very boring.But it is really rich on the way.Those artist they lived in NYC is very conservative.I haven’t find a real art and artist.

This dog is 14 years old.It enjoy a warmly care like a old man.The owner told me that they were friend when her childhood. I am arrived in NYC 10 days,I haven’t seen anything like the movie’s voilence.I only find these kids are fighting with water-gun.

Language is not just a communication tool, it is a culture. Different languages mean different cultures. I realise this in MoMA’s lectures. Because of the language, I was refused outside of a culture, even though my body at here. If I do not solve the problem, I never enter this culture. Can you imagine a non-Chinese speaking foreigners in China’s life?
Culture is a whirlpool also, you can surf the waves in the vortex, is also facing the danger of being engulfed by the whirlpool. There are so many artists, came to the United States, in the process of learning language and culture, caught in the whirlpool. But however, you must into the water.

That afternoon,I walked a long way,I saw the entire New York in Queens Museum..Is it New York?No,it is just a model,it’s not real New York.

A Letter to My Wife

Dear Fang,

After a night of sleep, in addition to sweat. I feeling that my cold is better when I wake up. I took the pills and proceed to the railway station.
I have thought security in the United States is strict than China, but it’s so loose. And out and into subway, railway stations do not have security procedures.It’s never happen that the police to check my documents. A friend said to me: From the outside of the U.S., it seems very not pleasant, but once you are in the United States, you will find it quite lovely. I agree.
I am sitting on a train going to Washington, it has just gone through a city and a very big, very clear lake. Aisle next to a fat man playing a snore.
I went to Chinatown several times. Chinatown is not a street, but there are many Chinese and Chinese shops in the area. When I walked in there, I felt very strange. There are many Chinese, Chinese restaurants, Chinese characters, a lot of people holding Chinese newspaper. In that moment, it seems that I was in a city of China. You will not like it here, because it’s very dirty, a lots of phlegm on the floor.
The train stopped at a station, I do not know where it is. Some people get off, some people get on the train.
I have went to several academic lectures. In such occasions, I almost could not understand a word of their English, I’m just observing their expressions and language other than everything. I was emotionally: Language is not just a communication tool, a language is a culture. If I do not learn the language, I will always be a tourist. Yesterday, on the phone and you talk about these, you said that not understand is another hearing, all the language is very limited. because do not understand,I will pay attention to other things, this is not a bad thing! You are right, I remember Xu Bing had discussed this issue, from another point of view, disadvantage becomes advantage. Don’t judge it’s good or bad, as long as I can to feel with my heart.
The train stopped, and moved, the radio said that the next stop is Washington.
One day, I was scheduled to visit a cemetery, it was a very large, very beautiful cemetry. The building is very luxury , of course, there are some is simple, simple to just a piece of stone. Instructors stop the bus, explained the story of a tombstone owner. Sivle War hero, a musician, as well as a celebrity, even a horse’s tombstone. I love the environment , full of grass, woods and lakes.
The train will reach the station soon, and I had to stopp writing.

Take care of yourself.

27 May 2011

A Lettler to My Wife 2

Dear Fang,

I walked a long way, I am tired, so I sit down to have a rest.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial beside me, this is my only interesting place two days I have seen . A few days ago I have visited the Vietnam Veterans Plaza in New York, where some letters of soldiers and theie family was carved on the monument. Here the design is very simple, black stone engraved with the 58,000 soldiers name, no other informations about the war. I asked the old man he sit beside me: Do you know who is the designer? He shook his head. I said: This design by a Chinese girl, her name is Mia Lin.

I have been to several museums, I really do not want to say anything. I think it is the most tedious place, although some great artworks was display in it. But I still wrote a number of feelings to share with you:
Every frame is different, sometimes I spend more time on the frame than the painting.
It’s different between the original and print copy, where you can see the artist’s clumsy, paper is not enough and pick up a length, with a bad brush, you can see how he modify them there.
Lautrec’s composition is so different with other artist. His composition just came from life.
Why so many changes in Picasso’s paintings, because he only loyal to his feelings.
I like the clumsy artists, they never try to hide their clumsy.
Rodin’s sculpture is so vague, same with Richter’s paintings.
I think I should spend more time on the things outside of contemporary art.

Washington is same with Beijing, large and empty. Most capital of a country is the case, the hypocrisy of politics, culture of death. Speaking of this, I looked up at the National Gallery, obviously it is a huge coffin.
Just now, I have meet paintings of Shen Zhou and Wen Zhengming in a museum. Compared with the Japanese paintings, Shen Zhou and Wen Zhengming are the real masters.
I am exhausted in the park, the park is too big. Then I want to leave the park, where I going to? I do not know, anyway, I just not want to the museum.
Now is your six o’clock in the morning, you’re fast asleep.
Kiss you!

May 28,2011

Jun 3


sea and Bourgeois

Jun 8


A letter to my wife 3

Dear Fang,
I write to you because I want to talk with you, I miss you. I have much to say only face to you.
It’s three weeks I came to New York. time like an arrow! At the first I see everything was fresh, face to everything with a little perturbed heart. Now everything become familiar, as if I’ve been here a long time. I can tell him when Some people ask me the road. People walking fast on the street, and their heads held high, looked straight ahead. I could not keep my speed, so, I remind myself to slowly, slowly, to observe. I really do not want me to become a passers like them, with blind eyes to everything.
I really like the schedule from Apexart, , but I visited things very slowly, I always miss some place. I remember you once told me,we needn’t more landscape,some feeling in your heart is ok.In these days, I always asked myself what place I should to go in New York? I am very pleased, Apex arranged many interesting places, even though I missed a lot of places. Rest day, I have went to the Guggenheim Museum, PS1 and Museum of Natural History. I felt so tedious when I came out of Museum of Fine Arts.It appears that there are many art galleries, go or not go is not important. I realized we shouldn’t to learn with the artworks from the museum, but we need more self-confidence.
Tourist! Yes, I’m a tourist, who can change this fact?How many experence for a tourist in so short time? So, for the public talking in the end,I just say what I know. Let it be!
I want to sleep! I will go to the Amsterdam market tomorrow.I looking forward tomorrow is a wonderful gift!
Take care!
June 4,2001

A letter to my wife 4

Dear Fangfang,

I know why I always had a good feeling, because I had met a lot of smiles from strangers every day. If the people pass me, even if only once eyes met, the other will give me friendly smile. It is seldom happened in Shanghai.

Street performers like the city’s graffiti in everywhere, become a cultural landscape. Artists are not beggars, they can win the respect and applause from passers. Everyone has the right to display their talents in any way, the police will not drive them. When I meet the street performers, I would stop and listen to their playing. Their voice always be mixed with the voice of the city, which is an indivisible whole, it’s wonderful. I noticed a detail that few Chinese artists in the street and very few Chinese will stop and give money to them, they are white and black.

I suddenly remembered that Ai Weiwei leave Beijing to New York that year,he said to his mother: I’m going home! I can understand his mood when he said this.
It is more clouds out the window, it’s rainning! Lightning, strong winds and rain.

Everyone I met will talk about Ai Weiwei with me , they know more than we do, I just listen. They talk about the Chinese government, China’s human rights and freedoms. Finally, they told me that the Chinese government does not the Chinese people, just as the U.S. government does not the American people
Yesterday, I met a Japanese musician, she said to me: “I am so sorry for that war Japan to China.” I did not think she would say this, I said: “It’s history.We are good friends and good neighbors now. ” My friend told me that the Japanese be welcome in America than Chinese. Because they are more politeness better than Chinese.
I can meet the parade on the streets every weekend. Sometimes they are hundreds people, sometimes thousands of people. They held up signs, shouting slogans, sometimes singing in unison. They smiled, it seems that this is their holiday. Police gathered around, helping to maintain order. Also, each police are heavily armed.

What is freedom? This is a really free country?

The rain is stop now, I think I’ll go to a Thai friend’s house for Thai food dinner. I bought a blueberry pie to bring, because I had seen Wong Kar-wai’s film “My Blueberry Nights” , I always want to taste this pie.

Now is your 7:00 in the morning, kiss you!

June 8,2011

Jun 8


Li Mu

Li Mu was born in 1974 in Jiangsu Province, China and lives and works in Shanghai. He graduated from the Suzhou Academy of Art and Design in 1995 and the Academy of Art of Tsinghua University, Beijing in 2001. He has had numerous group exhibitions throughout China and a solo exhibition at the Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai. Early on, Li worked mainly with video and photography, but over the last two years he has taken a new direction that cannot be easily categorized. Many of his recent works are more process-oriented actions that are very hard to distinguish from the rest of his daily activities. These ideas and actions are presented in a variety of different formats: as objects of documentation, piles of very detailed drawings in journals, photographs and writing on his blog.

Li Mu visited apexart from Shanghai, China, from May 11 - June 11, 2011. He was recommended by Biljana Ciric, curator and art writer based in Shanghai. Visit his Resident Page for more information.

Li Mu

One year is past,I stay in New York now.I want still use this blog.