Yang Fudong's Arctic Residency - A black-and-white meditation from the irrepressible Chinese artist


Despite its remote location above the Arctic Circle, the picturesque island of Sandhornøy in northern Norway is lately a budding cultural capital thanks to its playing host to the rising SALT festival. A unique cultural platform that brings together art, architecture, music and food amidst stunning Arctic landscapes, SALT set up shop this year, and, among other feats, brought the celebrated Chinese artist Yang Fudong to town.

Currently screening on a series of outdoor structures, designed by the Finnish architect Sami Rintala, is Fudong’s site-specific commission The Light That I Feel – an abstract, silent black-and-white film that demonstrates why the artist is at the forefront of Chinese avant-garde film.

“Fudong's language offers a very different visualization of the Norwegian landscapes”[/b]

Shot on Sandhornøy over the course of one month this past summer, the film features local dancers and actors engaging with the diverse and stunning scenery that the region is known for – a place where dramatic mountainscapes meet vast expanses of sea.

“Fudong is used to working in a very Chinese context and frame of reference, and accordingly his language offers a very different visualization of these Norwegian landscapes,” says SALT curator and co-founder Helga-Marie Nordby. “The fact that he has chosen to recreate these very colorful landscapes in black and white, it’s all a very unfamiliar way of approaching these local things, so people have been delighted, thinking,
‘Oh, it’s here but it’s not quite here.’”