I would like to speak a little about Cai Weidong (one syllable pronounced ts-a-ee), the Chinese artist from this year’s UNIDEE residency. So Cai arrives here with not one word of English, which makes things a little difficult as English is the language of the residency. At first, it seemed an insurmountable obstacle, he has a small electronic translator with him, but it takes forever to tap words out on it, so it is not exactly conducive to exchange or dialogue, but little by little we get to know each other using google translator and a lot of sign language.
The other day a Chinese friend he had made came in to translate for him during his presentation which was a revelation as he finally relaxed as he was able to communicate fluidly. His work is strong, he is a photographer and works at an extremely high level both technically and aesthetically, touching on classical, satirical and potentially polemic themes. We were all slightly giddy with this new possibility to communicate with a person who has hitherto been present but a bit of an enigma…he is learning a little English now, and google translator is really quite good…really can’t wait to see what he does here in the next 4 months…Will post examples of his work here (if he lets me) in the future.