Voorzijde uitnodiging Marlies_001

Nature of society – Marlies van Grootel

Nature of society

Differences between societies dissolve in the remnants of waste.

Opening: 22/02/2018 at 17:00
Period: 22/02 – 04/03/2018
Open: Fri./Sat./Sun. 12:00-17:00

October 2016 Marlies van Grootel has been an artist in residence in Dalian (China). During her stay the nature of societies and the awareness of plastic waste became a focus in her artwork. In her solo exhibition Marlies shows an installation with both plastic waste from her stay in China and from the Netherlands afterwards. Where the differences in societies dissolve in remnants of plastic waste.
The artist exchange program is a result of the warm cooperation between the city of Enschede, Dalian Zhongshan Art museum (China) and ARE (Artist Residencies Enschede).

More information at the Facebookevent.



Alone in Beijing

(Written by Willemijn)

I don’t know if you ever had the experience of being in a country were you don’t understand the language. And I don’t mean not being able to speak it, but really having no clue of anything anybody is saying, or what is written around you. It is very interesting because in a way you feel like a child again. I felt like a toddler when I arrived, not being able to decipher the signs on the street, not understanding what all people are talking about, maybe about you? But being full of curiosity about this strange reality and learning new things every day. So when I went to Beijing to spend a couple of days there, it was as if I had ran away from home whilst not really being capable of making sense of the world around me.

Walking out of Beijing railway station was strange, it was very busy in front of the station, but walking on the broad street going from the station to the city all people seemed to have dissolved, left and right were banks, hotels and companies. On the sunny sidewalk just autumn leaves were dancing around in the wind, and being … Read More »



(Written by Willemijn)

And before I knew it I had entered the last week in China. If in the first two weeks of my stay I felt a bit bored or in need of some entertainment, the last weeks we had been invited to a lot of dinners, events, trips by half of the artists in the city and I had to pass on some of them. I had some works waiting that desperately needed to be finished.

The highlight of the residency, the ‘moment supreme’ that was ahead of me all this time was over in the blink of an eye. An opening event always holds an element of anti-climax for me. Weeks of mental preparation, hard work and last minute stress and within two hours it’s over. A lot of the good things in life are fleeting ones, or the other way around.

We arranged for our event to start at 15:00 on a sunday, uncommon here because most openings are held at 9:30 or 10:00. I am used to openings were the savory bite and – alcoholic  – drink is part of the deal, but on the table that they placed in the middle of the enormous exhibition hall there … Read More »

Foto 28-10-17 om 10.54

The great blog of China

(Written by Maarten)

Not being able to speak chinese is both a curse and a blessing. It’s a curse because it’s human nature to talk and express yourself. But at the same time not being able to understand a language forces you to be silent. Forces you to listen, to look around, observe. And not talking for a while, creates a level of peace that is very difficult to acquire normally. Last year I went to an (almost) deserted island in Finland for a month and oddly enough there are some parallels. Of course in many ways it’s very different, but in both cases I’ve felt this silence.

I enjoy the silence. Walking and exploring the city while a childlike curiosity and excitement takes over not hindered by pride or shame. Maybe it’s that excitement that connects people. In the works I’ve tried to capture those moments of silence. Moments that evoke a childlike happiness in everlasting curiosity and admiration for light.

Of course for some things you don’t have to understand the language. There are many ways you can connect to a person. Because connecting to someone goes beyond language. You can speak the same language and still don’t understand each other. … Read More »


Time and meaning

(Written by Willemijn)

Tic tock, tic tock, tic tock…there is no clock to be seen in the studio with the nice view in the Zhongshan museum. The inner clock though can’t be denied. After a month of working the deadline of the exhibition is nearing. Sunday the 29th everyone in Dalian and around can come to see the fruit of our labour from the last four weeks. The invitation is ready, I wrote a speech. Until saturday I will continue to work, because I am a deadline worker by and by. When the time ahead is getting less, and I have to make that last sprint I feel an energy that makes me feel, alive I think is the word. I can work best, not let myself be bothered by distraction and be in the moment when I feel a little bit of panic. I think I might even be a bit addicted to it, because when I don’t experience this for a while I get bored.

When I don’t have anything waiting for me in the near future, an exhibition or an exam for example, I drown in an endless sea of possibilities and potential, which make me very melancholic. ‘Whats … Read More »


The Chinese Bubble

(Written by Willemijn)

After more than three weeks in China I start to have a longing to speak the language, I wish I could understand more. Of course I’m stupid because I didn’t install any translating apps, (lack of space) but still, they mostly help you ordering a drink, find your way or tell the taxi driver where to go. You can’t really have a good conversation, and really get to a deeper level of understanding trough an app.

Last week we visited Ruth. She writes for an art magazine and is allied to the Luxun academy of arts, she was part of the delegation that visited Enschede last summer. We got in touch when I arrived and she invited us to her and her partner Mr Cheng’s place in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, where Dalian is situated. So of we went, with the plan to spend a weekend there. Of course when we arrived Ruth had made a week long planning for us, so we decided to stay a bit longer, till Wednesday – our visas also needed to be extended after all – by then we really had to go back.

In Shenyang we were taken by her and best … Read More »


Seeking higher grounds

(Written by Maarten)

I’ve been enjoying walking in random directions from the museum and just to discover the place. I’m especially attracted to the nature and hills which are in abundance in Dalian. It’s been made very easy to climb these hills as I’ve discovered many times now because they’ve paved roads and have put little look-out constructions at the top. All these look-outs have been amazing but one stands out. It’s positioned right in the middle of Dalian and on one side you see the city center with its skyscrapers and shopping centers and on the other side you see the area where the museum is located, a more residential area with lot’s of nature and hills. I’ve made a little time-lapse which you can see below. It was a bit chilly waiting for about an hour, but so worth it. I’ve later learned that the sky is usually not this clear due to smog so I’m very happy to have climb the hill that particular day!

It’s amazing what technology is capable of nowadays. I’ve had multiple times now where I’ve met chinese people that do not speak a word of english, but with the help of translation apps we’ve … Read More »


Last weekend, last days

(Written by Willemijn)

Last weekend, last days

Saturday night

A strong southwestern wind has arrived in Dalian, and with it an autumnal mood. I am lying in bed, listening to the howling cries, rustling of plastic and banging of doors it produces. Water stopped running this evening, the last thing I managed to do was flushing the toilet, thank god. I can’t sleep because my body is wide awake, my stomach produces noises, coming from somewhere deep down. And while trying to ignore those sounds I think about how sudden the weather shifts here, like an intrusive visitor, you just have to deal with it. I get up and enter the bathroom, when I open the tap it produces a rumbling, stuttering deep sound, coming from somewhere inside the building, as if it tries at all might – but no water. I go back to bed and think how, when you are focusing on it, your whole body seems to turn into just a stomach, a belly or a mouth. I fall asleep after a long night.


The next day I felt like a new person. As if I just at that moment totally fell into place and comprehended where I was not just … Read More »

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First impression

(Written by Maarten)

If I didn’t knew any better I’d think I’d entered a southern-European country. A warm climate, wide streets with tall, yellowish apartments in a hilly landscape with lot’s of green. Chinese people like to look at and copy European architecture, explains Vivian, our helpful guide and main contact in China.

This fact also becomes apparent when she took us to Fisherman’s Warf. Which is some kind of tourist hotspot. For this particular place they chose some sort of colonial architecture. It is a funny sight. We particularly enjoyed the Mimicafé, which is a catcafé already made famous by previous dutch residents.

Vivian took us to a couple more places over the next days and it becomes clear that Dalian is a beautiful city. It’s not without reason Chinese themselves like to spend their holiday in Dalian. A city with lots of nature, full of life and interesting architecture. In the city center for instance you see a lot of Russian and Japanese architecture, which show marks of a different time.

Personally at arrival I felt nervous meeting Chinese and their culture. As if they’d be from another planet. Fear of the unknown. It was a joy to experience how that xenophobic … Read More »


Traveling day – Arrival in Dalian

Written by Willemijn

It could be considered something close to a miracle that I can write this blog for you from Dalian, because only due to some huge luck I didn’t loose all the things one usually needs when going abroad. It starter quite relaxed on friday, I packed everything perfectly on time the night before, in the morning I was preparing the last things and then my mother drove me to the train station. Almost there, in the line for a traffic light the car behind us honked a couple of times, “what does he want” I thought grumpily, when a man in a wedding suit, flower in his pocket and all the works, stepped out of the car and walked towards the drivers seat. Through the opened window a hand came and a voice said briskly “your phone”, while handing over the rectangular giraffe print cover that contained my samsung, which I never even missed a second. I felt the blood draining from my face in a hindsight panic wave. Confused of what happened – it couldn’t have felt out of the car, the car is clósed! While searching at holes in the car – I started waving frantically … Read More »