Working during residency
Xing Wang series (Blossoms), 2016 [detail]. Interactive & generative video installation, China.

September 2016

David Gumbs (b. 1977, St. Martin) challenges the “Perceptions Offscreen” — the unseen, the cycle of life, the nature within, and digital rhizome macroscopic universes — across a dynamic multimedia oeuvre, including painting, photography and experimental video. 

He studied at the Visual Arts School in Fort-de-France, Martinique, in 2001 and majored in interactive multimedia conception at Les Ateliers, L’ENSCI in Paris in 2002. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, including recently: Video Islands, Anthology Film Archives (New York, 2015); Reflexions, 14°N 61°W Contemporary Art Space (Fort-de-France, 2014); Transforming Spaces, The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (2014); Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival (2014); Beep Bop Boop New Media Festival (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 2014); and The Martinique Biennial, Fort-de-France (2013).

Since 2009, Gumbs has taught multimedia, trans-media and motion design at the Visual Arts School in Fort-de-France, Martinique. He will attend the Beijing residency from April – May, 2016. 

Working during residency

The choice of Red Gate as partner residency is probably one of the best choices mainly because of the coordination and guidance work done by the staff. They are mostly available and very helpful in most of the tasks you need.. I’m really thankful for discovering this part of China with the assistance of wonderful staff like Shinru and John the residency Coordinator and Director, who went out of the way to make me feel at home and get around the city to main art events and cultural sightseeing!

These two months in Beijing were most productive and resulted in taking part of two exhibitions and a presentation at Bookworm followed by a small performance.
My « Water & Dreams » video and my « Offscreen » printed series were exhibited at the « Magic & Reality » group show celebrating the 2016 year of cultural exchange between Latin America, the Caribbean and China at the Iconic World Art Museum. I was impressed by the Chinese efficiency and reactivity in accepting my very late proposal in the show. As all the other participants were represented by their Embassies, beside me. Artists included where from Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam, Ecuador, Venezuela, and more. My work is well referenced in the catalogue although late submission of the images five days before the opening.

The second event was a Live performance and interactive night called « Inhale » at The Aotu Studio independent space in the Hutongs. This was an interesting collaboration Between German artist Roman Hagenbrock from the Goethe Institute and I. We combined real-time video installations mapped on the space’s walls and street windows. They operated a dialog with the busy streets and noises, aiming to reflect on the city’s pollution in contrast to animations reflecting patterns inspired from nature and island geographies. The work also talked about inner and outer spaces as the installation were seen throughout the space from the streets to the rooftop.
This collaboration was made possible thanks to the Goethe Institute production assistance by providing the video projectors.


After meeting Bookworm’s cultural event planner at an Art Opening I was invited to present my work. I chose to do an interactive presentation involving the public. The topic was Interactive video from Caribbean perspective. I mainly explained how the island aesthetics and landscapes have a strong influence on my research. The one hour presentation was divided in three parts: my art process, a performance and public interaction with the work. The public’s response was amazing as they were expecting a Book/Theater related presentation. Thanks to their diverse backgrounds and origins, the questions may orient my work on new paths.

Three new series of works will result from this residency :
A new series of realtime videos created by the combination of textures of plants that help fight against air pollution in living spaces. They were built as video and sound live performance pieces and also as random generative animations to be shown at video festivals.

Interactive video mapped animations for public interactions: The Feijiacun’s public experienced immersive large scale projections on the village walls. The aim was to create Hybrid landscapes by mixing Caribbean inspired patterns and aesthetics with Beijing’s ever evolving architectures.

Starting point for lenticular 3d animated printed visuals. Taking animations out of virtuality into the physical world. The visuals are inspired by the Offscreen videos series exported for packaging purposes and new sculptural works.

Many contacts were made with curators from independent art spaces in the Hutongs.

Working during residency
Photographed by David Gumbs during residency in Beijing, China.2016
Working during residency
Residency project,Street projection and interaction. 2016
Working during residency
Open Studio view. Beijing 2016
Working during residency
Xing Wang series (Blossoms), 2016. Interactive & generative video installation, China.
Working during residency
Created for Aotu Studio Show, 2016.
Working during residency
Residency project, street projection, 2016
Working during residency
Residency project,Street projection and interaction. 2016