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The Davidoff Art Initiative in partnership with the Altos de Chavón School of Design announced the next group of artists who will participate in the Davidoff International Art Residency at the facilities in Altos de Chavón, from January 20th to April 1st, 2018. In what they are calling their most diverse group, the fourth edition of the art residency in Altos de Chavón will welcome artists from the USA, France, Kenya, Germany, and Venezuela.

The participating artists in 2018 are Mimi Cherono Ng’ok, Candice Lin, Jan Peter Hammer, and Paul Maheke, who will be joined by Artishock Revista founder and editor, Alejandra Villasmil and artist-curator, Christopher K. Ho. The Davidoff Art Initiative and Residency provides participants with many opportunities to connect with the Dominican cultural community and other residents of Altos de Chavón, at the same time as they pursue their own work.

“It is vitally important to support local culture and artistic production at the source while strengthening connections within the wider region and throughout the creative world. The participants for this upcoming residency are truly international, with each contributing unique aspects from their respective backgrounds. Keen to immerse themselves among the artistic community of the Dominican Republic, they will find enriching experiences and perhaps new perspectives on their work,” noted Albertine Kopp, manager of the Davidoff Art Initiative.

Mimi Cherono Ng’ok

Self portrait 2010. Inkjet print on cotton rag paper. © Mimi Cherono N’gok

Lives and works in Nairobi, and will be directing her photographic practice towards emotional cartography, focusing on the universality of a felt experience and following her studies throughout the African and European continents.

“The prominent themes I tend to explore in my photographs are space, people, and memories—considering how these things intertwine and impact me. My journey is one in which I discover the intimacy of places, the nostalgia of cities, and the streets remembered throughout heartbreak. I found that I seem to have a near obsession with trees, the tropics, and horses. It is through these fragments that I construct a story of myself.”

Candice Lin

Birth of a Nation 2008. Ink and watercolor on paper, 44 x 54 in.

Lives and works in Los Angeles. She exerts an ethnographic approach and post-colonial critique to her video and sculpture practice. She is planning on pursuing two projects once here, a ceramics dialogue with the Altos de Chavón students that identifies resource extraction, global trade, environmental and labor issues; and research on the history of tobacco and its link to the birth of virology.

“The work I make seeks to denaturalize and make visible the ways that power operates in the world. My work mobilizes discrepant bodies, contaminated objects, and the porousness of boundaries that are blurred and everchanging. My work is research-based, interdisciplinary and historically referential, focusing on global and often colonial histories of objects such as sugar, porcelain, poisonous plants, or the color red. I also work with narrative, building speculative stories around historical and fictional characters.”

Jan Peter Hammer

Monarchs, Men & Monsters. LABOR Mexico City, installation view, 2014

Lives and works in Berlin. Plans to produce a semi-fictional video essay that will elaborate on the complex relationship between the Dominican Republic and its neighbor, Haiti, as well as a series of objects from this research material.

“I have a strong conviction that narrative practices provide a vantage point for critique because they allow one to address the materialities of neo-liberalism –i.e. the manifold way people are compelled to reproduce its ideological determinations– instead of the mere concept of neo-liberalism.  I find the interrelation with literature and cinema fundamental to the development of contemporary art practices.”

Paul Maheke

Seeking after the fully grown dancer *deep within* (performance still), 2017. Part of ‘Habits of Care’ at the Blackwood Gallery, Toronto. images: Henry Chan
Seeking after the fully grown dancer *deep within* (performance still), 2017. Part of ‘Habits of Care’ at the Blackwood Gallery, Toronto. images: Henry Chan

Lives and works in London. Plans to embrace the Black Caribbean and African perspectives and collaborations towards a new body of work, following his interest in imagining the body as an archive, a cartographic territory grounded in decolonial and emancipatory thought.

“A good part of my work is based on simple gestures that once consisted in placing works, which might not even be noticed, in public spaces. It has now expanded to video installation, performance and sculptural works. This exploration occupies a metaphorical space wherein which the body resonates and echoes with the broader geographical, socio-political and historical context that have birthed it.”

Alejandra Villasmil

Lives and works in Santiago de Chile. Alejandra will develop two workshops for artists and art students while engaging with local institutions and galleries.

Christopher K. Ho

Lives and works in New York. Plans a “Critical Curating” collaboration with the school and the American institutions RISD and MICA where he teaches, which would culminate in a future exhibition curated by the Altos de Chavón students.


The centerpiece of the Davidoff Art Initiative is the Davidoff Art Residency.

Each year, the Davidoff Art Residency offers residency positions for Caribbean artists who participate in five artist-residency programs worldwide, as well as for approximately five artists from outside the Caribbean region who spend three months in the Dominican Republic. A limited number of positions are also reserved for curators and writers working on projects of relevance to Caribbean art.

Artist residency programs help working artists develop their skills, make connections within global networks, earn exposure for their work, and share their expertise with others. In offering emerging and mid-career artists an opportunity to spend an extended period of time working in a different social and creative environment from their own, the Davidoff Art Residency serves as a conduit for professional mobility, cultural immersion, and creative exchange.

* Information and pictures from