In March 2017, I was an artist in residence at QingYun International Art Centre in Beijing, China. As part of my residency there, I created this work for their personal collection.
It shows the sky over Beijing on three randomly picked days, with the levels of pollution of that day. My landscape paintings often are about the relationship between people and their surroundings, and before I went to China I never really thought about the air and the sky; back home, the air just is, the sky just is.
In Beijing, you can get an app on your phone that tells you the level of pollution and you decide if you’re going to go outside for a run or not depending on the pollution and it feels very normal very quickly, it just becomes part of daily life. On some days, the pollution is really bad and on some days it’s not any worse than it would be in Amsterdam. I thought it was fascinating, so most of my works from my time there revolve around the air.