Baitasi Hutong Gallery
Baitasi Hutong Gallery is located in Baita Pagoda Historical and Cultural Preservation Area in the Xicheng District of Beijing. In addition to the siheyuan (traditional courtyard homes) within the hutong, there are a large number of two-story concrete buildings in this area. These buildings, constructed in the 1980’s and 1990’s, were favored by local residents needing more living space. The Hutong Gallery takes this restructuring scheme even further and facilities for public use are introduced in the Hutong block, including public exhibition halls and resident art studios, providing new places for community events and cultural exchanges.
The Hutong Gallery was built in the heart of the Hutong streets in Beijing. A gallery and artist residential centre for the area designed by Architect Xu Tiantian. Abi Wade was inspired by the fluidity of the light in the building and how each room is connected to the floors below and above by channels of light.
Fascinated by the acoustics of the space, Abi systematically recorded the reverb of each room and the sound of her footsteps moving through the whole perimeter of the building. Using this as the structure and sound bed for the track, Abi designed the piece to progress with the change in acoustics as she moved from room to room.
Using cello, vocals, orchestral arrangements, choral ensembles, location samples, synths and piano, Abi Wade explores human nature through real and abstracted personas on her debut album ‘Beautifully Astray’. Haunting brass and a blissful wind section filters through sweeping strings to form an orchestral arrangement that perfectly complements Wade’s heartfelt lyrics.
Abi wrote most of the album on cello initially in various locations of her old hometown of Brighton, from the living room of her seafront apartment to the dark belly of Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. “The cello is so versatile, and I love to explore those many characteristics using various techniques both traditional and unique, it’s such an emotive instrument and has a very human tone.”
She has toured the Europe with Patrick Wolf, sold out her debut EP, played shows with the likes of CocoRosie, Polica, Michael Kiwanuka, Other Lives and festivals such as End of The Road, Cambridge Folk Festival and Wilderness.