As the first parallel exhibition to open for the 10th Shanghai Biennale’s “City Pavilions” program, Landscape City is taking place in Xintiandi Shanghai’s various locations to present artworks of different formats – public art, video, installation and performing art – for art fans as well as members of the public. Exhibits of the program are not only seeking to provide unique viewing experiences and artistic feelings through interaction and involvement, but also extending the Shanghai Biennale to city spaces by injecting pioneering spirits to present the interconnecting yet changing ties between art and cities.
Ever since its advent, the Shanghai Biennale has more than just allowed academicians to demonstrate their latest achievements in the field of contemporary art, as it has also established a platform of communications and exchanges between the genre and the public. For 18 years, the event, the highest profile now in China, has been actively responding to its relations with the city, as an occasion designed to showcase Shanghai’s view, vision and diversity for art. Back in 2012, the biennale’s 9th edition was already seeking closer ties with the city’s urban space through curatorial programs such as “City Pavilions”, “Zhongshan Park Project”, and “The Academy of Reciprocal Enlightment”.
Continuing the concept of “City Pavilions” from its predecessor, this year’s biennale has chosen “URBAN=WORK&SHOP” as the main theme for the program, which will be presented in different city spaces. The program comes not just as a response to China’s ongoing urbanization reality, but also as an effort to establish closer ties with everyday life in cities, hoping to achieve cohesion between individuals, artists, brands, works and spaces. Deliberately translated as “URBAN=WORK&SHOP”, the theme divides workshop into two words to imply modern urban structures based on production and consumption.
The biennale has chosen the city’s cultural and commercial landmark – the Huaihai Road as well as its well-known public spaces as destinations for its parallel exhibitions, in hope of activating the city’s most dynamic “public art gallery”. Through a carefully designed schedule, these exhibitions will in turn activate interactions between art and space, brands, media and the public. This year’s “City Pavilions” program, curated by Zhu Ye, is designed to first open in Xintiandi Shanghai, a trendy landmark that bears the city’s historic essence as well as fusion between the East and the West.