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Press Release

Shanghai Gallery of Art is pleased to announce the launch of a new platform, SGA WING. This series emphasizes new paradigms of transformation and production in visual culture. With a particular focus on Asia, SGA WING’s programming invigorates the field of contemporary art by exploring interdisciplinary creations. By expanding the boundaries of art and engaging different discourses, SGA WING explores the numerous avenues, theoretical and practice-based, endemic to contemporary curatorial practice.

It is with pleasure that SGA WING #1 presents TRACKING BAUDELAIRE by Map Office, winner of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2013 for their photograph “Back Home with Baudelaire, No. 5” (2005).

TRACKING BAUDELAIRE recalls MAP Office’s 2005 work, Back Home with Baudelaire, where the duo accompanied the cargo ship named Baudelaire from the Yantian port in Shenzhen to Hong Kong. Throughout the voyage, they documented the 24-hour operation of cranes and moving containers, and produced a series of eight photographs and a 16-minute film that captured the world of global production and distribution. TRACKING BAUDELAIRE recalls the original trip, where they looked back to their personal archives, and extends the initial dialogue with their findings, into Shanghai. Across history and time, the Hong Kong-based artists embarks on a nautical route, acknowledging the port city as a new leader in the field of maritime movement.

Techniques of observation – and their geo-politic impact – play a key role in MAP Office’s work and function as an entry point for broader investigations into perception, mapping, and understanding. For their first Shanghai exhibition, they present a three-part installation. Juxtaposing a light-box diptych of stacked shipping containers in a night setting, a series of 8
radar plot etchings and an illuminated map of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), their installation highlights the built environment, each element framing a different aspect of the same project Further complemented by the imagined reconstruction of a ship’s Captain’s Quarters; this project elaborates on the temporal aspect of tracking of Baudelaire. To this day, MAP Office
time and again creates work at the intersection of art, territories, and time-based media.

MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez (b. 1966, Casablanca, Morocco) and Valérie Portefaix (b. 1969, Saint-Étienne, France). This artist/architect pair, based in Hong Kong since 1996, has explored real and imagined territories through various media: drawing, photography, video, installations, performance, and literary and theoretical
texts., A monograph on their work, MAP OFFICE – Where the Map is the Territory, was published in 2011.

MAP Office has exhibited in major international art, design and architecture expositions including: 7th Asia Pacific Triennial (2012); 1st Kiev Biennale (2012); 6th Curitiba Art Biennale (2011); 7th, 11th and 12th Venice Architecture Biennale (2000, 2008, 2010); Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008); 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007); 52nd Venice Art Biennale (2007); 15th Sydney Biennale (2006); 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005); 2nd and 3rd Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale (2007, 2009); etc.

  • SGA - Map Office, Back Home with Baudelaire No. 6, Metallic paper mounted on Diabond , 90x180 cm, 2013s

    SGA - Map Office, Back Home with Baudelaire No. 6, Metallic paper mounted on Diabond , 90x180 cm, 2013s

  • SGA - MAP Office_YRD ONOFF, duratrans print, 90x120 cm, 2013

    SGA - MAP Office_YRD ONOFF, duratrans print, 90x120 cm, 2013