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Shanghai Cement Plant & Oil Tank, and Bankside
2013.10.20 Sun - 2013.12.15 Sun
Opening Exhibition
10/19/2013 17:00
#2599 Longteng Avenue,Xuhui District, Shanghai,China 中国上海徐汇区龙腾大道2599号
0086 21 64575861
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West Bund 2013: A Biennial of Architecture and Contemporary Art
[Press Release]

Press Release

West Bund 2013: A Biennial of Architecture and Contemporary Art

Curatorial team
Curator-in-Chief: Yung Ho Chang
Architectural Curator: Li Xiangning
Artistic Curator: Gao Shiming
Assistant curators: Liu Xiao, Liu Tian, Yao Weiwei, Wang Yan

The West Bund Architecture and Contemporary Art Biennale 2013 will be held in the waterfront of Xuhui District, Shanghai in October, 2013. It is planned to be opened on October 19, 2013 and wound up on December 15. The advantage of the Biennale rests upon its structural implication of starting from scratch. “West Bank 2013″, as its first exhibition, lays focus on three aspects: space construction, artistic production and future imagination. With the theme of Reflecta and Fabrica, the biennale covers artistic forms including architecture, contemporary art and theatre and incorporates tools such as sounds, videos, spaces, devices, performance, etc.. Making use of the West Bank, it aims at forging an international forefront for cross-domain art, creating a high-end platform for urban culture and building the largest outdoor art museum in the new century.

The exhibition, opened with a space image drama, is composed of outdoor construction show and indoor theme show. The latter, held in the homogenizing silo, consists of 4 specific shows of architecture, sound, video and theatre. Taking the four cultural phenomena of the West Bank (Dream Works, concert hall, museum and new buildings) as a starting point, the indoor show will start the systematic research on contemporary architecture, sound art, video art and modern theatre. Moreover, it will, with the presentation of the four phenomena as the main body, reflect upon the past to inspire imaginations upon the future, figure out the problem awareness of the four cultural forms in the new century, innovate the form and development path and demonstrate the consciousness of self-renewal and experimental creation of China. The indoor show picks “Reflecta” as its theme for the first biennale as a respond to China’s surging urbanization, showing insights to slow down and review the past, setting a new starting point and creating a brand new historical context for biennales in the future.

The outdoor construction show is held in the waterside open space on the West Bank. With “Fabrica” as its theme, the show adheres to the philosophy of “Pre-Fab” and “+In-Situ”. World renowned architects and artists are invited to conduct on-site creation so as to present their thoughts on the current works. Participating in the design and creation are prestigious architects both at home and abroad including Zhang Yonghe, Wanshu, Liu Jiakun, Urbanus Architecture and Design, Atelier Deshaus, Lihu, Zengqun, Wang Fangji, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Mike Lee, Micheal Bell, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Anton Garcia Abril, etc.

This unit is focused on the dual concepts of pre-fab and in-situ. It is our hope that through on-site construction, the architect’s work will find resonance in this area and with citizens, so such interaction may enrich each other in a constant, dynamic process of mutual inspiration. The architects are Yong Ho Chang, Wang Shu, Michael Bell, URBANUS, Atelier Bow-Bow, Open Architecture, Atelier Deshaus, Johnston Marklee, Ensamble, Zeng Qun and Wang Fangji.

The core unit of the first Biennale is themed ‘Reflecta,’ taking its cue from the four cultural phenomena constituting the West Bund and cataloguing the four avant-garde cultures considered most avant-garde in contemporary China.

Mapping China: An Architecture Retrospective Since 2000
Curated by LI Xiangning

From the collectivism of the past to the “Chinese Speed” that caught the world’s attention after post-Mao reforms, what lessons are to be learned from the explosive growth of China’s cities and construction industry? Thought and practice in modern construction over the more than ten years since the new millennium dawned will be conveyed through evaluations of the past, documents and small-scale design, with an emphasis on academic presentation. The evaluations of Chinese contemporary construction and architects for the years from 2000 to 2013 will be led by construction pundits, including Li Xiangning, Shi Jian, Zhu Tao and Tang Keyang.

RPM: Sound Art China
Curated by YAO Dajuin

RPM: Sound Art China is the first survey exhibition of Chinese sound art in the world. It is a large-scale historic event showcasing the present condition and history of sound art in China. Over ten years, sound art in China has been producing amazing results that deserve worldwide attention. RPM is divided into three parts: sound art installations, archive of Chinese sound art, and live performance. Besides a large-scale exhibition of sound installations displayed in four large, abandoned oil tanks and a complete archive of sound art in this country, there will also be a top-quality sound performance featuring both Chinese and international artists, including Alva Noto (Carsten Nicolai), Jaap Blonk, Merzbow (Asami Akita), etc.

Resolution Power: A Performative Video
Curated by GUO Xiaoyan, LIU Xiao

When we discuss video in contemporary art, we open up the pan-imagery that has formed spectacles, and pick out the action and memories, and the inquiry on the social reality. We go beyond the “THE END” that appears at the conclusion of a video, and restore meaning to the interrelation and process of art, and return the battlefield of images to the site where art happened: a specific point in history and space. The production of video art is grounded in everyday life, constantly generating recipes for mixing the world and reality. The artists includes most important video artists: Chen Chieh-jen, Zhang Peili, Yang Fudong, Wang Jianwei, etc

Cloud Theater: Shanghai Odyssey
Chief Director: GAO Shiming
Concept Director: MOU Sen
Director: MA Nan, LIU Tian

The grand dome is our first medium, through which the story of Shanghai’s origins will be told with a circular narrative. It represents the beginning of the city spatially, temporally and, even more so, spiritually, Xujiahui was a historic moment and site for the meeting between modern China and Western civilization.The live performance under the dome will be composed of images, videos, urban sounds, and a dance theater. The non-professional locals dancers’ movements and expressions will tell the stories of Shanghai, from a farmland to the establishment of the foreign concessions, through the manufacturing revolution to the West Bund of the future. The West Bund belongs to Shanghai, itself the West Bund of the Pacific Ocean.