Shanghype (Chicago)

Shanghype (Chicago)

Venue: Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
Curators: Davide Quadrio, Dan S. Wang
Date: 27th September 2009

Sun Xun, Qiu Anxiong, Tang Maohong, Bu Hua, Song Tao, Cao Fei, Zhang Ding, Yang Fudong, David Cotterrell, Xu Zhen, Yang Zhenzhong, Pierre Giner, Olivo Barbieri, D-fuse, Jin Shan, Speedism, Mathieu Borysevicz, and Zhou Xiaohu.

From September 20 to December 13, 2009 the Hyde Park Art Center presented this exhibition featuring the video work of eighteen international artists who explore aspects of Shanghai’s rapidly evolving urban culture. Held in the Art Center’s Black Box Gallery, the exhibition, Shanghype! dismantled perceptions of the city’s identity, stimulating complicated visions of the Far Orient and asked the public to reevaluate notions of neoliberalism and globalization.

Focusing on a city that is constantly in flux—having been built from scratch, rebuilt, and overbuilt—the exhibition revealed a generation’s dramatic achievements while questioning the sustainability of existing urbanism. Using the notion of China at its height as a beginning metaphor, the exhibition worked to explore Shanghai’s aspirations and desire to regain its once legendary reputation, the reflected need of China to be recognized as international and modern, and the power struggle between Shanghai’s local and global identity. Organizers of Shanghype! worked closely with selected artists on specific projects “pushing the place of Shanghai in the imaginary”.

All artists involved with the exhibition have spent significant time in China conducting conceptual and visual research on cultural authenticity. The works were selected by Davide Quadrio, a Shanghai-based curator and founder of BizArt, one of China’s oldest and most renowned independent spaces for contemporary art. Co-curating the exhibition was Dan S. Wang, a widely published Chicago-based writer and artist.

Shanghype! was held in conjunction with the exhibition Reversed Images: Representations of Shanghai and Its Contemporary Material Culture at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago. Both exhibitions explored the cityscape of Shanghai as conceptual terrain. This program was part of a college-wide initiative at Columbia called Eyes on China. This exhibition and related programming was supported in part by The Center for The Arts of East Asia at the University of Chicago, Dr. Samuel Wang, and anonymous donors.


Sponsored by the Center for the Arts of East Asia at the University of Chicago.

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