November 15, 2019 - OCAT Shanghai - Zhang Ding: High-Speed Forms
November 15, 2019

OCAT Shanghai

Zhang Ding, High-Speed Forms, 2019. Image courtesy Zhang Ding Studio.

Zhang Ding
High-Speed Forms
October 19, 2019–March 8, 2020

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT)
-1F Sunken Garden
Lane 9, Qufu Road

Lecture: Slow Life
November 10, 2–4pm, Guest: Wang Zhuo'er

Lecture: Highway Baby
December 1, 2–4pm, Guests: Zhang Ding, Miao Zijin, Yuan Fuca, Zhang Wenxin

Lecture: Music—How to Reshape Social Interaction
December 14, 2–3:30pm, Guest: Yin Yi

Lecture: The Art of Zhang Ding
January 12, 2–4pm, Guests: Sun Qidong, Liu Tian

Lecture: Performativity in Contemporary Art
February 23, 2–3:30pm, Guest: Shi Hantao

February 29, 2–4pm, Guests: Zhang Ding, Shangguan Zhe


OCAT Shanghai has moved to the new location. At the meantime, OCAT Shanghai is honored to present its inaugural exhibition, Zhang Ding: High-Speed Forms. The exhibition at OCAT Shanghai re-evaluates the modernist legacy of linearity, revisits a number of important subjects and motifs in the artist’s 15 years of practice, and further develops the core elements of movements, motions, and emotional or atmospheric sculptures. Presented in the exhibition is a highway-speedy spectacle in various playful forms, made available in everyday context as one drives: a complete race track occupies the whole of the museum space; hovering, racing, speeding, is a number of modified electronic wheelchairs. Movement of walking is here replaced by that of riding or driving that operates in a prosthetic fashion; the sped relationship between the viewer and the spatial distances therefore largely blurs the act of seeing. Clear-headed, critical scrutinisation is here replaced with a hurried, careless glance. On the other hand, somewhat paradoxically, substituting substantially technological and speedy race cars with slow wheelchairs that are remotely controlled, the exhibition addresses the torn bodily-spiritual-mechanical experience brought by a chaos of different speeds in the contemporary society.

Driving is one of the most common experiences today. In either an optimistic, accelerationist reality of large-scale infrastructural constructions and superstructural developments, or a pessimistic version of the doomed future of the Anthropocene, where the conquering global Petro-Capitalism constantly threatens the public to defend themselves with archaic, alternative means and mentalities, the act of driving and speeding in various forms plays a central role of importance. Pertinent is the recent development of the archaeology of modern technologies, and its study of the history of vehicles from cars to spacecrafts; also urgent and relevant, is the re-emergence of non-human intelligence and emotions—from cars to horses and rhinoceros alike. By focusing on and dealing with the reality of motions and speeds, High-Speed Forms transforms driving experiences into dark races, blinding large billboards, road sign skeletons, and proposes a reality of alternative speeds.

About the artist
Zhang Ding, born in 1980 in Gansu Province, based in Shanghai, is one of the most active and influential Chinese artists in the international art scene. His large-scale installations are often total in nature; the integrated and meticulously structured relationships between given motifs and formal elements bring various components together into an architectural totality. From a New Brutalist gesture that locks down a museum space, turning it into a prison; a conceptual and physical staircase between different project spaces in downtown Beijing; a series of gigs over a period of fortnight at the ICA London, inviting bands and musicians to improvise one next to another, compressing and distorting sounds, images and spaces, Zhang Ding presents and deals with live processes and experiences.

OCAT Shanghai | New Space
OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) Shanghai is the first non-profit art institution focusing on media art and architectural design in China, located in the Suzhou Creek area of Jing’an district, Shanghai. OCAT Shanghai aims to become an influential, socially aware and interactive art institution with exhibitions, research, communication, public education, and publishing. Artist Zhang Peili is the current executive director of OCAT Shanghai.

As the first branch of OCT Contemporary Art Terminals, OCAT Shanghai was inaugurated on September 29, 2012, since then it has already organized a series of influential exhibitions. OCAT Shanghai has moved to the new location (-1F Sunken Garden, Qufu Road, Jing’an District) this October and is open to the public with its inaugural exhibition.

OCAT Shanghai
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High-Speed Forms
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