Shenzhen Marathon with Hans Ulrich Obrist & Rem Koolhaas

Shenzhen Marathon with Hans Ulrich Obrist & Rem Koolhaas

Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)

December 18, 2009

The Chinese Thinking
Hans Ulrich Obrist & Rem Koolhaas interview 30 of China’s leading figures

22 December, 2pm–10pm

Shenzhen Civic Centre

As part of 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture, Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist will host an INTERVIEW MARATHON at the Shenzhen Civic Centre on 22 December.

In an exhilarating and cerebral non-stop, eight-hour event, Koolhaas – the architect of the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange, under construction next to the Civic Centre – and Obrist – co-director of exhibitions and programs and director of international projects at London’s Serpentine Gallery – will interview 30 of China’s leading figures from the fields of media, economics, politics, planning, architecture, the arts, religion, science, and technology. The theme of this urgent dialogue is THE CHINESE THINKING.

What is the intellectual, creative, and political underpinning of China’s burgeoning economy, its rapid urbanization, its architectural and artistic development, and its new power status in a bi-polar world? What are the costs, and the blindspots, of this rampant growth? And what is the special role played by Shenzhen as a laboratory for China’s development?

A broad range of participants – from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan – will generate new knowledge and insight into China’s current conditions. This marathon event is organized by Ou Ning, chief curator of 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture, with research by Jiang Jun, editor of Urban China magazine.

Hans Ulrich Obrist invented the interview marathon concept in Stuttgart in 2005 as an experimental new kind of public event that bridges panel discussion, exhibition, and performance. In 2006 the concept evolved as Rem Koolhaas joined Obrist in interviewing over 70 people in a 24-hour marathon that took place in the Serpentine Gallery’s summer pavilion, co-designed by Koolhaas and structural designer Cecil Balmond. The pavilion was one of an ongoing series of annual architecture commissions conceived by Serpentine director Julia Peyton-Jones. Obrist and Koolhaas now look forward to engaging the rapidly growing city of Shenzhen as a way into THE CHINESE THINKING.

Confirmed guests:

AI Xiaoming – documentary maker, feminist scholar and activist
AN Ge – legendary photographer of life under Deng Xiaoping
Yung-Ho CHANG – Dean of architecture at MIT, curator and architect
CHANG Ping – journalist and social critic for Southern Metropolis Daily
CHEN Tong – founder of art institution Libreria Borges
Samson CHIU – Hong Kong-based director and screenwriter
FENG Yuan – critic and urbanist at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou
Victor Zhikai GAO – Deng Xiaoping’s translator, now a columnist
HE Chengjun – architecture critic
HE Huangyou – photographer of Shenzhen since the 1960s
HSIEH Ying Chun – Taiwanese architect and contractor, director of Atelier 3
HUANG Weiwen – design director of the Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau
JIANG Jun – chief editor of Urban China magazine
LEUNG Man Tao – public intellectual, TV host, writer
LI Yong – journalist and blogger
LIU Xiaodong – contemporary figurative painter
Local Action – Hong Kong-based group for democratization in urban planning
MENG Hui – writer and editor
OU Ning – writer, artist, chief curator of Shenzhen Biennale
Thomas Z. SHAO – chairman of major publishers Modern Media
SHU Kexin – community activist with background in engineering
TANG Jie – vice mayor of Shenzhen
WU Yin-Ning – Taiwanese writer, poet and activist
Marisa YIU – architect, chief curator of Hong Kong Biennale
YUAN Weishi – critical historian and writer
ZHANG Nian – feminist and cultural critic
ZHU Wen – writer, poet, director of Seafood, winner of Grand Jury Prize at Venice, 2001

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Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)
December 18, 2009

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