May 29, 2021 - UCCA Edge - City on the Edge: Art and Shanghai at the Turn of the Millennium / Cao Fei, Aki Sasamoto, Wong Ping, Erwin Wurm: Urban Theater: A Comedy in Four Acts
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May 29, 2021

UCCA Edge

Wong Ping, Shifty Eyes Exercise, 2021, site-specific installation, 180 x 180 x 250 cm. Commission by UCCA Edge. Courtesy of the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery.

City on the Edge: Art and Shanghai at the Turn of the Millennium
May 22–July 11, 2021

Cao Fei, Aki Sasamoto, Wong Ping, Erwin Wurm
Urban Theater: A Comedy in Four Acts
May 22, 2021–May 22, 2022

UCCA Edge
Jing'an District
2F, No. 88 Xizang Bei Lu
Shanghai
China

ucca.org.cn
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UCCA Edge opens in Shanghai with City on the Edge: Art and Shanghai at the Turn of the Millennium, on view May 22 to July 11, 2021. The exhibition looks to Shanghai at the juncture when China’s art world came to envision itself as part of a global contemporary, bringing together new and important works by 26 Chinese and international artists, many with deep connections to UCCA and the development of contemporary art in China as catalyzed by the 2000 Shanghai Biennale.

Two decades later, City on the Edge situates itself in the city's multiplicitous cosmopolitan and artistic history, reflecting on the rapidly transforming urban fabric, the lineage of experimental ethos and artists who had brought this flourishing formation and provocative scene into being, the artistic opportunities enabled by emerging wealth and the power of global capital, the optimism and anxieties surrounding a new technological era, and the internationalization incited by the 2000 biennale that has continued into dialogue with contemporary art in China today. Revisiting artworks by some of the key artists who had participated in the satellite exhibitions that ran alongside the biennale also poses a new juxtaposition with the dominant events and memories of this period. Some of these works reconsider or expand upon the themes first raised two decades ago; other works are reconstructed for the new spatial context at UCCA Edge or performed in this new setting.

City on the Edge: Art and Shanghai at the Turn of the Millennium is curated by UCCA Director Philip Tinari.

Participating artists include Matthew Barney (b. 1967, San Francisco), Birdhead (Song Tao, b. 1979, Shanghai and Ji Weiyu, b. 1980, Shanghai), Ding Yi (b. 1962, Shanghai), Fang Fang (b. 1977, Beijing), Greg Girard (b. 1955, Vancouver), Andreas Gursky (b. 1955, Leipzig, Germany), He Yunchang (b. 1967, Lianghe, China), Hu Jieming (b. 1957, Shanghai), Huang Yong Ping (1954-2019, Xiamen, China), William Kentridge (b. 1955, Johannesburg), Lee Bul (b. 1964, Yeongju, South Korea), Liang Yue (b. 1979, Shanghai), Ni Jun (b. 1969, Shanghai), Shi Yong (b. 1963, Shanghai), Xu Zhen (b. 1977, Shanghai), Yan Lei (b. 1965, Langfang, China), Yang Fudong (b. 1971, Shanghai), Yang Zhenzhong (b. 1968, Hangzhou, China), Yu Youhan (b. 1943, Shanghai), Zhang Enli (b. 1965, China), Zhang Peili (b. 1957, Hangzhou, China), Yung Ho Chang (b. 1956, Beijing), Zhao Bandi (b. 1966, Beijing), Zheng Guogu (b. 1970, Yangjiang, China), Zhou Tiehai (b. 1966, Shanghai), Zhou Xiaohu (b. 1960, Changzhou, China).

Opening concurrently, from May 22, 2021 to May 22, 2022, is the year-long outdoor exhibition Urban Theater: A Comedy in Four Acts. The group show by four artists transforms the wraparound outdoor terrace of the museum into an elevated “urban theater” inspired by the legacy of the ancient Greek theater and the everyday humor, absurdity, and philosophical musings found in urban living today.

UCCA Edge has commissioned artists Cao Fei (b. 1978, Guangzhou), Aki Sasamoto (b. 1980, Kanagawa, Japan), and Wong Ping (b. 1984, Hong Kong) for site-specific artworks: Cao Fei’s Re-enchantment: The Birth of RMB City (2021), Aki Sasamoto’s Weather Bar (2021), and Wong Ping’s Shifty Eyes Exercise (2021). Against the backdrop of the megacity that is often reduced to a spectacle, these three works and UFO (2006), the mixed-media car installation by Erwin Wurm (b. 1954 Bruck an der Mur, Austria), become a cunning disguise for the cynicism in modern society, as well as nimble acts of resistance and release. "Urban Theater: A Comedy in Four Acts" is curated by UCCA Curator Ara Qiu.

Housed in the newly built EDGE tower by K. Wah International Holdings Limited, UCCA Edge is designed by New York architecture practice SO – IL, in co-development with the Shanghai team of Coldefy & Associates Architects Urban Planners. "City on the Edge" is made possible with support from DS Automobile. Exclusive sustainable wall solutions is provided by Dulux. Special thanks to Moleskine.

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Cao Fei, Aki Sasamoto, Wong Ping, Erwin Wurm
Urban Theater: A Comedy in Four Acts
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