August 23, 2016 - Shanghai Project - Envision 2116
August 23, 2016

Shanghai Project

Shanghai Project Envision Pavilion (rendering), 2016. Courtesy of Sou Fujimoto Architects.

Envision 2116
September 5, 2016–July 30, 2017
Instagram / Facebook

The inaugural edition of the Shanghai Project, Envision 2116, will launch the first of its two phases on September 4, focusing on public engagement through event-based programming, as well as exhibitions, public works, an open call platform, a pop–up library, community participation programs and international conferences. 

As one of the highlights of Phase 1, the Envision Pavilion, designed by Sou Fujimoto, will open to the public on September 4 at the Shanghai Himalayas Center. The structure, with a 670 square meter footprint, is a hybrid space composed of industrial scaffolding grids, glass and trees, combining notions of inside/outside, natural/man-made, organic/geometric, and building/beyond-building. It serves as a symbolic center of the Shanghai Project. For the full duration of the Shanghai Project, the Envision Pavilion acts as a site for lectures, panels, workshops, seminars, performances and film screenings in the event space, as well as exhibitions in its gallery space and social gatherings in its café. In the gallery space, the audience will encounter Cildo Meireles’s installation Ku Kka Ka Kka as well as Xu Bing's work from his series Background Story, and Jenova Chen's video game, Journey. Further, the pavilion will host "Landversation," a series of performances developed by Otobong Nkanga and her team. Also in the event space, visitors will find the "Shanghai Project Pop-Up Library of the Future," launched in collaboration with the renowned Shanghai Jifeng Bookstore. Punctuating these spaces and events will be Douglas Coupland’s Slogans for the 22nd Century, materialized as a series of neon signs to be scattered throughout the pavilion. 

As another focus of public engagement, Shanghai’s largest park, Century Park, will host Seed Planet, a public art project for children, designed and programmed by Liu Yi, and Shanghai Schlemmer, a new public work by Liam Gillick. Never far from the offline spaces of Century Park and the Himalayas Center, sustainability specialist Zhang Haimeng and his team have developed an online game, Fast-Forward Future, allowing mobile device users to invest in the composition of the future. Qidian (loosely translated as “starting point”), in partnership with 89plus, a long-term research platform co-founded by Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, is an open call program designed to tap into the talent and interests of China’s new generation of researchers and creative practitioners born since 1990. The resulting exhibition in Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum looks toward the future through the eyes of China's new generation of innovators. 

During the first weekend of September, the Shanghai Project celebrates the launch of Phase 1 with the opening of the Qidian exhibition (September 2); an international conference co-organized with the International Biennial Association in collaboration with Power Station of Art (September 3); the opening of a new architectural commission, Envision Pavilion, and the public art installations Seed Planet and Shanghai Schlemmer (September 4); and roundtable discussions (September 4). On September 3 at the Power Station of Art, the conference, "Biennials in Transformation: Hybridization as New Challenge," offers a day-long seminar with internationally known and respected scholars and biennial experts, including Gayatri Spivak, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Jens Hoffmann, Tan Boon Hui, Wang Chunchen, Alnoor Mitha, Sylvie Fortin, Sarah Wilson and Clive Adams, with moderation by Philip Tinari and Bige Örer. On September 4, two roundtable discussions inaugurate the Envision Pavilion, with the first examining “Architecture Beyond Building” and featuring Dai Zhikang (Founder and Chairman of Zendai Group), Sou Fujimoto, Liu Yi, and Eva Franch i Gilabert, moderated by Yongwoo Lee; the second explores the “Ecology of Technology” and features Zhang Lei (CEO and Founder of Envision Energy), Anna Greenspan, Adrian Hon and Kevin Slavin, moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist.  

In November at Shanghai University, the international seminar "Shanghai Project Campus" will gather together scholars and students from leading universities such as Tokyo University of the Arts and the Shanghai University College of Fine Arts, together with Shanghai Project Researchers to discuss artistic responses to the challenges brought by science and technology, as well as the relation between art and sustainability. 

Prior to the September 4 launch, the Shanghai Project initiated the Community Participation Program in July 2016 with "Small is Beautiful," a series of events engaging local residents through programming in abandoned and disused spaces transformed by architect Yu Ting. The Community Participation Program will continue through the first phase of the Shanghai Project in collaboration with a variety of local architects, scholars, bookshops, libraries and colleges. 

The Shanghai Project has partnered with Power Station of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (MoCA, Shanghai), Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, chi K11 art museum, Rockbund Art Museum, Yuz Museum and Aurora Museum, as well as West Bund Art & Design and PHOTOFAIRS | SHANGHAI for various collateral events and a shared Passport system.

The Shanghai Project is a year-long multidisciplinary research platform instigating new dialogues by inviting practitioners from a variety of disciplines, including not only art, architecture, design, film, performance and sound, but also the humanities and social and natural sciences. Under the co-artistic directorship of Yongwoo Lee, Executive Director of Shanghai Himalayas Museum, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries London, the Shanghai Project is organized by the Shanghai Himalayas Museum and co-organized with the Shanghai International Culture Association. Shanghai Project is supported by two lead sponsors, Envision Energy and Zendai Group.

Phase 2 of the Shanghai Project will commence this coming April, and will span a total of 100 days. 

For press inquiries, please contact ming.zhang [​at​] / xian.chen [​at​]

Shanghai Project
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