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Shanghai Biennale 2002, 22 November 2002 - 20 January 2003

Shanghai Biennale 2002 - Concept
Excerpt from an official press release

When the Shanghai Biennale 2000 was held with an eye toward internationalism and contemporary art, those who used to care about this important event felt it was a symbol of the healthy development of contemporary Chinese art.

The Shanghai Biennale, defining itself as the meeting point of "international" and "contemporary", must face, in terms of cultural approach, both "China" and the "world", and express its own viewpoint.

Viewing China through the process of urbanization provides a complex understanding of the great changes and schizophrenia that have occurred in Chinese society over the past two decades. This on-going great historical transformation is shaping China's contemporary culture. This culture is characterized by its high-tech towers and its rampant consumerism, by new forms of communication and assent, as well as by changing moral concepts.

In this contemporary context, unprecedented, brand-new relationships are taking place between the individual and the public space, humans and art.

With the theme "Urban Creation", 2002 Shanghai Biennale intends to set up a stage for discussions on the fast changing cultural pattern and life style at an unprecedented speed induced by the accelerating urbanization and the new style urban architecture which is transforming the Chinese scenario. Contemporary Chinese art has started to pay a close attention to the reality and to think about very hot problems like urbanization/countryside, tradition/contemporary, localization/globalization, preservation/development, heritage/creation.

Shanghai Biennale 2002 can be divided into:

1) Exhibition on the theme "Urban Creation". About 300 art works will be displayed in the Shanghai Art Museum. More than 20 artists/architects will produce site-specific works and hold related symposiums and lectures.

2) "Urban Creation" International Student Works' Show, with works of more than one hundred students from all over the world. Will take place in the former Shanghai Art Museum (No. 456, West Nanjing Rd., Shanghai).

3) Retrospective show "One Hundred Years of Classic Shanghai Architecture", with pictures of more than 100 classic Shanghai buildings since the 19th century, including the first classic modern buildings dating back to 1949, and those winning the first, second and third prizes of "Half-Century Shanghai Classic Architecture". The exhibition hopes to arouse the public's concern on urban history and presence by displaying the splendor of yesterday's "International Architecture Expo" and the impressive scenario of today's metropolis.

Being the first exhibition which combines visual arts with architecture in China, 2002 Shanghai Biennale - "Urban Creation" is aiming at attracting attention from both fields, and hopefully from the whole society.


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