press release


Our era sees an unprecedented scale of urban growth, especially in the developing world. In this process, cities grow in number, urban populations increase in size, and the proportion of the population living in urban areas rises. Urbanization is often the result of socio-economic development as an agricultural society transitions to a modern one. The theme of the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition, “Better city, better life”,? testifies to the importance of the reform and urban development agenda to China’s rise in the twenty-first century.

The curatorial team of the 2008 edition proposes to focus on people and their conditions in the dynamic urban space. The Biennale reflects on the socio-economic and cultural implications of urbanization on both the local and global levels, including the issues of migration and identity. It investigates the spatial and social boundaries between the rural and urban populations, migrants and citizens, guests and hosts. Is the fruitful interaction between them possible? Can cities make our life better?


PROJECT For the 2008 Shanghai Biennale the curatorial team would like to connect the Shanghai Art Museum directly to People’s Square. For this reason, twenty emerging and established artists have been invited to take People’s Square as visual metaphor for the complex dynamics of the people’s mobility. Their work will be displayed on various media within and outside of the museum. Works that are shown outside were created with an intent to interact with the environment or the public. Each artist will also create an additional piece to be shown on the ground floor of the museum.?

KEY-NOTES On the second floor, the curatorial team will focus on solo-exhibitions of three prominent artists. This rather unusual proposal was conceived in reaction to a tendency among many Biennales to present a vast number of hardly distinguishable artistic positions. As a guideline for the choice of artists in this section a more reflective and general attitude towards the issue of mobility related to the urban, economical and social development should be apparent in their artistic production.

CONTEXT On the third floor, under the same theme, another twenty artists will be showing their work using non-shanghainese elements, to discuss mobility issues in Asia, Europe and the Americas.


ZhangQing (China) Artistic Director Born 1964 in Suzhou, China, Zhang Qing serves as Deputy Director of Shanghai Art Museum and Director of the Shanghai Biennale Office.

Henk Slager (Netherlands) Curator Born 1960. Studied philosophy, art history and general literature at both the University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam’s Free University.

Julian Heynen (Germany) Curator Born 1951. Studied art history and literature, Ph. D. thesis on Barnett Newman’s writings on art.

Xiang Liping (China) Assistant Curator Born 1976 in Wenzhou, China, Xiang Liping obtained her M.A. in Art History from the Department of Art History and Theory, the China Academy of Art.

Li Ning (China) Assistant Curator Born in 1980 in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, Li Ning graduated from the Art History Department, the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2002.

Venue Shanghai Art Museum is located in the center of the city, covering an area of 18000 square meters. It is an English-style building set up in 1930s, which was originally the race club.

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7th Shanghai Biennale
Ort: Shanghai Art Museum
Künstlerischer Direktor: ZhangQing
Kuratoren: Henk Slager, Julian Heynen, Xiang Liping, Li Ning

Pawel Althamer, Tiong Ang, Ricardo Basbaum, Guy Ben-Ner, Ursula Biemann, Big Dipper Group  (Liu Yue, Wu Lizhong, Xu Xubing), Bu Hua, Mariana Castillo Deball, Chen Yun, Chen Zhiguang, Jürgen Drescher, Ayse Erkmen, Inci Eviner, Harun Farocki, Rainer Ganahl, Zvi Goldstein, He Wenjue, Huang Hsinchien, Bethan Huws, Jia Zhangke, Jin Shi, Jing Shijian, Mike Kelley, Sanggil Kim, Suchan Kinoshita, Charles Lim Yi Yong, Lin Chuanchu, Liu Ming, Liu Ye, Lu Hao, Ma Baozhong, Angelika Mantz, Klaus Mettig, Roman Ondák, Otolith Group , Ulrike Ottinger, Thomas Ruff, Son Kuk Gyon, Hito Steyerl, Su Xinping, Tang Maohong, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Mieke van de Voort, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Wang Qiang, Wang Qingsong, Lawrence Weiner, Wu Mingzhong, Yang Shaobin, Yangah Ham, Yin Xiuzhen, Yu Fan, Yu Hua, Yue Minjun, Zeng Hao, Zhang Enli, Zhang Qing, Zhang Weijie, Zhou Tao, Zhu Jia