MoCP Chicago

Museum of Contemporary Photography / Columbia College Chicago | 600 S. Michigan Ave
IL-60605 Chicago

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press release

Chicago –– Reversed Images: Representations of Shanghai and Its Contemporary Material Culture examines the city of Shanghai and its development into one of the global economy?s top cities in the new millennium. Shanghai is known for its impressive population growth, the increasingly rapid rate of its cultural and environmental transformations, and the tension between Western and traditional Chinese values, lifestyle, and work habits. In addition, the city is caught in between a not-so-distant communism and a late-arriving capitalism, between a world founded upon its labor force and the world of new technologies. Within this environment, the role of the artist becomes ever-important as artists look to interpret the experience of inhabiting a city and a time that is in the process of defining itself, struggling between the contradictory natures of its past, present and future. The participating artists in this exhibition take various approaches in capturing a city that from day to day seems to transform before our eyes.

Reversed Images is divided into three thematic areas. The first looks at the romantic notions of Shanghai's past and how it flourished as a center of commerce for trade between the east and west. The second theme examines the city's shift from past to present and Shanghai's development into a hyper-modern city with an explosion of new construction. The third and final theme explores how Chinese artists are interpreting their role in Shanghai, living within a contradictory environment that imposes limitations of self-expression but is beginning to see restrictions on artistic expression lifted. The exhibition not only includes artists working within the photographic medium, but also features architects, urban planners, and graphic designers. Reversed Images also includes 40+4: Art is not enough! Not Enough!, a multimedia installation featuring video interviews with Shanghai artists.

Reversed Images is curated by guest curator Davide Quadrio (founder of BizArt, Shanghai and Arthub, Hong Kong/Bangkok), in collaboration with Natasha Egan, Associate Director and Curator of the MoCP.

Reversed Images is part of Columbia College Chicago?s campus-wide programming initiative, Focus: China. For more information on Focus: China events, visit

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Reversed Images: Representations of Shanghai and Its Contemporary Material Culture
Kuratoren: Davide Quadrio, Natasha Egan

Künstler: Olivo Barbieri, Birdhead  (Song Tao & Ji Weiyu), Isidro Blasco, Mathieu Borysevicz, Cao Fei, David Cotterrell, Hu Yang, Jin Shan, Sylvie Levey, Lu Yuanming, Ma Liang, Shi Guorui, Shu Haolun, Speedism  (Julian Friedauer & Pieterjan Ginckels), Su Chang, Xu Jianrong & Xu Xixian, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Zhou Xiaohu, Zhu Feng