RAM Talk: Museum Mania in Shanghai – A Community without Publicness?
Oct 14, 2017 Saturday 19:00 - 21:00
MEM Art Space, No.185 Ruanmingyuan Road, 2F
About the talk: Over the past decade or so, Shanghai has witnessed an unprecedented frenzy of art museum establishment. Today, the metropolis is home to some 25 art museums related to modern or contemporary art, 80% of which were inaugurated during the last six or seven years. Mostly located in the Bund area, the West Bund area, the Shanghai Expo Park, and other districts and commercial hubs under development, these art museums typically feature distinguished visual identities and spacious and unique architectural designs, and display works of acclaimed Western or Japanese artists. Some art museums have successfully organized well-received exhibitions that attracted great attention from the society and welcomed long queues of exhibition goers at weekends, which is hard to imagine 10 years ago. The upsurge of art museums in Shanghai is a highlighted part of the world-wide boom of art museum expansion and establishment since the 1990s. As a cultural mechanism, the art museum represents the characteristics of a specific historic stage. Thus, the art museum frenzy in Shanghai will provide us with an opportunity to examine the typical economic, social and political status of the city.
This talk will analyze the building process, projects, and different context-based roles of the chi K11 Art Museum, the Rockbund Art Museum and the art museum complex under construction in the West Bund area, and discover the dynamic variables behind the staggering art museum boom, as well as the complicated relations between these variables, in hope of offering a new perspective to understand the current art museum frenzy in Shanghai.
Shi Hantao, born in Shanghai in 1973, was the Head of Public Program and Research of Shanghai Project, and has worked as a curator and organizer of various art exhibitions and public cultural activities for art institutions including the Epson Imaging Gallery, the Rockbund Art Museum, the Chronus Art Center, and the Ray Art Center.
Jiang Jun, an artist and art critic who graduated from Kunstakademie Münster receiving the title Meisterschüler of Prof. Aernout Mik, a reseacher at the theoretical studio of Shanghai Public Art Cooperation Center (PACC) and the International Public Art Association (IPA), and one of the founders of the Art Bureau of Investigation. He is currently a PhD candidate of iconology and exhibition culture studies at China Academy of Art and Peking University, and lives and works in Hangzhou and Shanghai.
The Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) and the Public Art Cooperation Center (PACC) are jointly presenting a series of academic talks on “the publicness of the community” (die Öffentlichkeit der Gemeinschaft) from August to December, 2017.
Today, the concept of “community” (Gemeinschaft) has become particularly important, as the increasing division of labor and fast mobility in society result in a status that “all that is solid melts into air, and all that is holy is profaned,” as described in the Manifesto of the Communist Party. Since the start of modernity, lives of traditional communities have been degrading towards two opposite directions: the atomization of individuals, and the construction of new alternative communities. The degradation can be found everywhere, from large organizations such as a regional political union or a country, to small units like a working group or a one-to-one relationship. In addition, the current global economic integration is leading to fast and unstable change of life, as well as the rapid gathering, division and reconstruction of communities… A stable relation and the pursuit toward a community have emerged as a compensatory measure for or the resistance to an atomized and alienated society, and an attempt to regain a healthy and humane life – living as a socially integrated individual.
In March 2017, RAM hosted the Audiences International Symposium, aiming to re-examine the definition of “audience” and its implication to today’s people and institutions. Over the past two decades, a new round of museum expansion and the significant changes of societies and technologies have resulted in reforms on daily operation of institutions. Therefore, it is increasingly critical to figure out how museums and art institutions, both identified as public institutions, should respond to such changes. Today, art institutions are performing more and more functions: they have to not only establish deeper and more diverse interactions between modern art projects and their audience, but provide extensive public activities outside the institutions for a wide range of social groups.... Read More
Free admission, reservation is required.