RAM HIGHLIGHT 2019: Before the Whistle BlowsSep 13, 2019 - Sep 22, 2019

  • I remember when / I remember / I remember when I lost my mind / There was something so pleasant about that place / Even your emotions had an echo in so much space
    Ha ha ha / You really think you're in control / I think you're crazy / I think you're crazy

    I think you're crazy / Just like me

    — Gnarls Barkley “Crazy”


    From September 13 to September 22, 2019, Rockbund Art Museum will host its special annual program RAM HIGHLIGHT 2019: Before the Whistle Blows, curated by Hsieh Feng-Rong, Senior Curator of the Rockbund Art Museum. From the light in daybreak to the neon in deep night, from historical memories to moments of the everyday, the rhythms of nine artists or collectives will intertwine and overlap one another within the museum space, as sentiments and backgrounds that are worlds apart will sound together in resonance. There are no spectacles here that are redundant, no information that is excessive. The endless crises and the noisy din of daily life become blurred, and “moments from the inner world” gradually arise. We have finally entered into time.


    Before the Whistle Blows gives us a sense of time, a sense of time that is unclear. We are not sure if the blowing of the whistle signals a beginning or an end, but is that detail important? What is more important is that before something begins or ends, there is a period of wait, and it is in this period that time becomes elongated, where we may feel a complex array of emotions: excitement, anger, joy, sadness, numbness, fear, warmth, passion... In this age of chaos and disorganized information to the point that such information may fall apart, the world continues spinning at its high speed; yet we desperately need to stop and observe the changes that happen as time passes, and to have the chance to take a deep look at ourselves as well. In the works of Lee Kit there is often a kind of ambiguity, in the mood or context, which may come from a portion of text, a song instrumental or from the capturing of light - it is through a combination of these intangible elements that a complex mood emerges in his works. In Lee’s works of recent years, text has played an increasingly important role. Some of the text would be written by the artist himself, some would be lyrics taken from songs, yet they all have a certain characteristic in common - with no specific objects being referred to, the text becomes open to multiple interpretations, according to each viewer’s train of thought. The artist leaves this freedom and these possibilities to the viewer. Through the omission of certain lyrics and the leaving behind of only song instrumentals, the viewer’s mood may be influenced in a completely different direction, and it is this very displacement that gives the work its immense strength and impact.

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  • About the curator

    Hsieh Feng-Rong is senior curator and founding staff member of Rockbund Art Museum; he joined Rockbund Art Museum in 2009 during its preparatory stage. He was the coordinator of the renovation process and implemented the institutional structure of the museum. In 2013, he got involved in founding the first HUGO BOSS ASIA ART award and was also the project manager for the award. With the rise and development of Arts Museum in China, Hsieh is concerned about the changing roles this institute should play and how it can retain its self-criticality. He continues to explore the relationships between arts and the audience and how these relationships can be redefined. Recently, he focuses on topics related to performance as method and has curated a series of talks and events along this line of thinking. Meanwhile, he hopes to inspire more cross-cultural and cross-regional conversations, furthering explorations of mechanism of visuality. Recent exhibitions curated by Hsieh include: “Walking on the Fade out Lines” (co-curated with Larys Frogier, 2018, Shanghai), “Tell Me a Story: Locality and Narrative” (co-curated with Amy Cheng, 2018, Fondazione Sandretto, Turin), “RAM HIGHLIGHT 2018: Is It My Body?” (2018, Shanghai), “An Opera for Animals” (co-curated with Cosmin Costinas, Claire Shea and Billy Tang, 2019, Shanghai), “RAM HIGHLIGHT 2019: Before the Whistle Blows” (2019, Shanghai)


    RAM HIGHLIGHT is a special annual celebration hosted by the Rockbund Art Museum, with its aim being to use performance as a method in its planning and execution, so as to push the boundaries of traditional exhibition-making. Each year’s RAM HIGHLIGHT features a carefully chosen selection of artists or collectives, a consideration of the museum space and the viewing audience, and a fusion of performative art with visual installations, all to present an powerful artistic narrative. A program which stems from the artists’ ability to create innovative works, RAM HIGHLIGHT selects and supports suitable artists for the creation of experimental art which subverts the limits of the museum space and challenges the viewers’ expectations of the exhibition experience.  

  • About Rockbund Art Museum

    For over nine years Rockbund Art Museum has been at the forefront of the growing contemporary art scene in China, presenting world-class programs in a unique museum setting. A boutique museum of the utmost quality, RAM holds a unique position within Shanghai’s continually expanding cultural scene. The museum is located within the Bund district and housed in an exquisite heritage Art Deco building, which was renovated by the architect David Chipperfield before opening in 2010.

    The museum’s exemplary curatorial, education and research programs showcase acclaimed and emerging Chinese and international artists, responding to and reflecting on present and urgent challenges of society locally and internationally. RAM presents a bold and pioneering program of three exhibitions and a special project “RAM HIGHLIGHT” per year, exploring and realizing artists’ most ambitious projects and working with them to tailor exhibitions to the Museum and to the Shanghai context, often with a large proportion of works being new commissions. RAM devises, produces and curates its program in-house, in conjunction with carefully selected international collaborations of the highest quality. For more information, please visit: www.rockbundartmuseum.org

  • Tickets

    The events below only require regular tickets:

    Zhao Chuan and Wu Meng

    Old Tales Retold – Curbing the Flood
    Old Tales Retold – Mending Heaven

    River Lin

    Sunrise Sunset

    Dai Chenlian


    Christian Jankowski

    Kunstturnen (Artistic Gymnastics)


    Senyawa Live @RAM
    10:30am, 18 September
    4pm, 19 September


    The events below require extra tickets:

    Senyawa Live @RAM

    8pm, 20 September
    *Reservation is required.

    Luka Yuanyuan Yang (Featuring: Grant Avenue Follies, Coby Yee and Stephen King)

    Theater of Crossed Roads: A Night at Forbidden City Nightclub

    8pm, 13 – 14 September
    *Reservation is required.

    IsLand Bar (Shanghai) – The Butterfly Dream

    9pm, 13 – 14 September
    3pm, 15 September
    9pm, 19 – 21 September
    *Prior admission for online reservation; accept walk-ins.


    The links for tickets:



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