The 7th Shanghai Biennale
City: Shanghai
Duration: 2008-09-10 ~ 2008-09-13
Venue: Shanghai Art Museum

The 7th edition of the Shanghai Biennale TRANSLOCALMOTION, taking place at the Shanghai Art Museum, presents 59 artists and artist groups from 21 countries and regions.

This year´s theme, TRANSLOCALMOTION, examines the dynamic urban space and inhabitants against the background of urbanization. It reflects on the issues of migration, as well as the social, economic and cultural implications of urbanization. Aware of both the challenges and opportunities of the urbanization process, the exhibition explores how urban growth will contribute to and change our lives.

The hybrid expression TRANSLOCALMOTION is a metaphorical equivalent of the Chinese title of the 7th Shanghai Biennale, which is Kuai-cheng kuai-ke. The notion of the exhibition is thus clearly stated: cities in motion (kuai-cheng) signal the coming of the future, while people in motion (kuai-ke), signal the movement of people, and the vitality of the city.

Since its inauguration, the Shanghai Biennale has repeatedly taken the city itself and its urban conditions as a starting point for its artistic explorations. In line with this logic, the curatorial team of the 2008 edition, artistic director Zhang Qing and the curators Julian Heynen and Henk Slager, proposed to focus on one of the most import cornerstones of urban design: the public square which is a prime location of transfer, connection, connectivity, and meeting, as well as social and economic exchange.


As a starting point for the 7th Shanghai Biennale the curatorial team suggested utilizing the People's Square, where the Shanghai Art Museum is located. This public square seems to encapsulate many of the crucial issues that Chinese society faces today. At the People's Square, the curatorial team found many issues related to the transition, such as evolving capitalism, ultramodern architecture that expresses a spirit of optimism, the desire for a better life envisioned by for example the Grand Theater and the Museum for Urban Planning, as well as the numerous small stands operated by migrants.


For this year´s Shanghai Biennale the curatorial team has connected the Shanghai Art Museum directly with the People's Square. As a result, 25 emerging and established artists

were invited to take the People's Square as visual metaphor for the complex dynamics of the people's mobility. Their work has been displayed in various media within and outside the Museum. Works that are shown outside were created to interact dynamically with the environment or the public.

Participants: Tiong Ang, Ricardo Basbaum, Mariana Castillo Deball, Chen Zhiguang, Ayşe Erkmen, Rainer Ganahl, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Bethan Huws, Jing Shijian, Kim Sanggil, Lin Chuanchu, Liu Ye, Lu Hao, Ma Baozhong, Thomas Ruff, Hito Steyerl, Tang Maohong, Wang Qingson, Lawrence Weiner, Wu Mingzhong, Yin Xiuzhen, Yu Fan, Zeng Hao, Zhang Qing, and Zhou Tao.


On the second floor, TRANSLOCALMOTION focuses on the solo exhibitions of three artists. This rather unusual approach 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 encompassing attitude towards the issue of mobility related to urban, economical and social developments apparent in their artistic production.

Keynote Artists: Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Mike Kelley, and Yue Minjun.


On the third floor, under the same theme, 31 artists are showing their work using non-Shanghainese motifs to explore and discuss mobility issues in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Participants: Ursula Biemann, Big Dipper Group, Bu Hua, Chen Yun, Juergen Drescher, Inci Eviner, Harun Farocki, Zvi Goldstein, Yangah Ham, He Wenjue, Huang Hsinchien, Jia Zhangke, Jin Shi, Suchan Kinoshita, Charles Lim, Liu Ming, Angelika Mantz, Klaus Mettig, Roman Ondak, The Otolith Group, Ulrike Ottinger, Son Kuk Gyon, Su Xinping, Mieke Van de Voort, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Wang Qiang, Yang Shaobin, Yu Hua, Zhang Enli, Zhang Weijie, and Zhu Jia.

Information in Brief

Dates: 9 September to 16 November 2008

Media conference: 7 September 2008, 3.00 – 4.00 pm, Shanghai Art Museum, 1st floor, Lobby

Venue: Shanghai Art Museum, 325, Nanjing Road West, Shanghai 200003

Shanghai Art Museum is located in the city center on People´s Square, covering an area of 18.000 square meters. It is an English-style building set up in 1930s, originally dedicated to the Shanghai race club.

Preview / Opening: 8 September 2008

9 am – 12 pm Media Preview

2 pm – 4 pm Official Opening Ceremony

(Please note: invited guests only)

4 pm – 9 pm Private Preview and Opening Party


[Editor] Mark Lee