Arts Abroad: Digital Photography Residency in Shanghai, part 2

August 16, 2010

One in a series of occasional dispatches from SVA’s Summer Arts Abroad programs. This dispatch was sent by student Rachel Hines.

We started our day by going to MoCA, the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. It is a small museum but a very cool space. A student from Yale University led us around and gave  an informative talk about the art on display, a show featuring 3 young Taiwanese artists: No2Good, AShin and KEA.

No2Good created Mousy, a character based on his childhood. With a series of large figurines, No2Good repeated Mousy’s face on several different figures from popular culture, such as Batman or Mario.

AShin creates art that is based on the idea of the human being. He is also in a popular band called Mayday, which puts on elaborate concerts as a type of performance art. He set up a table that was based on the idea of The Last Supper and had bowls filled with real ostrich eggs. In another room he created character sculptures and had videos projecting on their heads. There was music from his band playing as part of the installation, and our tour guide told us that quite often there are visitors who will stay and record each 15-minute video in its entirety.

The artwork by KEA deals with the consumerism that we all live with on a daily basis, especially in China. KEA starts with images of famous figures like the Mona Lisa, Barack Obama, Che Guevara, Albert Einstein and others, then layers on graffiti with symbols of consumerism, turning these idols into alternative versions of themselves. (He also took tennis shoes of different brands and transformed them into the heads of dinosaur skeletons to demonstrate the fierce competition between popular shoe companies.) After we toured the galleries we met one of the men in charge of the museum, Joe Zhou, who told us more about the museum and its mission.

We then went to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. It was a pretty cool museum, and they had a ton of exhibitions about the Shanghai Expo. The best part was the complete model of Shanghai: Every house and store and streetlight was there, and my friend Krutie and took the time to find where were we are living here in Shanghai!

Images: Photos by Rachel Hines.

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