That last one is called Confession Car and is part of an ongoing project by Hu Renyi. A kind of mobile installation aimed at getting people talking, this is its second tour of the city after a whistle-stop trip last year. Before hitting the road, Hu lifts the lid on secrets and sins documented to date.
Hu Renyi, Confession Car
So, inviting people to ‘fess up in a mobile confessionary: how’d that come about?
Hu Renyi (HR) It started in 2012 in New York, and the idea was to encourage people to communicate. People from everywhere participated, and it very quickly became clear that it doesn’t matter where people are from, their confessions are always the same. They’re always about family and about love. Whatever politics or skin color, their secrets are things like guilt about not seeing parents or grandparents, or not spending enough time with their kids…
But this was happening in a gallery environment, right? How will taking to the streets make this edition of the project different?
HR So after NY, I had a solo called Come Clean at Minsheng Art Museum in 2014, and then Confession Room at K11. For that we also had a Confession Car out on the street. Once you remove it from a museum context you meet all these people who wouldn’t normally participate in an art project -- grandfathers out buying their vegetables, kids even… I’d say between 15 - 25 percent of the people we meet take part.
So what happens exactly?
HR We’ll be driving around six locations each day for the duration of the project. People will be asked to put on a white suit, and there’ll be paper available in the truck for people to either write down their confession or maybe draw it. It can be in any language, and after I’ll collate the notes to use in a future extension of the project.
What’s the weirdest confession you’ve ever read? Ever been really shocked?
HR Once someone wrote that the first time they had sex was with their brother, so… Like I said, it’s always about family and love!
From May 28 ’til June 2, starting from 1.30pm Hu Renyi will be driving a circuit from Yuanmingyuan Lu, Weihai Lu, Yishan Lu and Wukang Lu, spending about an hour in each area. Check the schedule here. He also makes home visits, so if you’ve got something to get off your chest, give him a call on 180 1791 7963.
For art in more expected environs -- albeit brand spanking new ones -- head over to West Bund Art Center Saturday evening from 5pm to 7pm for the opening of no fewer than three shows, including Aike Dellarco’s debut exhibition in its new space. Significantly bigger than its former Moganshan Lu spot and with lovely high ceilings, this summer it hosts photographer Li Ran’s solo. Called Same Old Crowd, it comprises still and moving images, sound and motion to present actual and abstract recollections from the artist’s recent travels to Singapore.
Aike Dellarco, West Bund
Also kicking off at West Bund Art Center on Saturday is an exhibition of around 40 recent paintings by young Shanghai-based artist, HuZi. It’s called Lovers -- think dreamy depictions of bodies, passion, and sex. Right next door, and for something completely different, fellow up-and-comer Nathan Zhao presents recent paintings in a solo show called Jericho. Punchy and bright, often incorporating Zhao’s written musings, they nod to stuff like skateboarding, video games and music.
HuZi, Pieta 1734
Finally, Rockbound’s latest group show is open from Saturday and sounds pretty captivating. Called Tell Me A Story, the exhibition sees artists from across Asia spin yarns relating to distinct regional cultures. To that end, you’ve got Field Recordings’ Let the Water Flow charting the unstable existence of migrant workers anchored along the banks of Suzhou Creek. Elsewhere, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's video installation Fireworks tracks a surreal night-time journey through Northern Thailand, lit by flashes of light to evoke histories of violence and war.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Fireworks
So, lots to see this weekend. For more ideas, check the art calendar right here.