Two heavyweight Shanghai museums -- Yuz Museum and Power Station of Art have launched four new exhibitions just in time for the holiday break. The headline-grabbing, social media favorite "Rain Room" is returning -- in a nutshell, it's a 150-square-meter field wherein rain pours on an audience that doesn't get wet-- but if we had to recommend one, we're going with 'Storage Memory' at PSA. A look inside all four after the jump.
Let's start with Yuz and that "Rain Room". The studio behind it: Random International, is having their first solo exhibition in Asia. The entire show is named after the eponymous video project "Everything & Nothing". They're showcasing around six pieces of art installation, almost all of them employing light sensors in some fashion. Instances of art combined with cutting edge technology, in general they explore the relationship between human beings and technology and machinery, and they're all ready-made for your Instagram feed.
The 150rmb entry fee seems a bit steep even for something as unique as "Rain Room" but Yuz is also hosting in oil painter Ye Yongqing's solo exhibition 'Out of Nothing' running alongside with it until May 20.
This renowned oil painter is among the first generation of Chinese artist that were exposed to Western modernism. His passion for drawing childish-looking birds accidentally stirred a bit of controversy on China's internet after one of them was auctioned for an astounding 250,000rmb. The exhibition doesn't have any birds, though. It follows Ye's artistic journey through the first decade of his career (1982-1992), reviewing his experimental years through six chapters, each opening with excerpts from his personal letters.
So that's all well and good. But you shouldn't miss out on the show at Power Station of Art: Christian Boltansky's solo exhibition 'Storage Memory' and Foundation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain's group exhibition 'A Beautiful Elsewhere'.
Until June 8, 'Storage Memory' is assuming the first and second floor of PSA, presenting installations, videos and shadow theater from French artist Christian Boltanski. The iconic post-war artist is known for his obsession with existentialist concern. As he describes himself: "There are a lot of people in my work, there are thousands of Swiss people and hundreds of Polish babies, tons of clothes. Right from the start, I felt that a photo of a human being, a used piece of clothing, a heartbeat, and dead body, were equivalents, they all show absence."
All the things that he mentions, except the dead body, of course, can be seen and experienced at this exhibition. Slightly morbid and disturbing -- you can hear his heartbeat once you set foot in the venue, which was installed and amplified inside the chimney of PSA; and see the stopwatch that's counting down the seconds till his death -- Boltanski 's works are nevertheless stunningly mesmerizing and poetic, a must-see for sure.
On the third floor and upwards, a group of established artists is featured here: Chéri Samba, Beat Takeshi Kitano, David Lynch, just to name a few, as well as the returns of Cai Duo-Qiang and Ron Mueck, in addition to emerging Chinese artists like Hu Liu and Gao Shan.
Foundation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain gathers together their representative works and treats visitors to a feast of contemporary art. Some of the highlights include: "The Great Animal Orchestra", a graphical visualization collaboration between American soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, which contains sound clips from natural habitats such as Amazon, Desembarco del Granma National Park, and Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta; Diller Scofidio + Renfro's "EXIT" on the seventh floor, an immersive video installation that investigates contemporary human migrations and their leading causes; and Raymond Depardon and Claudine Nougaret's "Hear Them Speak", a 33min documentary told by nomads and indigenous people worldwide in their mother languages, whose culture and bloodlines are on the verge of disappearance due to globalization.
Really a lot of great stuff. Don't pass that one up.
Both museums will be opened during May holiday. The entry fee for Yuz Museum is 150rmb; 60 rmb for each exhibition at Power Station of Art. Foundation Cartier pour l'art contemporain is also hosting a series of public education programs, children's workshop and silkscreen activity throughout the exhibition. Visit PSA's website to learn more.