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Weekend in Art: Films, Phones and Quadcopters

Dec 9, 2016 | 17:21 Fri
If culture’s on your radar this weekend and into next, you’re in luck. There's the premiere of a brand-spanking new film commission at ScOP, an arts endurance challenge-meets-performance at Gemma events space, quadcopter tech at Chronus Art Center, and loads more.


First up is Dilated Shanghai which sees eight brave artists push their creativity and resilience to the limits at Gemma Events Space (right above the Donghu Lu pizza spot) - all in the name of charity. The event challenges locally-based talents to complete an art work in an intense 24-hour period.

Spectators can drop by throughout, turning the task into a kind of public performance, as well as a sneak peek into artists’ creative practice. That runs from 4pm on Saturday 10 December through 4pm, Sunday 11 December, and features names like illustrator Kader Defali, Taiwanese artist Hsuan Ying Chen, and event mastermind Alex Carroll. It’s free to attend, and proceeds from drinks purchases go towards heArts, a Shanghai charity that that provides free art classes to people with special needs in the city. Go buy ‘em a coffee, why don’t you?

Over at Moganshan Lu, Chronus Art Center’s recently appointed research and creation fellow Samuel Adam Swope will be discussing his newest aerial artwork, Floating Room. The work goes on display at CAC from next week and features a series of domestic objects and appliances equipped with quadcopter technologies to make them hover and fly. Sounds pretty cool. The 4pm talk is free to attend, but you’ll need to reserve a spot by sending RSVP+your name + cellphone number to info [at]

Samuel Adam Swope, Banana ‘copter, 2010

Saturday’s also a prime opportunity to check out new silkscreen artworks by Shanghai-based studio Idle Beats, as well as their Cambodian counterparts Sticky Fingers. It's called Tale of Two Cities 2 - read all about that right here. As well as colorful cultural insights into Phnom Penh life, this one’s also good for picking up some pretty great Christmas pressies: all prints are 20% off Saturday only, 1-7pm.

Tale of Two Cities 2 @ Idle Beats

After, maybe stop by Suzhou Creek-side OCAT for the opening of group exhibition, Dragon Liver Phoenix Brain. That sees Beijing-based artist and curator Colin Chinnery pull together a stellar selection of eight so-hot-right-now names in Chinese contemporary art, including Lin Ke, Na Buqi and Lu Pingyuan. Grandly opens 5pm on Saturday 10 December.

Recent CAFA grad Nabuqi will be at OCAT...

Basement6 hosted a short but sweet solo by artist in residence Gabe Stones this week. The Brit-born talent works with sound, animation, text, video and software. During his Shanghai sojourn he’s been exploring the performative possibilities of tablets and phones, in particular issues of introspection versus connectivity. With that in mind, he's hosting a workshop from 2pm on Sunday 11 December around open sound control. Participants will gather content on their phones and work together to make a performance in video and sound. Spaces are extremely limited: drop a line including your name and WeChat ID to anneliesecharek [at] ASAP to bag a spot.

Gabe Stones @ Basement6

Looking ahead, next week marks the public unveiling of a new work by Yang Fudong. Possibly China’s best-known talent in the field of film and photography, you’ve likely seen his mesmerizing work before. Timeless and dreamy, they hover between fantasy and reality, history and myth. His latest work, Moving Mountains follows suit.

Yang Fudong @ SCoP

It takes inspiration from a painting by 20th century ink master Xu Beihong depicting an ancient Chinese fable about an old man who toiled to move remove two mountains. Around the same time that was made, Mao Zedong famously drew on the tale’s symbolism - comparing imperialism and feudalism to mountains to ask “if [the Chinese people] stand up and dig together with us, why can't these two mountains be cleared away?

Xu Beihong's 'The Foolish Old Man Removes the Mountains'

Yang Fudong’s work promises yet another spin on the age-old metaphor. A new commission by Rolls-Royce Art Programme, the 46-minute black and white film starring Chinese actress Wan Qian opens to the public at Shanghai Center of Photography from Tuesday 13 December. Go see.

Finally, this weekend’s also your last to catch the rather excellent Austin Lee’s Light Paintings at Bank Gallery’s new digs on Anfu Lu. Having bade farewell to their grandiose Bund-side spot earlier this year, the team have since worked with MORE Architecture on creating an awesome basement space, right next to the Dramatic Arts Center. Working first on an iPad, US-based Lee then transfers his artworks to paintings creating a curious, colorful mash-up between digital and hand-crafted.

Austin Lee @ Bank

As ever, for everything else have a look at the Art Calender.


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