Curator: Julian Meisen
Location: Collateral Exhibition Zone
Duration: Dec 4th—2016 Feb 28th
The video installation Shenzhen Park critically reflects upon the nature of public space within contemporary Chinese urbanism by documenting two typologies of public space: The park and the shopping mall.Traditionally Chinese public parks like Shenzhen’s Honghu Park are places where countless sportive, cultural and leisure activities are being pursued, such as singing, dancing, martial arts, fishing, kite flying or
playing. The diversity of activities, the intensity of sound and movement and the pictorial image of its artificial nature turn it into a place where public urban life is being celebrated. The footage reveals that Honghu Park not only is a miniature of the ideal Chinese landscape, but also a miniature of Chinese society before the dramatic urban changes turned consumption into an inherent part of public urban space.
The proliferation of shopping malls within recent years has changed the notion of public space in cities like Shenzhen. As contemporary Chinese urbanism has sold large parts of its cities to private investors and thereby replaced the traditional shape of the city with a patchwork of independent real estate developments, the plazas and hallways of shopping malls have become the most frequented public spaces within newly developed areas. The footage taken in Coco Park, a shopping mall situated in Futian’s Central Business District, explores the relation between public space and consumption within contemporary Chinese society.By contrasting footage from both places the video installation aims at documenting the consequences of the rapid change of Chinese urban life and the resulting contrast between traditional and contemporary urban lifestyles within public space.