Retrospective of museum's five-year run

Tan Weiyun
Ming Contemporary Art Museum is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the three-month group exhibition "Back to Stage."
Tan Weiyun

Ming Contemporary Art Museum is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the three-month group exhibition "Back to Stage," a review of the museum's history, collections and past projects through a series of experimental workshops and site-specific performances.

Transformed from the former Shanghai Paper Factory, the museum with a sunken central stage is a perfect place for artistic installations, multimedia shows and happening performances.

Artist Zhou Tao's single-channel video "1234" talks about the collectiveness under the profit- and efficiency-driven corporate management system. He ventured to more than 40 street shops in Shanghai and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, to record their military-like morning meetings, where employees are required to line up and sing out loud or shout slogans on the street in full view of passing crowds. Zhou edited them into a short film based on the rhythms of the company songs.

Xavier Cha's video "Ruthless Logic" is a depiction of an endless confrontation between Chinese stuntman German Cheung and American martial artist Rafael Reynoso. Set in a dream-like, hallucinogenic space, they move in slow motion to create a hypnotic effect. As kung fu is the most successful Eastern cultural export from the Western perspective, the video reflects the tide-like circulation of physical, cultural and emotional capital between East and West.

With a mission to break the boundaries between stage, performance and audience, the museum focuses on performance art with public interaction. The exhibition space on the second floor is a copy of the museum's office. Ming's management team has been temporarily relocated here, where employees are "performing" their work for three months. In fact, they are truly working. Visitors can watch them going about their business, and can even book time in advance to chat with them during working hours.

Since 2015, "Community Theater" has been one of the museum's important public education projects. It creates a bridge between artists and local residents, turning daily life into artistic endeavors. The exhibition makes use of a rehearsal room with a ceiling-high mirror, and artists and people from nearby communities are invited to sing and dance.

During the three-month exhibition, close to 100 artists will carry out their site-specific performances. Visitors can make multiple visits to watch the shows with one ticket.

Retrospective of museum's five-year run
Ti Gong

A visitor watches a video at the exhibition.

Exhibition info

Dates: Through February 13 (closed on Mondays), 10am-6pm

Venue: Ming Contemporary Art Museum

Address: 436 Yonghe Road E.

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