Reshaping the waterfront with public art

A waterfront art exhibition began at the weekend along a once polluted downtown creek.
Reshaping the waterfront with public art
Ti Gong

Visitors observe an installation on the waterfront of the Pengyuepu River in Jing'an District.

A waterfront art exhibition began at the weekend along a once heavily polluted downtown creek now considered one of the most beautiful waterways in Shanghai.

Dozens of art installations and paintings by young artists are on display along the Pengyuepu River in Jing'an District as part of the city's biennial Urban Space Art Season.

"Watershed Encounter," the outdoor public exhibition run by Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, aims to show waterfront development and explore how riverside space improve people's lives.

The exhibition also features new media performances presented by the academy and the Shanghai Theater Academy.

The art event on both sides of the river between Wenshui Road and Guangzhong Road W. will run through December 27.

In one of the installations, over a dozen of chairs made from recyclable materials such as cloth and bamboo are placed on the waterfront. Another exhibit includes a row of mailboxes where old-school telephones, phonographs and other old commodities are displayed.

"The exhibition focuses on the emotional expression and interaction between citizens and public community space, creating a community environment of art and creativity," said Jin Jiangbo, deputy dean of the academy and the chief curator of the exhibition.

The 6.2 kilometer Pengyuepu River originated in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC- 25 AD) when General Peng Yue dredged the creek. It later became heavily polluted after a large number of illegal structures were built.

The treatment campaign started in 2017 when over 50,000 square meters of illegal buildings were demolished, while greenbelts were built on the waterfront. The river was selected by citizens as one of the most beautiful in the city in 2018 after the campaign.

Reshaping the waterfront with public art

Visitors take in an installation on the waterfront in Jing'an District.

Reshaping the waterfront with public art

Another waterfront installation in Jing'an District.

Reshaping the waterfront with public art

Artists paint on the waterfront of Pengyuepu River in Jing'an District.

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