Time Capsule: Allegories of Shanghai
20 June – 13 July 2015
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, China
Artists: Ghada Da, Richie Fermie, MHP and Paula Zuccotti
Opening music performance by Pan Daijing and Mindy Wang.
‘TIME CAPSULE: Allegories of Shanghai’ emanates from our proposition of ‘culture’ as one of the most complicated forms of ecology that exists. Culture itself is not easily defined by words alone, because it is a constantly evolving state of mind that is as organic as our use of language. Therefore there is no such thing as a defining moment for culture. To that end for over a century anthropologists have been trying to understand culture, and its absolute definition still remains unanswered. As an evolving phenomena culture is currently effecting and effected by people living through the epochs of post-globalization; mass mobility and digital modernity.
Individuals are now connected to the horizontal zone, and all of the diverse cultures within that zone are effortlessly influencing each other through their social interactions. Specifically through exchanges between the macro and the micro, the global and the local; we can see that new cultural codes are constantly evolving. Therefore when it comes to discussing contemporary culture, it requires we consider it in the ‘present continuous’ tense; in order to acknowledge its constant state of flux.
This exhibition also explores the term ‘allegory’, as a trigger for cultivating a wealth of very diverse perspectives from which to interpret cultures. Specifically in the context of this show, allegory is deconstructed of its original signification as being ‘a symbolic generalization’.
Here appearing in the plural tense, allegories; and not as the singular noun, allegory. Which also crucially raises questions about the thoughtless cultural clichés put upon otherness; in such circumstances as describing Asian cultural elements as exotic. In context Shanghai is defined as the first metropolitan city in Asia, the third richest financial centre of the world, a critical terrain for the Korean independence movement and centre of ideology and Chinese philosophy at the beginning of the Modernism era. And against such historical and financial gravitas, the city has also emerged as one of the leading creative centres in the world. Time Capsule: Allegories of Shanghai aims to draw attention to the city’s culture; and of the vibrant sounds and sensations of its inhabitants. Whose individual lives become integral to the exhibition, as they are invited to witness allegories of themselves as artworks. And by exploring Shanghai through its people and their urban lives, the exhibition attempts to comprehend a measure of their thoughts, feelings, and aspirations; as they influence and are influenced by culture’s evolution.