Scenic Line of An Alley

Jan 2021

Scenic Line of An Alley

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At the beginning of the new year, Mao Space has been moved to its new home – a meandering lane of West Jianguo Road, Shanghai, and is now presenting its debut group exhibition: “Scenic Line Of An Alley.”

As a signature of Shanghai’s urban culture, alleys bear the profound and unique spiritual memory of this metropolitan. Compared with the vertical vision that keeps stretching upward, lanes symbolize the locality and depth of the city. Different from the physical space, the zoetrope that often sat at the entrance of a lane is now only occasionally recalled as a distant memory. In a limited space, the fragments of reality are presented in a strange way and revived into a scenic line. The once novelty also implies a shift of perspective, reminding us to think about how to bring commonality into the bellows of consciousness, and inspire enlightening artistic expressions.

The five (groups of) artists featured in this exhibition: LIU Yi, GUO Xi, LIU Guoqiang, WU Junyong, HAO Jingfang & WANG Lingjie, now serve as a new zoetrope. In unique languages, they express the retention and conversion of memory and Dasein, and how to incorporate the reality they experience and understand into a new narration system. In particular, all works at the exhibition are created in honor of the on-site space – some are selected from the personal collection of Ms. MAO Wencai over the past years, while some are site-specific creations completed by artists based on their previous works and the new environment. This double dialogue with space and with their own creations across different periods allows artists to shed light on a special scenic line in the courtyard at the end of an alley.

About Mao Space :

Since its establishment in 2014, Mao Space has been exploring the possibility of dialogue between contemporary art and Shanghai urban culture. Now its relocation to a downtown alley means that Mao Space is closer to “Shanghai” in another sense. How to more deeply tap into the cultural resources in the urban context, how to inspire the combination of such resources with contemporary art, and how to intervene in urban public spaces with contemporary art… these are the topics Mao Space is determined to probe into in the future.

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