“Meditations on the Urban Spectacle” Closing Forum: spectacles in art and architecture

Guests: Li Qing, Wu Wei, You Yang, Zhang Qi, Yang Yong
Host: Li Xiangning, Wang Yiquan
Date: Saturday, December 11, 2021
Time: 14:00-17:00
Venue: Shanghai Columbia Circle Tsutaya Books
Location: Building 7, 1262 Yanan Xi Lu, Changning District, Shanghai


  • For the public health and safety, the event requires real-name registration.
  • Please bring your ID to the meeting point at Tsutaya Books.
  • Please wear a face mask the whole time during your visit. If you are experiencing a fever, cough, or short of breath, please understand that admission will not be granted.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of the event.

The exhibition “Meditations on the Urban Spectacle” co-organized by Shanghai Minsheng Art Foundation, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, and Shanghai Vanke, is on show in Sunke Villa, a preserved historic building in Shanghai. Unlike the conventional exhibition that takes place in a white cube gallery, this exhibition fits a variety of art works into a former private residential building. Through the situational narrative constructed within the exhibited art works, including photography, installation, multimedia works by numerous artists and architect groups, “Meditations on the Urban Spectacle” invites the audience and artists to discuss the relationship between contemporary art and the urban environment.

During this exhibition, we organized various lectures and public events, including the opening sound art performance by DJ Cavia and artist Huang Cheng, the themed talk+street walking experience featuring Big Fish Community Design Center’s site-specific curator, store owners, 1m2 Action Tutor, etc., “In Shunde: on-site, research, collab, writing” sharing organized by “Shundeology Group,” and “Practice of Drawing Weeds” workshop by Zheng Bo. Through these events in the form of performance, lecture, 15-minute community walking experience, walking + painting workshop, etc., different cosmos and sites overlap, and we discuss the cultural phenomena that appeared during the development of art and urbanization. In interpreting contemporary art and urban living in a diverse perspective, we hope to bring in new energy to our present life.

At the end of the exhibition, we organized a closing forum featuring Li Xiangning, the academic leader of “Meditations on the Urban Spectacles” and curator Wang Yiquan, artists, and press. The forum focuses on topics of “spectacles in artists’ perspectives” and “spectacles in architect’s experience” and opens the conversations via both online live streaming and on-site discussions. Together with the audience, we talked about how to understand, find, and transform the urban spectacles.

Forum Schedule

First part: 14:00-15:30
Spectacles in Artists’ Perspectives
Host: Li Xiangning

Themed Talk
Li Qing: Spectacles in Art Making
Azure Wu: Public Art and Urban Reborn

Round Table Talk
Li Xiangning, Li Qing, Azure Wu

Q&A session

Break: 15:30-15:45

Second part: 15:45-17:15
Spectacles in Architect’s Experience
Host: Wang Yiquan

Themed Talk
You Yang: Spectacles in Urban Renovation
Zhang Qi: Cultural Phenomena in Architecture and Blocks

Round Table Talk
Wang Yiquan, You Yang, Zhang Qi, Yang Yong



Li Qing

Artist. Li Qing graduated from China Academy of Art in 2007 and now lives in Hangzhou, Shanghai. In recent years, Li Qing focuses on the issues of fragmentation in history and ideological conflicts that are ubiquitous information dissemination, collective memory and intellectual experience, examining the tensions and contradictions between images, language, symbolic systems and social space, and connecting elements of multi-layered experience in tandem to observe the issues in the artistic context. His works are mainly paintings, installations and video works, with a circuitous and overlapping structure that works on the viewer's senses and perceptions. His works have been on view at Prada Rong Zhai, Shanghai, Pingshan Art Museum, Zhejiang Art Museum, Centro de Artes Tomás y Valiente, Madrid, Spain, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, University of São Paulo, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, etc. Some collectors of his works include: Fondazione Prada, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Rubell Museum, Kistefos Museum, etc. Li Qing was also shortlisted by the Jean-François Prat contemporary art prize in 2017, making him the first Asain artist ever shortlisted by this prize.

Azure Wu

Associate editor of Contemporary Art Magazine and Public Art Magazine, critic, curator. Exhibitions curated by Wu include: “Next Festival Independent Project: China Contemporary Image Art,” “Li Jinghu: One Day in Dongguan,” “Jia Aili: Good Morning World!” and “Shanghai Surprise: A Group Show on Contemporary Art in Shanghai,” “Qi Lan: In No Hurry,” and “A Turning Moment: Urban Narratives in Chinese Contemporary Art 1995-2019” etc.

Zhang Qi

Media and Curatorial Leader of Urban Network Office (UNO). She leads the architectural research and planned numerous exhibitions and events in many space. Urban Network Office (UNO) is an independent curatorial team with architectural backgrounds and a commitment to urban renewal and regeneration. Their highly open and collaborative practices allow them to bring diversified arts and programs within communities. Zhang Qi gained her Barch from Southeast University, and her M.S. Historic Preservation from Columbia University. She is also the recipient of a Historic Preservation Faculty Award for Outstanding Thesis, with her thesis focusing on contemporary architecture and urban history theories.

You Yang

Architecture. In 2015 You Yang co-founded architecture WeChat Official Account “AssBook设计食堂,” aiming to share the value of design. In 2017 You Yang started the Urban Design Festival. With the goal of creating a sustainable future, Urban Design Festival curates, discusses and practices urban regeneration with a cross-border design approach to the issues of space and people. At present, he has implemented more than 50 renovation projects and several international forums across China. In the same year, he founded the non-profit organization "Big Fish Community Design Center", which aims to lead the way of community design and empowerment of community co-build and sharing.

Yang Yong

Director of Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum and the Secretary General of Shanghai Minsheng Art Foundation.


Li Xiangning

Dr. Xiangning Li is full professor in history, theory and criticism at Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is also the deputy dean and secretary general of Committee of Architectural Criticism-ASC, member of International Committee of Architectural Criticism (CICA), and the editor of Architecture China magazine, one of the leading architectural magazines in China. Li is a famous architecture theorist, critic, and curator. He was a visiting scholar at MIT, teaching a course on the same topic in the year of 2006. He lectured in universities and institutes including Harvard University. He has been a jury member to many international awards and competitions including the Mies van der Rohe Award the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.
Li Xiangning has been working with international museums and institutes, including Milan Triennale and Goethe Institute, curating exhibitions on Chinese architecture. He is the curator of the Pavilion of China at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, academic director and curator of Busan International Environment Art Festival. He is also academic director and curator of 2013 Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale, curator of Shanghai Westbund 2013 Biennale, and curator for 2015/2017 Shanghai Urban Space Art Season.
His recent books include
Made in Shanghai (2014), Shanghai Regeneration: Five Paradigms (2017), The Real and the Imagined: Study of Value System in Contemporary Urban Theory (2009), and Towards A Critical Pragmatism
He offered curatorial advice to “Reuse, Renew, Recycle: Recent Architecture from China,” an exhibition that is currently on view from October 2021 through July 2022 in MoMA, New York.

Wang Yiquan

Wang Yiquan is an artist and writer currently based in Shanghai. His artistic practice combines complexity and diversity, concentrating in performance, object and text, three independent yet correlative fields. His interest lies in contemporary visual art, urban space, contemporary films, and the relationship between art and economy. Dwelling on these topics for years, he has developed multi directions in his own artistic practice in the last 10 years.

Shanghai Minsheng Art Foundation

Founded on September 21, 2010, the Shanghai Minsheng Art Foundation is an art foundation donated by China Minsheng Bank, adhering to the public welfare philosophy and social and cultural core of China Minsheng Bank. Since its establishment, the foundation has funded the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum and Beijing Minsheng Museum, and donated funds to establish the Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum and the Minsheng Culture and Art Center in Hangzhou, to better meet the needs of the general public for art and culture, and to expand its social function of "improving public cultural literacy and strengthening local and domestic cultural exchanges." The Foundation has also supported a number of academic and cultural projects, including the China Academy of Art's 'Minsheng Art History' scholarship, projects related to the Wu Zuoren International Foundation of Fine Art, and the Chinese edition of the TEFAF Art Market Report 2014, which has been widely received by the industry. In addition, the Foundation has played an important role in accepting and donating and using Minsheng Bank's public welfare donations and managing the public welfare assets of Minsheng Art Organization.

Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum

Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum was established by the China Minsheng Bank for the purpose of promoting contemporary art and culture. Building a world-class museum is part of the corporate responsibility platform of the China Minsheng Bank in a mission of "bringing art to the public, bringing people into the realm of art."

MA+ Minsheng Art Empowerment Project

“Minsheng Art + Empowerment Project (MA+)” is a public welfare brand for the field of culture and art initiated by China Minsheng Bank based on its social responsibility and cultural ideals. "MA+” tries to make culture and art cross borders, allowing artists and designers to directly intervene in the artistic upgrading and transformation of different communities, creating new possibilities for community development. Through a series of public welfare projects, “MA+” will explore and utilize local cultural resources, realize the self-creation, self-service and self-development of local culture, optimize the local living environment, enrich local cultural life, improve local governance, and realize the vision of "bringing art to the public, bringing people into the realm of art."

Shanghai Vanke Real Estate Co., Ltd

Since China Vanke Co., Ltd set up Shanghai Vanke in 1991, it has set its strategic role as “urban and rural constructor and life service provider.” For over 30 years, it has been continuously striving to provide good products and service, in order to meet every demand to build a beautiful life. The urban space is like a liquefied container, linking people, city, and lands. Shanghai Vanke makes an effort to enrich the spiritual value of urban space by region renovation, experience renovation, and culture renovation. Through its continuous attempt to construct interdisciplinary conversations, it is exploring the ideal future for a natural, safe, and interactive city.

Shanghai Columbia Circle

Located along Yan’an West Road, Shanghai’s main East-West artery, Columbia Circle is a historically important site, including preserved colonial monuments and former industrial buildings, such as Sun Ke Villa, Columbia Country Club, Navy Club, swimming pool and multiple industrial buildings. Originally the social hub for Shanghai’s American community, the once rural complex is now concealed behind a perimeter of tall modern buildings. Real estate giant Vanke took over Columbia Circle and enlisted OMA to inject new life into the compound. It is now a space for cultural events, entertainment, and life.