【Minsheng Lecture 】In Shunde: On-Site, Research, Collaboration, Writing

Guests: Xu Tan, Liao Baoxin, Kong Yan, Wu Shixiong
Host: Wang Yiquan
Date: Saturday, November 20, 2021
Time: 19:00-21:00
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.

The outlook of Shunde

In this exhibition, the artist collective “Shundeology Group” founded by Xu Tan, Liao Baoxin and Huang Rui made their debut and published their study in the last two years. In early 2020, they started to study about Shunde, Guangdong Province. From their study, we can learn about the local culture and terroir, and take a glimpse of the future of urbanization of Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macau Greater Bay Area. The work of “Sundeology Group” is raising awareness of the endangered rural culture in the process of urbanization.

Factories in Magang Industrial Park, Magang Village, Ronggui, March, 2021

Based in Shunde, “Shundeology Group” applies interdisciplinary and open working methods. They do not limit themselves to a specific subject, but collaborate with partners from various areas to explore multiple possibilities in practice. Meanwhile, Shundeology actively shares resources and offers a platform, welcoming more individuals and institutions to enter the collaboration.

Shrimp farm in Fengsha Village at 5am, January, 2021

Shundeology XGL refers to artists duo Wu Shixiong and Kong Yan, who are the working team in Gu Lang village, Xingtan, Shunde. Based on Gu Lang, the duo practices art making that explores the combination of on-site practice and the objective world, from a perspective of art observing and humanity.

Researching at Dashan Island, Ronggui, Shunde, January, 2020

In this event, members of “Shundeology Group”: Xu Tan, Liao Baoxin, and the XGL duo Wu Shixiong, Kong Yan were invited to share their study process with the audience. Through looking at their research and reflection on the local custom, culture, and the social and artistic style of the local architecture, we can weave meanings together in works, and together we explore new possibilities of urbanization. The event would be hosted by curator of “Meditations on the Urban Spectacles” Wang Yiquan.

Shundeology group conducting interview at Xinming village, Leliu, Shunde, September, 2021


Xu Tan

Xu Tan is an artist and founder of various art projects. Xu Tan studied fine arts at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts where he received a master’s degree in 1989. He now lives and works in Shenzhen. Xu Tan focuses on social life and cultural shifting while practicing artistic expression, academic research, and aesthetic practice. His works take form in almost every media: text, image, video, performance, installation, networks, etc. In the early 1990s, he joined the Guangzhou-based artist collective “Big Tail Elephant Group.” Xu has been a recipient of the Fellowship of Asia Culture Council (Rockefeller Foundation), New York in 2002 and the Fellowship of DAAD in Berlin, Germany in 2004. Since 2005, Xu Tan has been developing the Keywords Project; which in 2011 evolved into project “Keyword Lab—Social Botanic;” in 2020 he started the collaborative project “Shundeology.” Some of his group exhibitions include: Taipei Biennial (1998), Taipei, Taiwan; Second Berlin Biennial (2001), Berlin, Germany; 50th and 53rd Venice Biennale (2003, 2009), Venice, Italy; the Second Guangzhou Triennial (2005), Guangzhou, China; 14th Shanghai Biennial (2014) Shanghai, China, etc.

Liao Baoxin

Liao Baoxin is an art practitioner and a walking lover. She now lives in Shunde. She graduated from City University of Macau in 2017, and started the collaborative project “Shundeology” in 2020. Her artistic practice includes performance, poetry, and image. She combines research and field study to explore healing and spirit, and the collaboration that is natural and self-organized. She is also dedicated to observing the poeticness and politicalness of daily life, trying to be a leisure expert. Her works have been included in the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Taipei; Zuko Gallery, Tainan; Wonder Foto Day, Taiwan, and the Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Wu Shixiong

Independent artist, publisher, curator, contemporary art collector. He graduated from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1973 and started the magazine Modern Photography in 1984. In 1990 he founded Shenzhen Art Research Association. For over 30 years, Wu has been dedicated to artistic communication between China and the International world, public art designing and planning, art books editing and publishing, etc. He participated in Guilin Yuzi Paradise International Sculpture Workshop Camp, two sessions of “La Fete de Mai” land art workshop in Belgium, “Warrior” wood sculpture workshop camp in the Netherlands, the European Ceramic Center Residency Program, etc. He also organized Chinese Young Sculptor Workshop Camp, Zhangjiajie International Oil Painting Camp and various cultural communication events that include artists from China, US, Netherlands, Slovenia, Japan, Korea, Austria, Mexico, Serbia, and France. In 2018 he returned to his home town Shunde to participate in culture revitalization in rural areas. He is now the founder of Sanchi Study Society.

Kong Yan

Kong Yan graduated from the Department of Art History, Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1991. Kong is an art curator, freelance writer and editor. For more than twenty years she has been engaged in art management, socio-cultural communication, research and practice for the creative design industry and urban culture promotion. In recent years, she presided over a number of international cultural exchange activities and public art projects in China, participated in the studies and the plans for cultural industries and public art commissioned by the government. She served as project director of Shenzhen Public Art Center, director of the Shenzhen Urban\Architecture Biennale office. Kong is now the founder of Sanchi Study Society.


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.