200 Years of Melancholy | Recital of Poetry by Baudelaire

Memorial of Baudelaire’s Bicentennial Birthday

19:15–21:15, 14 May 2021, Shanghai Mingsheng Art Museum

Literary Discussion: Han Bo, Wu Yaling
Moderator: Jiang Lu
Poetry Reading and Live Music: Alexandre ROBILLARD, Wu Yaling, Jiang Lu, Han Bo, Zhou Yong, Dagong Yilang, Hema Xiansheng, Yi Yi, Gao Xiaoqin, Wang Cunmiao, Chen Xiaoyu, Wen Chun, Wen Yuxin, Zhang Qi et al.
Physical Theatre Improvisation: Chen Wenwen, Tan Xian, Shen Yubei
Director: Gao Xiaoqin
Costume Design: Chen Xiaoxu
Poster Design: Zheng Bangqian

Notice:For public health security, please make a real-name preservation and bring your ID for admission of the event. Please wait in line to get your temperature measured, hands sanitized, and information registered with the help of our staff. Please wear a face mask during the event. If you are experiencing a fever, coughing, or short breath, please understand that admission is not granted.

Charles Baudelaire
(9 Apr 1821 – 31 Aug 1867)

Here and now, the melancholy of men
In the post-covid era, the instant of the melancholy of humanity
If we make sounds here and now, what sound will it be?

2021 celebrates the 200th birthday of the French poet Baudelaire. Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, in collaboration with Uncertainty Theatre and Alliance Française Shanghai, will host “200 Years of Melancholy: a Bilingual Recital of Poetry by Baudelaire,” as part of the memorial events of Baudelaire’s 200th birthday. The aim is to read Baudelaire and reinterpret the meaning of his poetry in the present by a live, interactive performance that combines bilingual poetry reading, literary discussion, live music and physical theatre improvisation.


Prelude: L’horologe (The Clock)
Poetry Reading: Alexandre Robillard, Gao Xiaoqin

Physical Theatre Improvisation: Chen Wenwen, Tan Xian, Shen Yubei

Literary Discussion (Pt. 1)
Guest Speaker: Han Bo, Wu Yaling

Au Lecteur 《To the Reade》
Poetry Reading: Jiang Lu, Dagong Yilang
Music: Zhou Yong

Elévation 《Elevation》
Poetry Reading: Alexandre, Han Bo

Le Cygne 《The Swan》
Poetry Reading: Wang Cunmiao, Wu Yaling
Music: Zhou Yong, Yi Yi

L'albatros 《The Albatross》
Poetry Reading: Wang Cunmiao

Spleen 《Spleen》
Poetry Reading: Wen Yuxin
Music: Hema Xiansheng

Le Gouffre 《The Abyss
Poetry Reading: Wen Chun
Music: Zhou Yong

Les Métamorphoses du Vampire
《The Metamorphoses of the Vampire》

Poetry Reading: Alexandre, Dagong Yilang
Physical Theatre Improvisation: Chen Wenwen, Tan Xian, Shen Yubei

Literary Discussion (Pt. 2)
Guest Speaker: Han Bo, Wu Yaling

L'invitation au Voyage 《Invitation to a VoyageInvitation to a Voyage》
Poetry Reading: Alexandre
Music: Hema Xiansheng

L'âme du Vin 《The Soul of Wine》
Poetry Reading: Chen Xiaoyu, Han Bo
Music: Yi Yi

Le Balcon 《The Balcony》
Poetry Reading: Alexandre
Music: Yi Yi

Le Chat 《The Cat》
Poetry Reading: Wen Yuxin
Music: Dagong Yilang

À une Passante 《To a Passerby》
Poetry Reading: Chen Xiaoyu
Music: Yi Yi

Allégorie 《Allegory》
Poetry Reading: Alexandre
Music: Hema Xiansheng

La Mort des Pauvres 《The Death of the Poor》
Poetry Reading: Zhang Qi
Music: Zhou Yong

Les Deux Bonnes Soeurs《The Two Good Sisters》
Poetry Reading: Wang Cunmiao, Han Bo

Déjà 《Already》
Poetry Reading: Wu Yaling, Gao Xiaoqin
Music: Hema Xiansheng
Physical Theatre Improvisation: Chen Wenwen, Tan Xian, Shen Yubei

La Beauté 《Beauty》
Poetry Reading: Wen Yuxin

L'homme et la Mer 《Man and the Sea》
Poetry Reading: Zhang Qi

Poetry Reading: Zhang QiOpen Poetry Reading and Discussion

Baudelaire’s Bicentennial Birthday Memorial Recital French Reciters Announced

Selected from 36 applicants nationwide, Wang Cunmiao (Hefei), Chen Xiaoyu (Shanghai), Wen Chun (Shanghai), Wen Yuxin (Chengdu), and Zhang Qi (Shanghai) will participate in the poetry recital as reciters together with our artists. They will receive a money-off coupon of 500 RMB for a French course from Alliance Française Shanghai and a free ticket to the new play “Zhen Shi Yi” performed by Uncertainty Theatre.

​​​​​​​You are welcome to bring your own copy of Baudelaire's poetry, or choose your favorite poem from the event's poetry magazine to read aloud.

About Our Guests

Han Bo
Guest Speaker and Poetry Reciter

Han Bo is a poet, artist, novelist, playwright, travel writer, and curator. Han graduated from Fudan University and was an honorary writer at the University of Iowa. Han is the author of several poetry collections including Borrow Deep Heart (Chinese), Boomerang Temple (Chinese), China Eastern Railway (English), A Banquet of Knots (Russian), Chinese Box (German), of the novel Three Bedrooms, One Living Room, and One Dining Room, and of seven books of travel writing including Travelling with Dionysus and Graffiti and Icon. He participated in a residency at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program in 2009, the 37th Paris French-English Poetry Festival in 2014, the 16th Poesiefestival Berlin in 2015, and the 10th and 11th Moscow International Poetry Biennale in 2017 and in 2019. He took up a residency in Germany in 2017 to study contemporary painting, which was funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Literary Colloquium Berlin, and another one in the Vermont Studio Center Literature in Translation Program in 2018 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation. In 2019, Catherine Platt's translation of Han’s The Western Days earned her runner-up in Asymptote Journal’s Close Approximations Translation Contest for poetry. His work has also been translated into English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish. As a dramatist, he founded EWOOD drama studio in Shanghai and has produced over ten plays including The Chair Knows Not and Shan Hai Jing. As an artist, he has exhibited his paintings, photographs, and installations in China, Russia, and the US. In 2019, he curated the short poetry film "Lament", which was selected for the international competition at the 2020 Berlin Zebra Poetry Film Festival. From December 2020 to January 2021, his solo exhibition, “In Three Bedrooms, One Living Room, and One Dining Room, How Do We Drink Up the Sea?” was on show at MoCA Shanghai. As a former journalist, Han was the chief editor at journals and magazines including The Bund and the Chinese edition of Rodeo.

Wu Yaling
Guest Speaker and Poetry Reciter

Wu Yaling holds a PhD from Université Paris III and is Associate Professor at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. She is the author of Des femmes dans l’ombre de Sophocle (Women in the Shadow of Sophocle) and D’Homère à Racine: les récits du reel (From Homer to Racine: The Stories of Reality), and the Chinese translator of Hesiod’s The Theogony and Works and Days.

Jiang Lu
Moderator and Poetry Reciter

Jiang Lu is the Cultural Manager at Alliance Française Shanghai. She has planned and organized various Chinese–French cultural events, including art exhibitions, lectures, performances, and Francophone film screenings.

Alexandre ROBILLARD(French)
Poetry Reciter and Improvisation Performer

Alexandre ROBILLARD is a theatre and film actor. He recited excerpt from Le Balcon for the 2016 French Language Festival, played a role in Up to the Balcony for the 2016 Shanghai Contemporary Theatre Festival at ACT repertoire. In 2017, he starred in f Lou Ye’s Lanxin Theatre, Guanhu’s Eight Hundred, and Legend of Blood and other film and TV series. He was the reciter of The Balcony for the script reading unit in the 2018 Beijing Youth Theatre Festival. He also starred in recent films such as South Shaolin's Angry King Kong (2019), Broken Army X File Fatal Mutation (2020), and Distortion (2021).

Zhou Yong
Live Music

Zhou Yong was the lead vocal of Shanghai’s band The Lunatic in the 1990s, whose music combines elements from noise, rock, and folk. He casted for Up to the Balcony in the environmental theatre at Uncertainty Theatre in 2016, and Poems of Sheng for a poets’ theatre in 2018. He participated in the play A Seducer’s Diary (Soft Edition) in the 2019 Youth Theatre Festival. In 2017, he held the "Noise Balcony" concert featuring Li Jianhong. In 2017, he co-founded the virtual room sound experimental group, who starred in "The Virtual World," "Artificial Mirror Sound," "The Creation of Gods," etc.

Dagong Yilang
Live Music and Poetry Reciter

Born Zhang Yi, Dagong Yilang is a poet, painter, and a musician. He studied in Department of Political Science at Soochow University and School of Chinese Studies at Fudan University. He has written a collection of poems Between Mood and Footsteps (2003), a collection of essays Between Heaven and Heaven (2013), a collection of poems Building a City (2019), and dozens of singing poems. He now lives in Shanghai.

Hema Xiansheng
Live Music

Mr. Homer is a singer-song writer. His styles are mainly pop and folk, with minor influence from the fusion of the contemporary and classicals. He has published EP To the Homer Town, the content and images of which was described by his friend Lake, founder of DarkU, as, “his music always permeates a sense of wandering – a bard with hats and guitar on hands, carefree and joyous on the streets – extremely folklore and extremely nomadic.”

Yi Yi
Live Music

Yi Yi is a musician who has been exposed to modern music and rock n roll since childhood. He was admitted to the Music Education Department of Hunan First Normal College in middle school. After graduation, he focused on guitar and studied with many famous teachers at home and abroad. In 2012, his original composition "I Am Me" and "Attitude" entered the top 40 of a talent show in China. He was awarded the Best Stage Performance in the 2013 Beijing Yate Cup Electric Guitar Competition. Since 2017, he has participated in various creative art cooperation activities in Shanghai.

Chen Wenwen
Improvisation Performer

Chen Wenwen graduated from Tongji University in 2007 and used to be a communication professional but now serves as a freelancer. She participated in the rehearsal of Three Points of Water: Everyone is Gay in 2004. In the same year, she became a founding member of the drama organization Uncertainty Theatre. Then in 2005, she appeared in the Antigone chapter of The Hidden Palace by Zhang Xian, The Seducer’s Diary in the cruel theater in 2007, Yoga: Here and There in the physical theater in 2008, and Yi Hu Ji in physical theatre in 2013, of which she also participated in production. She returned to Uncertainty Theatre again in 2021, after 8 years of absence, and will re-explore the possibilities in the theatre.

Tan Xian
Improvisation Performer

Tan Xian starred Second: The Paper Gate in the poets’ theatre in 2005, Poems of Abilities in the poets’ theater in 2014, and Bamboos are Bamboos in the environmental theatre in 2015. She performed in Up to the Balcony in the environmental theatre at ACT repertoire.

Shen Yubei
Improvisation Performer

Shen Yubei graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University, majoring in theater arts. A handy person between the study room and the kitchen, self-taught but still amateur coffee brewer, non-manual, press-the-shutter cyberpunk, and a free-to-use indentured servant in the art world. Shen aspires to be a breaking free practitioner of theatre out of institutional disciplines like a tree growing wild. She has joined Uncertainty Theatre in 2021.

Chen Xiaoxu
Costume Design

Chen Xiaoxu is an artist and costume designer, who graduated from Studio Mode Paris: Ecole de mode et stylisme à Paris and L'Académie Internationale de Coupe de Paris (AICP), and now takes up the profession of costume design and production, as well as art education for children.

Gao Xiaoqin
Director and Poetry Reciter

Gao Xiaoqin is an independent director and poetry reciter who graduated from the School of Chemistry at Fudan University, Gao published a collection of poems Whose Child am I Feeding (2005), as well as self-selected poetry collections including: The Deepest Scar Means Healing, Travel, The Silence Is in the Deer, Return to God, Middle Section, Duan Peng Ai Ruosi Walks Through the Streets, etc. In 2010, she won the Liu Li'an Poetry Award.
Gao established the Uncertainty Theatre in 2004 with her peers and since have made progress in the environmental theatre, poets’ theatre, and the realistic theatre. She has attempted to build connections with Chinese theatrical traditions in more recent years. In 2017, she co-founded the virtual room sound theater experimental group with Zhou Yong and Chen Song. As a screen writer and director, she participated in Mi Cang Autumn Harvest Theatre Festival, ACT Shanghai Contemporary Theatre Festival, Denmark CPH-stage ’18 Theatre Festival, Beijing Youth Theatre Festival, etc.

Zheng Bangqian
Poster Design

Zheng Bangqian is a member of the Chinese Artists Association, Shenzhen Graphic Design Association (SGDA), and Shanghai Art Director Club (Shanghai ADC). His design works have won the Gold Award of the 3rd Polish Social and Political Poster Biennale, the Bronze Award of the 23rd Warsaw International Poster Biennale, and the 2015 Taiwan International Graphic Design Award Special Jury Award. Graphic design works won the Best of China GDC15 Award, 2020 German Red Dot Design Award, 2021 German IF Design Award, 2020 Moscow Golden Bee International Design Exhibition Golden Bee Award, etc. Other works were selected for the TokyoTDC Tokyo Font Art Director Club Award, Lahti Poster Triennial in Finland, Toyama International Poster Biennale in Japan, Mexico International Poster Biennale, Brno Poster Exhibition in Czech Republic, Chaumont Poster Festival in France, China International International events such as the Poster Biennale, Hong Kong International Poster Biennale, Polish Theatre Poster Biennale, and Tehran International Poster Biennale.

About Minsheng WE Theatre

As an interactive platform that enjoys the greatest openness, liveliness, and experimental characteristics of our art museum, Minsheng WE Theatre employs multimedia audio-visual tools and perception experience with the integration of drama, bodies, vision, sound and other artistic media. By cooperation projects with international/non-governmental organizations, the museum has been transformed into a highly interactive and live Arts Theatre, which provides a rich selection and artistic enjoyment for the public and attracts the wide attention of artists and art lovers from different fields.

About the Organizers

Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum was established by the China Minsheng Bank as an endeavor to take on corporate social responsibility and realize cultural aspirations. It shares in the bank’s dedication to public welfare and core socio-culture values and aims for building a world-class art museum to give back to the society. Through cross-disciplinary and multi-cultural creation and cooperation, the museum is committed to break down the barriers between different forms of art and close down the gap between contemporary art and the general public. With a mission to “bring art to the public and to bring people into the realm of art,” it is working towards a hub of exhibition, exchange, and creativity between China and the rest of the world

Founded in November 2004, Uncertainty Theatre is dedicated to folk, experimental, and free theatre practice. The main members include poets, visual artists, students, and theatre professionals. It strives to present the inner strength of poetry and brutal truth in the theatre and has also tried in recent years to establish a connection with tradition. Thus far, Uncertainty Theatre has produced and performed 16 works and participated in Micang Qiushou Theatre Festival, ACT Shanghai International Theatre Festival, CPH Stage 2018, Beijing Fringe Festival, and Wuzhen Theatre Festival. Reviews of their works can be found in Shanghai Theatre Academy’s Zhai Yueqin’s “The Art of Seeing: Uncertainty Theatre and Their Poetry Theatre” in Drama Literature (December 2020), “When we talk about“Au Balcon”, it’s all about turmoil, fantasy and absurdity” in Eastday (2016), and Global Times’s “Invitation to the Surreal” (2013).

Alliance Française Shanghai is affiliated with Alliance Française (created in 1883 in Paris), international organization that aims to promote the French language and francophone culture around the world. the world reference for the teaching of French as a foreign language and the dissemination of Francophone cultures. It has developed a network of over 830 institutions in more than 130 countries and holds world-wide prominence and influence. One of the 15 largest alliances in the world, Alliance Française Shanghai has devoted nearly 30 years of time and effort. Ever since its establishment, Alliance Française Shanghai has been keeping with the fine tradition of Alliance Française, offering first-rate French classes, and actively contributing to the strengthening of cultural exchanges between China and France. It organizes more than 100 French cultural events, boasts the largest Francophone library in Shanghai, and provides countless opportunities for friends of French culture to get in touch with French language and culture. It also works in close and long-term liaison with official organizations including the Embassy of France in China, Institut Français Beijing, the Consulate General of France in Shanghai, and Campus France.。