3 things to see at the Shanghai Biennale 2016

As the Biennale kicks off, executive curator Chen Yun chooses her top picks

Over the past 19 years, the Shanghai Biennale’s mission has been to support academic and creative innovation – and this year looks no different. Presenting the works of a whopping 92 participating artists and artist groups from 40 countries worldwide over four months, the exhibition explores the theme, ‘Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories.’


Alongside a whole host of projects, lectures and educational activities throughout the city, the Biennale is presenting 51 Personae, a programme which will feature three participants every week over the Biennale’s 17 weeks. 51 Personae is a community project that aims to present the perspectives of ordinary people from every corner of Shanghai in unique and interesting ways. Executive curator Chen Yun explains, 'The project is a close look at what contributes to our common sense idea of urban life in Shanghai. Each person has his or her own approach to this commonness. In fact, each and every concept is very different from one another in many aspects, but as a whole they somehow magically seem to refer to each other and reflect each other’s stories. That’s really magic. We only discovered this gradually through the process of collecting perspectives. At the end, it looks like a collection of short stories about Shanghai, by one single author.'

Ming Wong- Windows on the World 2

There's a lot going on all over Shanghai, so ahead of the project, Chen Yun gives us her three things not to miss at this year's event:

Football Veterans of Lane 449
Tuesday 15, 7-9pm
Established in 1986, Dinghai Road’s Lane 449 has fostered the talents of many national football team players. Football has become a lifelong passion for a number of the community team’s players, now in their 60s and 70s, who still play at least twice a week. On Tuesday 15, the China vs. Qatar 2016 FIFA World Cup Qualification match will be broadcast live. The Lane 449 football veterans will provide live commentary during the match.

Venue: Power Station of Art Theatre, Lane 20, Huayuangang Lu, near Miaojiang Lu, Huangpu district. Free, booking required.

Wei Lang
December 1-31, 10am-9.30pm
Born in the year 2000 to a family from Zhejiang Province who migrated to Shanghai, Wei grew up on both sides of the Suzhou River. A high school student who loves to wander, walk and cycle around the city, Wei Lang watched the Shanghai Centre being built over one semester, from the window of his classroom. Having taken careful notes of the transformation of his surroundings, over a 12-minute ride in the carriage of The Sky Ring Ferris wheel, you can scan a QR code and listen to his story, the memories of a 16-year-old.

Venue: The Sky Ring, Joy City, 180 Xizang Bei Lu, near Qufu Lu, Hongkou district. No booking required, venue entry is 60RMB.

Lin Hai
December 31, January 31, February 28; 10am-5pm
Trained as a bench-worker of Jiangnan Shipyard, Lin Hai is a self-taught amateur radio operator. His special radio shows commissioned by 51 Personae will be able to be heard within a 15-kilometre radius of the Luwan Stadium, where he teaches classes. This special broadcast will be a show about radio itself, its special attributes and its presence. Listeners who are able to receive the signal within the broadcast range can register via an official WeChat group. Listeners will then each be mailed a ‘reception report card’.

Venue: Within a 15km radius of Luwan Stadium. No booking required, frequency for broadcast will be released in advance via WeChat.

Nicholas Bussman-News Blues

The 11th Shanghai Biennale, hosted by Power Station of Art, takes place Friday 11 November-March 12. Check out their WeChat Yancongpsa for more info.