Shenzhen Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism

City Mobilization
Snow Bull Station by Rigo 23

The Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture announces the opening of its third edition “City Mobilization”, scheduled to run from 6 December, 2009 to 23 January, 2010 in the southern coastal city of Shenzhen. Led by Chief Curator Ou Ning and curators Beatrice Galilee, Kayoko Ota, Weiwei Shannon and Pauline J. Yao, the exhibition features approximately 60 artists and architects from around the world presenting newly created works in three venues: Shenzhen Civic Square, Shenzhenwan Avenue and Yitian Holiday Plaza.

Taking the theme of “City Mobilization”, the 2009 Bi-city Biennale proposes an investigation into the organization and balance of social life within contemporary urban China. In today’s globalized world, we have moved from a model of ‘nationhood’ to ‘city-hood’ where cities must consider themselves in relation to a global network of other cities around the world. In the case of Shenzhen and its immediate neighbor Hong Kong—as represented in the Bi-City Biennale theme—there exists the very real and concrete opportunity for these cities to creatively respond to the challenges of cooperation and interaction between one another, across the Pearl River Delta region and among corresponding other parts of the world. “City Mobilization” thus aims to invigorate and mobilize the institutional structures and inner systems of the city itself and contribute to the ways in which local inhabitants can take a more active role in the creation, design, adaptation and development of their own environment. Throughout the Bi-city Biennale the forms of art and architecture are applied actively, with participatory or interactive works and installations offering creative ways to envision bottom-up strategies and engage with new and different distributions of power.

Sharply separating this edition of the Bi-city Biennale from its predecessors, Shenzhen Civic Square serves as the main venue, moving the exhibition out of the safe confines of the OCT Loft arts district into a more openly public and widely accessible location. The Bi-city Biennale aims to reclaim this dormant yet politically charged site—built ostensibly for the people of Shenzhen yet rarely put to use—by occupying it with large-scale installations and works that immediately address or reflect upon Shenzhen’s own unique urban condition. In marked distinction to previous editions, nearly all of the works on view have been created on-site in Shenzhen, calling for the mobilization of many forces to realize the potential of the Bi-city Biennale itself.