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The 6th Shanghai Biennale 2006

Shanghai Art Museum, 5th September to 5th November 2006


With the advent of the vigorous and fresh autumn breeze, Shanghai ushers in the 6th Shanghai Biennale. About a hundred artists from home and abroad gather together to take part in this grand event and more than one hundred works will be exhibited in major historical and cultural sites. As an important occasion to showcase of contemporary art production and forums where artists can meet, challenge their own works and expand their experiences, Shanghai Biennale offers the opportunity of a truly international exchange of ideas. Bringing together artists, curators, writers, theorists and art supporters from around the world, the Biennale has become a critical space of dialogue within an increasingly global art market. The Shanghai Biennale highlights the increasingly important role of artistic production in the Asia-Pacific region.

Based on the experience in operating the past Biennales, the 2006 Shanghai Biennale will continue its local experience to face the global situation and cultural attitudes. It insists on constructing different cultural imaginations. Under the theme of  "Hyper Design", as a very fresh element in visual culture and consummation industry, the Biennale explores the complicated, overlapping social liaison and cultural meanings hidden behind the phenomenon of  "Design". It reveals and ponders the meaning of design in three layers, ranging from aesthetic, life-style to social history in order to broaden a humanistic vision and promote the creative culture.

Organizing Committee

Academic Committee

Chairman: Fang Zengxian (Chairman of Shanghai Artists Association, Director of Shanghai Art Museum)

Director: Xu Jiang (Vice Chairman of Chinese Artists Association, President of China Academy of Art)

Vice Director: Lu Fusheng (Vice Chairman of Shanghai Artists Association, Chief Editor of Shanghai Fine Art Publishers) Li Lei (Executive Director of Shanghai Art Museum)

Members of Committee (in the sequence of the first letter):

  • Chen Long (Ex-Vice-Director of Shanghai Art Museum)
  • Fan Di'an (President of China National Museum of Fine Arts)
  • Hu Xiangcheng (Famous Artist)
  • Lin Jiayang (Dean of College of Communication and Art of Tongji University)
  • Li Xiangyang (Executive Dean of Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institute)
  • Li Xu (Critic)
  • Mao Shi'an (Inspector of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV)
  • Wang Jieyin (Vice Chairman of Shanghai Artists Association, Professor of Fine Art College of Shanghai University )
  • Xiao Gu (Vice Chief of Art Section of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV)
  • Zhou Changjiang (Standing Vice Dean of School of Art of East China Normal University)
  • Zhang Jianjun (Famous Artist)
  • Zheng Shengtian (Canadian famous Curator, Theorist)
  • Zhu Qingsheng (Professor of Department of Art Studies of Peking University)

History of Shanghai Biennale

2004 Shanghai Biennale

The fifth edition of Shanghai Biennale took place from September, 28th to November, 28th 2004.The academic theme of this Biennale, "Techniques of the visible", was focused on the close relationship between art, science, and technology, in particular how art has revealed the interdependent social and political forces that produce and subject technology and humanity. Taken from the Ancient Chinese philosophy of 'ying xiang', the concept emerges from an interest in the visual products of modern technology that retain critical historical and emotive references. 'Ying Xiang Sheng Cun' ('Techniques of the Visible') suggests that artistic practice engaging with 'technology' is inherently placing itself within a historical continuum, where cultural metaphor becomes critical to its understanding. This fifth edition of Shanghai Biennale's main venue was Shanghai Art Museum, and the museum also organized exhibitions in cooperation with other places in the city; this various geographical type of sites facilitated contacts between art and population.

Part of Artists

  • Bill Viola (U.S.A)
  • Cindy Sherman (U.S.A.)
  • Coco Fusco (U.S.A.)
  • Jeff Wall (Canada)
  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Spain)
  • Yoko Ono (Japan)

Curatorial Team

  • Chief Curator: Xv Jiang
  • Curators: Sebastian Lopez (The Netherlands) Zheng Shengtian (Canada) Zhang Qing

2002 Shanghai Biennale

2002 Shanghai Biennale was hosted by the Organizing Committee of Shanghai Bienniale. The main theme of this Bienniale, "Urban Creation" was divided into three parts: 'Urban Creation' Exhibition, 'Urban Creation' International Student Retrospective Exhibition and an exhibition of one hundred photographs of one hundred Shanghai historic buildings. The theme of this Bienniale focused on the fast development of urbanization process: the new city buildings have been changing China's landscape with unprecedented depth and universality, resulting into the profound transformation of the previous cultural situations and living conditions. It is of primary importance for contemporary Chinese culture to inspect this reality with a constructive attitude and to consider the subjects of countryside and city, tradition and modernity, local and globalization, conservation and development, inheritance and creation, and so on.

Part of Artists

  • Los Carpinteros (Cuba)
  • Navin Rawanchaikul (Thailand)
  • Shigeru Ban (Japan)
  • Yona Friedman (Hungary)

Curatorial Team

  • Curator: Alanna Heiss Fan Di'an Wu Jiang Li Xv

2000 Shanghai Biennale

2000 Shanghai Biennial's main topic was "Spirit of Shanghai". 67 artists from 18 countries presented more

than 300 works including oil paintings, Chinese paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, installations, video, media, architecture works, etc. For the first time, a small group of curators was formed within the Bienniale by both Chinese and international members. Foreign artists (coming from Europe, USA, Africa and Asia) selected by this group were all deeply invested in the 90ies international artistic world and represented the contemporary international art tendency. In terms of contemporary cultural issues, they adopted positive attitude and cutting edge positions. Most of the Chinese artists selected by the curators' group were leaders of contemporary art in China, they did not neglect any kind of influence in order to become vigorous actors of Chinese art. A colloquium about the issue '"Spirit of Shanghai", a specific form of modernization' was also organized.

Part of Artists

  • Anselm Kiefer (Germany)
  • Cai Guoqiang (U.S.A.)
  • Matthew Barney (U.S.A.)
  • Mariko Mori (Japan)
  • William Kentridge (South Africa)

Curatorial Team

  • Chief Curator: Fang Zengxian
  • Curators: Hou Hanru Toshio Shimizu Zhang Qing Li Xu

1998 Shanghai Biennale

1998 Shanghai Biennale was jointly organized by Shanghai Art Museum and Annie Wong Art Foundation from October, 20th to November, 20th 1998. Exhibitions venues were Shanghai Art Museum and Liu Hai Su Museum. The main theme was "Inheritance and Exploration"; 256 works were exhibited; most of them were recent ink paintings, which illustrated the latest evolution of this traditional technique. Art works were divided into two parts according to the style influence.

1996 Shanghai Biennale

Under the authority of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Municipal Administration of Shanghai, Shanghai Art Museum organized the 1996 Shanghai Biennale from March, 18th to April, 7th 1996. The first edition was organized by Shanghai Municipal Cultural Department and Shanghai Art Museum. With 'Open Space' as main theme, Shanghai Biennale aimed to show how, since the outstanding opening reform, Chinese art had evolved in different forms and means including all kinds of styles. 160 works of 29 artists were exhibited.