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April 20, 2021

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Modern art exhibition launched at Hudec villa

A MODERN art exhibition was launched in a historic villa designed by renowned Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec — who helped shape Shanghai — as his ideal Shanghai home yesterday.

The Sun Ke Villa, built in 1931 at 60 Panyu Road in Changning District and which later belonged to Dr Sun Yat-sen’s son Sun Ke, will be open to the public through July 25.

The exhibition titled “Bodies of Water” is one of the projects of the 13th Shanghai Biennale. It focuses on the climate crisis and human vulnerability amid the COVID-19 pandemic with over a dozen art installations by artists from at home and abroad.

“A Season in Shell” — a video, abalone shells, a porcelain dinner set, and a table and chair — showcases the connections among abalone traders in Africa, seafood restaurants in Hong Kong and Swiss watch producers in Zurich.

A photograph named “Karachi Series-1” displays scenery that citizens walking out from homes at dusk and gathering at a public space may see.

Another exhibit named “10,000 li, 100 billion kilowatt-hours” was created in 2021 based on Shanghai’s grid electric power system. The art installation is composed of refrigeration units, steel, glass, lights, earth and water from the Yangtze River.

The 1,051-square-meter, three-story villa is part of the Columbia Circle compound, once a country club and a gathering place for Americans between 1927 and 1942 on the then outskirts of the city.

Hudec mainly drew on the Spanish-style architecture in vogue in the United States at the time and built the garden villa for himself next to the club.


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