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April 18, 2019

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Urban art season for former shipyard

One of Shanghai’s oldest shipyards will open to the public for the first time in September along with a nearby century-old textile warehouse for a two-month exhibition.

The relocation of Shanghai Shipyard has left a large number of facilities such as two major shipyards, crane towers, conveyor belts, gear wheels and pipelines at its original site on the Huangpu River waterfront in Yangpu District.

The site will open to the public along with a new 2.7-kilometer riverside path for the biennial Shanghai Urban Space Art Season 2019 between September and November.

Global artists will create about 20 sculptures or art installations along the riverside for an exhibition on a “waterfront space” theme.

Event organizers have also invited artists to design five artworks for permanent exhibition on the waterfront.

The exhibition is being organized by Shanghai Urban Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism and the Yangpu District government.

Entitled “Encounter,” the exhibition aims to highlight the global issue of how waterfronts can be brought back to life, according to Fram Kitagawa, a Japanese artist and the exhibition’s curator.

The theme for the exhibition originated from a blueprint released by the city’s urban planning authority for its waterfront development, said Wang Xunguo, deputy director with the urban planning bureau.

According to the “striving for a world-class waterfront area” plan, continuous riverside zones will be created along the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek by 2020, featuring greenery and preserved historical buildings. Sidewalks stretching 45 kilometers on the banks of the Huangpu between Yangpu Bridge and Xupu Bridge have opened.

The initial 2.7-kilometer extension, once home to China’s first power, water and textile plants, is an ideal site for the show, said Wang.

The two shipyards, which are more than 200 meters long and about 10 meters deep, will become major exhibition spaces, according to organizers.

Its nearby four-story Maoma (linen and wool) Warehouse covering about 6,600 square meters, will open as the main indoor exhibition space.


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