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Above SeaContemporary art, urban culture, and the fashioning of global Shanghai$
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Jenny Lin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526132604

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526132604.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

Installing a world city

Installing a world city

(p.117) 4 Installing a world city
Above Sea

Jenny Lin

Manchester University Press

Chapter Four considers worlding, or the city’s positioning as a cosmopolitan center on an international stage, as a philosophical construct and tangible phenomenon tied to the development and promotion of present-day Shanghai and contemporary Chinese art. The chapter presents three Shanghai-based installations by transnational art stars Gu Wenda, Xu Bing, and Cai Guoqiang. Disrupting the East-meets-West soundbites surrounding discussions of these works, this chapter interrogates the artists’ privileged subject positions, arguing that such artworks function as branding campaigns that world Shanghai. The chapter also discusses the loaded cultural geographies of these installations’ shared sites: the Bund, once the heart of Shanghai’s British and US-controlled International Settlement, and the Pudong Skyline, considered the shining jewel of China’s post-socialist economic rise. The chapter concludes by discussing a more critical recent project by Cai Guoqiang that acknowledged the migrant labor fuelling Shanghai’s urbanization in the face of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and a related urban intervention by artist Ai Weiwei.

Keywords:   Worlding, Installation Art, Public Art, Art and Luxury, World Expo, Postcolonialism

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