Shenzhen Qianhai's artistic side on display

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“Sheep and Cattle Herd” created by Liao Zhenyu. SD-Agencies

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An installation called “Mini CBD” made by Wang Tianqi and his partners. Tan Yifan

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A girl answers a phone call under a cell phone booth. Tan Yifan

Qianhai is still waiting for its land to be transformed into a Manhattan or Dubai, where business and living can be arranged in a smart, vertical space, and international residents will flood in.

While the city is under construction, artists from different countries and regions were invited in late April to visualize their artistic thoughts in the area and created functional art.

On May 12, nine leading art installations were unveiled next to the CTFHOKO in Qianhai with other art work. Their creators made their first public presentations in the zone.

Themed “Arts Grow With Qianhai,” the curators invited musicians, pupils, dancers, artists and architects to perform. Concerts and salons were held and 8,000 windsocks made by students from Shenzhen and Hong Kong are hung along the roads.

“With the influence of public art, we hope Qianhai can find its own urban culture. This event is a landmark for public art because it is not simply a building or a physical product, it connects with people’s daily life. We want to invite residents to build a poetic city with the artists,” said Wang Mingxian, chief curator of the event.

Curators have encouraged architects and construction companies to form teams with artists to establish their installations along 100 meters of road.

“It is a trial for us to introduce public art in an unfinished city and the 100-meter view will be a special line,” said Zhou Rong, a co-curator.

Among these participants, Dutch architect Chris Lai and Hong Kong-based artist Chen Yuk-keung and architect Choi Man-ying made a cell phone booth installation that attracted many young visitors.

Chen said they named the installation “Urban Emoticons.” Cell phone users can make a phone call under some mushroom-shaped structures and if they raise their voices, LED lights on the surface display a crying emoji. They also built an electric charging booth, where people have to exercise to produce power.

“We think that telephone booths contain the emotion of the city. It is where superman can change his clothes and small potatoes can find romance,” Chen said. “But it has been forgotten by citizens because now every one owns a cell phone. By building the new booths, we want to encourage the busy bees to communicate with each other and remember to work out.”

Same with Chen, architect Bai Yuxi and artist Zhou Li want to build a bridge for urbanites. They made a large steel bridge in Qianhai.

Bai said they decided to make a “rainbow bridge” with the help of paint and lights.

The bridge was inspired by the ancient bridge in the famed painting “Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival.”

They named it Chaoji, which appears in the “Book of Songs” and indicates the rainbow in the morning.

The stairs on the bridge were painted with rainbow colors and lights were installed inside the structure.

The designers made a narrow gallery on the top of the bridge for visitors to better understand the structure and enjoy the view.

“It is a fun experience to work with the artists. Although the bridge will be dismantled later, it shines for now and is proof of hard work and a bright vision,” Bai added.

Other installations include wooden pavilions, brick-made architecture, and exercise installations.

The exhibition will last until the end of May.




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