OCAT上海馆 | C空间计划
2020年度第1期 | “杨圆圆个展：上海楼”
展览地点：上海市静安区曲阜路9弄下沉庭院 | 多功能空间
开幕日程 | 2020年11月07日（周六）
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2018年4月，艺术家杨圆圆在亚洲文化协会的支持下，带着20世纪的演艺圈中的华人女性研究课题来到美国。她在旧金山唐人街遇见了一群年事已高的华裔女性：旧金山华埠夜总会“紫禁城”最后一任经营者、传奇舞者余金巧（Coby Yee）；退役舞者、唐人街向导方美仙（Cynthia Yee）；曾经的平面模特、上海来的女士吴锡锡（Ceecee Wu）以及唐人街都板街舞团（Grant Avenue Follies）的各位女士们。这群华裔女性的祖父辈大多是在19世纪中后期至20世纪初抵达美国旧金山的第一批华人移民者，经历过1906年的旧金山地震、《排华法案》的实施(1882年-1943年)，并参与建立了旧金山最早的唐人街。而身为在美国出生的第二代、第三代华裔的她们则是亲身见证了20世纪旧金山华埠夜总会、粤剧戏院的兴起至衰落。展览跟随着杨圆圆的视角依次进入到这些具有不同身世际遇的传奇女性生命中，交叠的多维度女性形象于时空中交汇，渐而将20世纪旧金山华埠旧景缓缓浮现在大众眼前。展览将由四部影像作品和收集的图像与文献展开叙事，围绕杨圆圆最新系列创作《女人世界》2展开对20世纪海外粤剧戏台、电影片场与夜总会场景中的华裔女性的记忆重塑。
展览空间设计灵感来自于展览其中一件作品《中国城轶事》中提到的“走几轮”（Making Rounds），意指20世纪美国唐人街呈现出的文化娱乐奇观——客人于不同餐饮娱乐场所自行其间，自由穿梭。如你来此地，可先去上海楼享用一桌粤式菜肴，后前往紫禁城夜总会（Forbidden City Nightclub）观看第一轮演出，之后移步至上海夜总会（Club Shanghai）和大观天台（Chinese Sky Room）欣赏今晚的第二和第三场舞蹈表演。这或许会是一场“驶入的航行”3，我们在边缘处走上几轮，产生出一种看待历史现实的特殊方式；又或许它只是一次精彩的华埠之旅，你将邂逅这些在晚年依旧奔波于筹备谢幕之舞的华裔传奇女性们。
杨圆圆（b.1989，北京）是一名视觉艺术家与电影导演，她通过影像、摄影、艺术家书与表演等多种媒介叙事。曾获ART POWER年度艺术发现大奖（2019）；亚洲文化协会奖助金（2017)；新锐摄影奖提名(2016)；华宇青年奖提名(2016)；法国阿尔勒摄影节作者书奖(2015)；Magenta基金会Flash Forward摄影奖（2013）；三影堂特尼基金奖(2012)等等。她的近期个展包括 “大连幻景”，AIKE，上海，中国，2019；“交错剧场”，华美艺术协会456画廊，纽约，美国，2018；“间隔地带“，Modern Art Base, 上海，中国，2018；“在视线交错之处，上篇“，C-空间，北京，中国，2016。
2018年，她在纽约的Art in General与UnionDocs进行驻地。2019年，她的处女短片电影《相爱的柯比与史蒂芬》入围多部国际电影节包括美国亚特兰大电影节、卡姆登国际电影节、亚美国际电影节、台湾国际女性影展等。目前，她的第一部长片《女人世界》正在后期制作中。
OCAT Shanghai | C-PLAN
Project Director: Tao Hanchen
Term 1, C-PLAN 2020 | Luka Yuanyuan Yang Solo Exhibition: Shanghai Low
Artist: Luka Yuanyuan Yang
Curator: Wang Shuman
Duration: 07 November 2020 to 27 December 2020
Venue: Multifunction | Lane 9, Qufu Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai
Exhibition Organizer: OCAT Shanghai
Exhibition Co-organizer: OCT Land (Shanghai) Investment Ltd.
Special Support: AIKE
Opening Schedule | 07 November, 2020
Opening Talk (Guests: Yang Yuanyuan, Wang Shuman)
Postcard from Shanghai Low, Image courtesy of the artist
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OCAT Shanghai is pleased to present the term 1 of the 2020 C-PLAN exhibition, Luka Yuanyuan Yang's solo exhibition, Shanghai Low, from November 7 to December 27, 2020. Shanghai Low, a former Chinese restaurant that flourished in San Francisco's Chinatown in the 20th century. The adoption of its Chinese and English names as the subject for the exhibition draws inspiration from the analysis of “phonocentrism” in the post-colonial translation theories, where phonetics was prioritized over semantics. Translation is generally regarded as the exchange and negotiation of two heterogeneous cultural systems, which, in the post-colonial context, has further evolved into a battleground and a place of exemplification. Shanghai Low, as a cultural symbol of the "other's" culture, has departed from its original cultural context and arrived anew, where the possibility of expression in the original language has been lost.
"Translation is that which takes place across cultures, peoples and therefore borders."
--Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference
What's more, the restaurant, Shanghai Low, primarily served Cantonese cuisine and had no real connection to Shanghai, was nevertheless appropriated for its exotic quality. Speaking of "Shanghai," the Western diners could easily associate it with the beautiful oriental faces and customs. It is not uncommon to find such self-orientalized nomenclature in Chinatown. For the culturally uprooted Chinese immigrant communities, having experienced anxieties about their national values and identities, these names embody a "primitive passion"1. However, the confusion caused by such "primitive passion" as cultural exports further obscures and distorts the Eastern cultures' heterogeneity in the mirror image of the West, which is eventually conceived as "mystery, fancy, barbarism, ignorance, backwardness and, superstition." Under the Western power system's invisible control, the aphasic translation and alienated forms were tucked under the strange landscape of Chinatowns in the 20th century. Only through the discoveries of individual survival experiences and memories would we restore the unfocused picture and the gradually dissipating history.
" They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented."
--Karl Marx, quoted from the epigraph of Orientalism
In April 2018, artist Luka Yuanyuan Yang came to the United States with a research project on Chinese women in show business in the 20th century, with the support of the Asian Cultural Council. She met a group of aging Chinese women in San Francisco's Chinatown including, the legendary dancer and the last proprietor of San Francisco's Chinatown nightclub Forbidden City, Coby Yee; retired dancer and Chinatown guide, Cynthia Yee; former magazine model and the lady from Shanghai, Ceecee Wu; and the ladies of Grant Avenue Follies of Chinatown. The grandparents of these Chinese women were the first Chinese immigrants to arrive in San Francisco in the mid-to-late 19th century to the early 20th century, who lived through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the implementation of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943), and participated in the building of San Francisco's first Chinatown. As the second and third-generation American-born Chinese, they witnessed the rise and fall of nightclubs and Cantonese opera theaters in San Francisco's Chinatown in the 20th century. The exhibition follows the lives of these legendary women with extraordinary experiences through Yang Yuanyuan’s perspective. As the overlapping, multi-dimensional images of these women converge in time and space, the San Francisco Chinatown of the last century would be gradually brought to life. The exhibition will unfold through the narratives of four video works and a collection of images and archival materials. Revolving around Luka's latest series Women's World, which recreates overseas Chinese women's memories in 20th-century Cantonese opera theaters, movie sets, and nightclubs. 2
Left to right, Stills from Coby and Stephen Are in Love, The Lady from Shanghai, Tales of Chinatown, Theater of Crossed Roads: A Night at Forbidden City Nightclub, Image courtesy of the artist
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"The relationship between "Woman" -- a cultural and ideological composite Other constructed through diverse representational discourses (scientific, literary, juridical, linguistic, cinematic, etc). This connection between women as historical subjects and the representation of Woman produced by hegemonic discourses is not a relation of direct identity, or a relation of correspondence or simple implication. It is an arbitrary relation set up by particular cultures."
--Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses
The design of the exhibition space was inspired by the reference to "Making Rounds" in one of the works in the exhibition, Tales of Chinatown, which refers to the cultural and entertainment spectacles of 20th century Chinatown in the United States, where patrons were free to frequent these food and beverage establishments. If you were to visit, you would enjoy a table of Cantonese cuisine at the Shanghai Low, then head to the Forbidden City Nightclub for the first round of shows, before moving on to the second and third dance performances of the evening at Club Shanghai and the Chinese Sky Room. It may be a "voyage in"3 where we, the visitors, will walk around the edges a few times to develop a unique perception of historical realities. Or, it may just be a wonderful trip to Chinatown, where you will meet these legendary Chinese women who are still preparing for the closing dance in their twilight years.
Hereby, welcome! Shanghai Low.
Still from Theater of Crossed Roads: A Night at Forbidden City Nightclub, Image courtesy of the artist
1 In Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema, Rey Chow points out the understanding of “primitive passion” is based on the discussion of “sinocentrism”, while “primitive passion” refers to China’s infatuation with the concept of “root” and “origin”.
2 Yang Yuanyuan's final feature-length film of the series, A Woman's World, is currently in post-production and will be screened at OCAT Shanghai in the future.
3 In Culture and Imperialism, Edward W. Said used the term "voyage in" to refer to "a conscious effort to enter into the structure of European and Western discourse, to engage with it, to change it, to make it recognize a history that is marginalized, repressed, or forgotten.”The work of post-colonial feminist scholars can also be seen as a "voyage in".
Luka Yuanyuan Yang (b.1989, Beijing) is a visual artist and filmmaker. She does visual storytelling through film, photography, artist books and performance. Yang received awards internationally from organizations such as Art Power 100 (2019); Asian Cultural Council (2017); Huayu Youth Award(2016); Rencontres d'Arles(2015); Magenta Foundation(2013); Three Shadows Tierney Fellowship (2012) etc. Her recent solo exhibitions include Dalian Mirage, AIKE, Shanghai, China, 2019; Theater of Crossroads, Chinese America Arts Council Gallery 456, New York, United States, 2018; Interval, Modern Art Base, Shanghai, China, 2018; At the Place of Crossed Sights, C-Space, Beijing, China, 2016.
In 2018, Yang was the artist-in-residence at Art in General and UnionDocs in New York. In 2019, her first short film Coby and Stephen are in Love co-directed with Carlo Nasisse was screened at multiple international film festivals such as Atlanta Film Festival, Camden International Film Festival, Asian American International Film Festival and Women Make Waves etc. Her first feature film Women's World is currently in post-production phase.
OCAT Shanghai is the first non-profit art institution in China to focus on developing media art and architectural design. It has hosted dozens of influential exhibitions and hundreds of public events since its inception in September 2012. C-PLAN was the third exhibition space of the former OCAT Shanghai venue on Wen'an Road, which has been recently refurbished based on its original function for public programs. C-PLAN was first launched in 2016 as a way to solicit support and collaboration from the community to realize solo projects by media artists. We hope that C-PLAN will serve as a showcase for the creativity of media artists.
In October 2019, OCAT Shanghai relocated to the sunken courtyard on No.9, Qufu Road. While retaining the main exhibition space, the new venue has carved out a multifunctional area of approximately 220 square meters in the center of the museum. After months of operational adjustments and our team's preparational efforts at the new OCAT Shanghai venue, we are pleased to announce the relaunch of the C-PLAN in the multifunctional space. Starting from 2020, C-PLAN will present a series of three to four solo (group) exhibitions by Chinese artists and overseas resident artists each year, curated by the OCAT Shanghai team, and each project to last for 1-2 months. The 2020 C-PLAN will begin this November with the following exhibition schedule.
While retaining its original name, C-PLAN will be open to exploring the possibilities for research and activities, providing a free site of expression for artists, offering art researchers a platform for open discussion, and bring diverse exhibition experience to the visitors. We believe that an art museum is a place where exhibitions take place and a site of practice for public programs, and a two-way window between the art that is happening now and the society transforming. C-PLAN is dedicated to becoming the observer of this window, documenting the tension and symbiosis between the art ecology and the social systems as they integrate freely.