My three-day weekend was a huge relief. The weather was beautiful every day. I bought fresh vegetables and cooked a pot of spring pasta. We went on long walks around the city, ate Xibei-style oat noodles and homemade tofu with friends, and attended a block party at the 696 Weihai art district.
696 Weihai is a formerly state-owned automobile parts factory turned artist enclave. Maleonn (an artist I have followed since I was in high school) was the first to set up his art studio, and have invited many of his friends to move into the building. I was so excited the first time I stepped onto Weihai. Unlike Shanghai’s many carefully planned and developed “arts” areas, 696 Weihai felt like an organic community.
Unfortunately, all of this will be demolished in a few weeks all for development’s sake. So Saturday marked a bittersweet, yet wonderfully festive celebration of Weihai Lu and its creative community.
We were intrigued by the red-lit room and stumbled into artist Chris Gill’s studio
Susan Junker’s final installation at stage候台BACK featuring functional sex dolls:
Using a sex doll as the representation of this period of time in the development of Shanghai city and female individuals in general Junker hopes to create an iconic image of the development of the local society that gives audiences pause for thought on the various issues she would like to raise.
-Artist statement from stage候台BACK
I feel like I’m losing my home. Many things needs to be discarded, but it’s really difficult to get through the process of cleaning everything out. But there is nothing we can do. Everything in China is changing dramatically and we must face the turmoil and survive the chaos.”
-An excerpt from an interview with Maleonn by Bound Editorial
*All photos are mine except for the two by Maleonn