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Steam Metropolis

“Eight Dreams” Public art project / 3D video projection
2018 / Shanghai, China

“Eight Dreams” was a public art project commissioned by Sinan Mansions in Shanghai during the New Year of 2019. It used memory archeology in the historical blocks to restore this drastically changed city and the lives of citizens expelled from the industrial age. The project virtualized 8 sets of 3D scenes with 21 projectors to evoke people's real memories.

Steam Metropolis

3D video projection / 2018 / Shanghai, China

Fritz Lang, the German expressionist master filmed the movie of METROPOLIS, which was about the industrial age and a fantasy of the future super-metropolis. At the same time, Shanghai transformed from a small town in the south China to a metropolis in the Far East because of the convergence of Chinese and Western civilization. The process of industrialization and urbanization caused a large influx of people, then the people and modern machines played a symphony of the steam age.

Tides of Time

3D video projection / 2018 / Shanghai, China

"Tides of Time" constructed a digital tidal flat. Shanghai is a city formed by the alluvial soil shaped by the Yangtze River. Nowadays, concrete and asphalt roads covered the original ground surfaces. The great changes in the city have isolated the relationship between man and nature. The digital tides were constantly washing out the life items that people used to be familiar with: flashing television buried in the beach, tick-tack clocks, paralyzed sewing machine.....A whale jumped out of the water, this huge marine creature was a legendary beast. However, the mysterious relationship between mankind and nature has been separated by substantial steel and concrete in the progress of modern industrialization.

As a cultural landmark of Shanghai, Sinan Mansions was once a messy place for daily life of citizens. People here experienced various emotions and were busy for their livelihood. Today, the residents have already moved away because of the expansion of Shanghai. The vicissitudes of the times are constantly changing like tides, which makes people feel a real vulnerability. Three-dimensional scenes recreated the memories of people’s daily life, and projected them on the surfaces of the buildings:

sauced duck, bacon, and ham that were hanging on the window during the Chinese New Year dripped down and turned into live chickens, live ducks and piglets running around; the clothes hanging outside also melted and dripped and transformed into a living person standing and looking at the audiences. All of these evoked the memories of the times.

The five scenes of “Butcher’s Zoo”, “A Flow of Traffic”, “Land Dada”, “Round the Clock” reflected the daily life of the citizens. The three scenes of “Quintet Over the Sea”, “Heaven’s Garden” and “Chuang Tzu’s Beach" presented the spiritual world of Shanghai people.

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