Global artists invited to create artworks for Yangpu waterfront


The Shipyard Fabrication Dock

Shanghai's urban planning authority is inviting artists to design five artworks that will be on permanent display on the waterfront of Yangpu District.

Artists from across the world are welcome to send their designs between August 26 and 31. Five winning works will be selected and publicized on September 28 as key exhibits for the biennial Shanghai Urban Space Art Season 2019 between September and November, the organizer said over the weekend.

The artworks will be placed beside the industrial heritage of the city's earliest shipyard as well as water, tobacco, gas and soap plants along a new 2.7-kilometer riverside path in Yangpu, which will open to the public for the first time for the art season exhibition.

Artists must avoid damaging the concrete site, and no piling is allowed for the art installation. Weight limits have been stipulated for each position.

All the solicited designs will be evaluated by Fram Kitagawa, artistic director of the exhibition, and an experts' panel. The final winners will win a 100,000-yuan (US$14,535) award each.

The five spots for the art installation include the Shipyard Fabrication Dock, the former wielding platform of the Shanghai Shipyard, one of the city's oldest shipyards dating back to 1900. The concrete-paving square is embedded with a historical bronze grid.

The second spot, the Water Plant Trestle Bridge, is beside the historical Yangshupu Water Plant, which was built in 1883 and is still supplying water to a quarter of the downtown residents. The site is a 46-meter-long and 12-meter-wide timber-paving platform in the middle of the trestle bridge beside the water plant.

The third spot, named Ecological Hills, was originally a tobacco factory’s mechanic warehouse. The former site of the warehouse is being transformed into a greenbelt and will be completed by the end of July.

The Water Plant Trestle Bridge

The fourth spot, the Soap Company Dock, is a 47-meter-long and 32-meter-wide dock in the peripheral area of the former Shanghai Soap Company’s flood-control wall.

The soap company, established in 1923, is the only national class-A enterprise for soap manufacturing. The dock was built by the company to transport raw materials and ship products.

The historical building of the soap company has been transformed into a cafe. The dock to be adorned with the artwork is expected to become a leisure place for pedestrians, organizers said.

The last site, called Gas Plant Waterfront Lawn, is at the former locale of the famous Yangshupu Gas Plant, built in the 1930s. It was the biggest gas plant in East Asia until the end of the 20th century. Now it has been transformed into a public and riverfront space.

Artists are required to send paper documents to No. 1102 Vanke Center Riverside at 118 Minsheng Road in the Pudong New Area. Detailed information is available on the official website of the art season (, with English-language option.

Participants can apply to meet with artistic director Kitagawa and visit the five spots on July 26 through the official website.

Entitled "Encounter," the exhibition aims to highlight the global issue of how waterfronts can be brought back to life, according to Kitagawa.

The theme of the exhibition originated from a blueprint released by the city’s urban planning authority for its waterfront development, said Wang Xunguo, deputy director with the urban planning bureau.

Global artists will create about 20 sculptures or art installations along the riverside on the "waterfront space" theme. The five winning artworks will be showcased along with the sculptures.

The Water Plant Trestle Bridge

The Ecological Hills

Oldest shipyard

The Shanghai Shipyard will open to the public for the first time along with a nearby century-old textile warehouse for the two-month exhibition.

The relocation of Shanghai Shipyard has left a large number of facilities, such as two major shipyards, crane towers, conveyor belts, gear wheels and pipelines, at its original site on the waterfront in Yangpu.

The shipyard was established in 1900 by a German company to build shallow water vessels, tow boats, ferries and cruise ships. The site became one of the largest shipyards in China in the 1930s and was named Shanghai Shipyard in 1985.

China’s first 10,000-ton ship, the Shaoxing, was built there in 1978 and the nation’s first oil drilling platform was assembled there in 1984. The platform is still operational. China's icebreaker Xuelong, or the Snow Dragon, was renovated at the shipyard in November 2007.

Its neighboring Maoma (linen and wool) Warehouse will open as the main indoor exhibition space. The warehouse was set up in 1920 by a British textile company. It was later purchased by the state-owned Shenxin Textile Factory No. 7 and witnessed the prosperity and decline of the nation's textile industry, organizers said.

The four-story warehouse, covering about 6,600 square meters, will become an art exhibition space.

The exhibition is being organized by the Shanghai Urban Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism and the Yangpu District government.

The city's planning authority is seeking to preserve 66 historical buildings along the southern section of the Yangpu waterfront, mostly industrial relics covering a total of 262,000 square meters.

The industrial zone once blocked citizens from walking close to the Huangpu River and the authority now aims to develop the former production space into public space for residents, organizers revealed.

According to the “striving for a world-class waterfront area” plan, continuous riverside zones will be created along the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek by 2020, featuring more greenery, preserved historical buildings, bridges and “sponge city” technology.

Sidewalks stretching 45 kilometers on the banks of the Huangpu between Yangpu and Xupu bridges have opened. The city now plans to extend those upstream and downstream while improving the section that is already open.

The previous art season 2017 in the Pudong New Area was held in what was once Asia's largest grain silo. In 2015, the opening season was held at a renovated Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co hanger. It is now the West Bund Art Center, where art exhibitions and fashion events are frequently held.

The Soap Company Dock

The Gas Plant Waterfront Lawn

Source: SHINE

Editor: Liu Qi

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