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The 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) Wraps Up Successfully

2018.03.18


The 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) Cities, Grow in Difference concluded at its main exhibition venue Nantou Old Town on March 17th, 2018.

 

2017 UABB (Shenzhen) is jointly curated by curator and critic Hou Hanru, founding partners of URBANUS, architects Liu Xiaodu and Meng Yan, and co-curated by artist Yang Yong and urban researcher Zhu Ye (in alphabetical order). Through the perspective of urban village, it explores and reflects on the urban development mode of China within a globalized context, and calls for a diversified, inclusive, and vibrant urban eco-system. With three exhibition sections integrating urbanism\architecture and the contemporary art, called Global South, Urban Villages, and Art Making City, 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) presents 225 inspiring exhibits by architects, planners, urban researchers, artists and designers from 25 countries and regions through interdisciplinary collaboration. While gathering leading international cutting-edge ideas and local experimental practices, it also interacts with local residents and intervenes in urban regeneration through a process of “Urban Curation”, envisioning a global and future-oriented example of coexistence.

 

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Nantou Old Town – A Future-Oriented Example of Coexistence


According to statistics, 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) reached an new high in terms of exhibition size, number of visitors, events organization and visibility. Since its opening on December 15th, 2017, the main venue, sub-venues and collateral exhibitions received more than 550,000 visitors, including over 300,000 vistors to the main venue, 150,000 to the sub-venues and 100,000 to the collateral exhibitions. During the 3-month exhibition period, the main venue Nantou Old Town accommodated more than 180 events such as lectures, forums and workshops, and over 200 guided tours for different visitor groups. The exhibitions attracted not only people in Shenzhen and the PRD region but also fans from other cities of China and even other parts of the world.


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  On Site of 2017 UABB


2017 UABB (Shenzhen) has become a hot topic for many, ranging from the academics to the public, attracting numerous international and local professional media, mass media and local mainstream media. Nearly 1,000 media reports and articles have spread the news and commentary of 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) throughout the country and beyond. More than 1.5 million viewers watched the opening ceremony via live streaming, not to mention tens of millions times of coverage online.


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 Nearly 1,000 media reports and articles have spread the news and commentary of 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) throughout the country and beyond.


Known as an international, avant-garde,non-profit event, UABB (Shenzhen) has become an important cultural brand for the international awareness of Shenzhen. As a showcase of the leading innovative spirit and urban development pursuit of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, UABB (Shenzhen) offers an important communication platform for Shenzhen to be shaped into an international innovation-oriented city and a global prototype for future mode of urban development, and to voice out its own solution in the global urbanization process.

 

Nine Categories of Awards 

Including Support and Contribution Award and Excellent Works Award 

Presented at the Closing Ceremony

 

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2017 UABB Closing Ceremony


In the afternoon of March 17, the 2017 UABB closing ceremony was held in the auditorium, Dajiale Stage of Nantou Old Town. Presented at the ceremony were Xu Songming, deputy director of UABB (Shenzhen) Organizing Committee and deputy secretary-general of Shenzhen Municipal Government, Wang Youpeng, deputy director of UABB (Shenzhen) Organizing Committee and director-general of Urban Planning, Land & Resources Commission of Shenzhen, Lee Kwok Hing Felix, representative of the UABB (Hong Kong) and vice president of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Liao Zibin, standing member of CPC Nanshan District Committee, director of the Publicity Department of the District, Hou Hanru, Liu Xiaodu and Meng Yan, curators of 2017 UABB (Shenzhen), as well as representatives of UABB Organizing Committee members, representatives of UABB Academic Committee, and partners of 2017 UABB.


After presenting a documentary video that reviewed the 3-month biennale, the host Zhang Da introduced the guests. The three curators each delivered a speech afterwards. Hou Hanru stated that 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) breathed new energy into Nantou Old Town, like the lights are gradually lighting up one by one. The energy was brought up not just because of the exhibition, but more importantly the participation of the residents there. He expected the “lights” will continue to light up and shine.


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 Hou Hanru 


Liu Xiaodu expressed his gratitude to all the participants for their efforts of bringing the exhibition to a success. 


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Liu Xiaodu


Meng Yan reviewed the dual responsibilities of the curators of 2017 UABB (Shenzhen): strategizing a grand exhibition and an urban intervention action. 2017 UABB received generous support from all parties involved and from the local residents, for which he was deeply grateful. After 2017 UABB, people will no longer say “Shenzhen is developed from a small fishing village”, or “it only has 40 years of history”. Instead, they will realize that Shenzhen is a diversified city with countless possibilities in the future. "Cities, Grow in Difference" is not just a slogan chanted in the past three months, but hopefully a declaration mobilizing and guiding cities to "grow in difference" in the future.


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 Meng Yan


In the awarding session, the guests presented 9 awards including support and contribution awards and excellent works awards to partners, volunteers and exhibits.

 

Ten volunteers, Yi Huifang, Li Xiang, Xiao Jie, Xu Xiaochang, Liang Xinwen, Liang Jinwen, Ye Na, Liang Tao, Hu Yapeng, Tan Xuan were presented with the Excellent Volunteer Awards. The Excellent Partner Awards went to six recipients: L.gem, Excellent Group, Fantasia Holding Group Co.Ltd., YITIAN Group, Shenzhen New World Group and ManJingHua Group. The Excellent Practice Awards went to the 5 sub-venues of Luohu, Yantian, Longhua (Shangwei and Dalang) and Guangming New District that used edge-cutting practices to create a vivid experience. Government of Nanshan District and Shum Yip Group were presented with the Outstanding Contributor Awards. 


"My Joy Home" of ManJingHua Group was rewarded the Most Popular Sponsor Pavilion Award, and "Drift" of YITIAN Group was rewarded the Renovation Master of Urban Village Award.

 

Support and Contribution Awards


The Public Awards – Most Popular Exhibits Award was given to three exhibits that received the most number of votes from the visitors on site. The award winners were "One-House Zoo" by Yin Yemin and Zheng Chu-Ling (ArchSeeing Studio) that metaphorized urban village residents as animals and displays fairytale-like scenes of life through multimedia; "Paraisópolis Art Practice" by Franklin Lee and Gilson Rodrigues displayed how an NGO organization helps local residents of Paraisópolis, one of the largest slum in Sao Paolo to explore the development of the community through art intervention. "PINGHÉNG (Balance) – Understanding Chinese Reality", a large mural by Boa Mistura elucidates the reality and future of urban villages using the powerful expression of painting and language.


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One-House Zoo


Paraisópolis Art Practice


PINGHÉNG - Understanding Chinese Reality


The Academic Committee Awards was presented to three exhibits recommended by UABB Academic Committee. They were "Urban Village Furniture Exchange Program" by Huang Heshan and Jiang Fan discovers the wisdom of “wildlife design,” and connects the exhibition with the lifestyle in urban villages in a wise and humorous way; "Your Expression is My Symbol" by Liu Qingyuan displays a montage of thirty black and white printmaking murals reflecting the unique expressions and symbols and spatial characteristics in urban villages; "Fire Foodies Club" by Atelier Bow-Wow / Tokyo Tech. Tsukamoto Lab intervenes into the factory zone of Nantou Old Town by using unique materials and forms in order to create a new public space that corresponds to the street life in urban villages. The Government of Nanshan District and URBANUS were both presented with the Organizing Committee Awards for the renovation plan and implementation of Nantou Old Town.


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Urban Village Furniture Exchange Program


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Your Expression is My Symbol


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Fire Foodies Club (FFC)


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Renovation Plan and Implementation of Nantou Old Town 


At the end of the closing ceremony, Xu Songming, Wang Youpeng, Lee Kwok Hing Felix, and Ole Bouman, representative of 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) Academic Committee, turned on the big screen and sent out the invitation to the next UABB, drawing the three-month-long cultural event to a perfect end.

 

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2017 UABB Closing Ceremony


"Grow in Difference", 

Urban Villages Spark Inspiration for Future Urban Development

 

Since 2005, each edition of UABB has been faced the most crucial urban issues. It explores different types of urban space in a nomadic manner, interacts with urban space and communities via exhibitions, intervened in the transformation of the venues and surrounding districts. This unique “UABB Mode” has differentiated UABB from any other biennials worldwide. The 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) has carried on this tradition, while overcoming the huge challenge of implanting the biennale into the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Nantou Old Town, an urban village.

 

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Aerial View of Nantou Old Town


Hosting 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) in an urban village along with its in-depth exploration of urban villages have significantly changed the public's stereotype about urban villages. As an alternative mode of modern city, urban villages offer the ideal “Arrival City” that is convenient and affordable for newcomers. Contrasted to the modern cities that are being homogenized and standardized, the high-density and spatially flexible urban villages seem more inclusive and diverse. Bursting with vitality and wisdom from the grassroots, lives in the neighborhoods feel so down-to-earth and humane, which appears to have long lost in cities. The potential and possibilities of urban villages are of great significance to the future urban development model. Architect Yung Ho Chang, first UABB’s curator and participant of this edition, said in a media interview, "It's not about how new cities save urban villages; on the contrary, urban villages may redeem those new cities where the quality of life and urbanism are compromised."

 

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The imaginative works were implanted into the everyday life, and scattered throughout the lanes and alleys, parks and squares, residents and plants in Nantou Old Town.


In this over 1,700 year old town of heterogeneity and coexistence, where the traces of different eras are kept and grow in difference, 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) integrated history culture and pioneering practices, brought together the renowned international and domestic architects, scholars and artists, and more importantly, mobilized bottom-up participation and intervention from the public. The imaginative works were implanted into the everyday life, and scattered throughout the lanes and alleys, parks and squares, residents and plants in Nantou Old Town. The exhibition was implemented concurrently with the old town regeneration plan, to make direct improvement to the public space quality of Nantou Old Town and open up the imagination of possibilities for future lives there. In this sense, it is not only an exhibition, but also an urban intervention and an act of city-making.


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Closing Forum - Old Town Symposium: The Regeneration of Nantou Old Town and Shenzhen City


2017 UABB (Shenzhen) set up an archive on urban village development in Shenzhen, and provided a sample and reference of urban development mode for Shenzhen, China and beyond. It will lead the discussion on urban issues to a much wider range. The closing of the event is not an ending, but instead the beginning of a long-term plan for gradual improvement of urban spaces and quality of urban life.

 

A Down-to-Earth Cultural Feast 

for the General Public

 

"Urbanism\Architecture" is not merely a professional topic for the urban planners and architects, but something that concerns everyone in a city. The main venue in Nantou Old Town, five sub-venues respectively in Luohu, Yantian, Longhua (Shangwei and Dalang) and Guangming New District, and 14 collateral exhibitions across the city have received more than 550,000 visitors, making 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) a veritable feast of culture and art for the public. According to surveys conducted on the venues, the visitors have diverse backgrounds on top of urban planning, architecture, art and design; in addition, citizens who were not frequent visitors to cultural and artistic exhibitions have come and spoken highly of UABB.

 

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UABB School Events - Public Workshops


As the public education brand of UABB, UABB School held a series of diverse and free courses and events for the public to bridge up the professionals and the public. In addition to the scheduled exhibitions, more than 180 lectures, forums, workshops and market activities were staged during the three-month exhibition period to interact with visitors of different ages and backgrounds, meanwhile, over 200 guided tours were provided to help visitors better understand the exhibition. UABB School is to bring the concept of urbanism\architecture out of the limited professional domain, inspiring the citizens to think about the history, present, and future of the city they live in.


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UABB School Events - Lectures and Forums


Zhu Rongyuan, Deputy Chief Planner of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design pointed out in a media interview that 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) is part of a set of specific cultural actions that practice a people-oriented concept, and serves as a bridge between the city and urban villages and between people. It is also a social and cultural exchange event that turns urbanism and architecture, a topic previously among professionals, into something that engages public attention and participation and facilitate the consensus-based social development.

 

Two Cities Go Hand in Hand for Better Urban Life

 

2017 UABB (Hong Kong) titled "City Smarts: Density 2.0" closed on February 11th, 2018. 9 exhibition venues including the 8 urban locations and cultural hubs connected by MTR (Mass Transit Railway), together with one special exhibition in Shenzhen, have established a trans-regional "urban exhibition museum".

 

Since 2007, Shenzhen and Hong Kong are geographically close and share a close relationship with each other.  UABB was used as a platform to carry out extensive cultural exchanges and interaction and explore new modes of urban development. Nowadays, UABB has become an important component of the increasingly diversified cooperation on urban culture between the two cities, as well as a crucial platform for promoting and implementing the national strategy of developing Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. At the opening ceremony of 2017 UABB (Shenzhen), Hong Kong's Chief Executive, the Honorable Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngo wrote in her speech, "Shenzhen and Hong Kong have been stepping up the efforts in cooperation for their joint development and the country's prosperity and progress. Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture is a perfect example of cooperation between them. I would love to see further cooperation between the two cities to build livable cities and better lives for the people."

 

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 2017 UABB (Hong Kong)


What is the Future UABB Like?

 

Before 2017 UABB (Shenzhen) ended, the discussion on 2019 UABB (Shenzhen) began. In the Brainstorming Session on March 6th, 2018, members of UABB Academic Committee and guests discussed and conceived the theme and direction for the future UABB. As discussed, the future UABB may connect urban studies with science and technology research to explore the endless possibilities innovative technology may bring to future urban space and life; or return to nature and explore the urban ecological civilization within a natural setting; or focus on the "contemporary heritage" of Shenzhen and draw experiences from the forty years of the reform and opening up practices; or continue intervening into different communities and daily life scenes as an alternative platform for citizens to tackle urban issues.


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The Brainstorming Session of 2019 UABB (Shenzhen)


Zhang Yuxing, Chair of UABB Academic Committee, said that UABB will continue shaping its core values, sustaining strategies and fundamental attributes, and the values of UABB are closely linked to the city. He hoped that UABB will be established as a time-honored exhibition like the Venice Biennale, without drifting with the current or resting on its laurels, but constantly conceiving innovative forms of exhibition and thoughts on cities and communicating positive values to promote the healthy development of cities and communities.


UABB (Shenzhen) Organizing Committee will soon launch the open call for curatorial proposal for the 8th UABB. Let us reunite in 2019 for a fresh new look of UABB!



 

The 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen) Awards List

(In no particular order)

  

Excellent Work Awards

 

Organizing Committee Awards

Renovation Plan and Implementation of Nantou Old Town | The Government of Nanshan District / URBANUS


Academic Committee Awards

Urban Village Furniture Exchange Program | Huang Heshan / Jiang Fan

Your Expression is My Symbol | Liu Qingyuan

Fire Foodies Club | Atelier Bow-Wow / Tokyo Tech. Tsukamoto Lab

 

Public Awards

One-House Zoo | Yin Yemin / Zheng Chu-Ling (ArchSeeing Studio)

Paraisópolis Art Practice | Franklin Lee / Gilson Rodrigues

PINGHÉNG (Balance) – Understanding Chinese Reality | Boa Mistura

  

Most Popular Sponsor Pavilion Award

My Joy Home | ManJingHua Group

 

Renovation Master of Urban Village Award

 DRIFT | YITIAN Group

 


Cities, Grow in Difference – Architectural Media Jury Award

(Cities, Grow in Difference – Architectural Media Jury Award was initiated by Urbanism\Architecture Curatorial Team of 2017 UABB, and was voted through the event of “Architectural Media Panel Review of 2017 UABB”)

 

Governmence & Spontaneity: Informal Interventions Case Study of Latin America | Pei Zhao

Mapping Nantou Old Town | Jason Ho, Students from the School of Architecture of South China University of Technology and the School of Design of the University of Pennsylvania

Urban Village Furniture Exchange Program | Huang Heshan / Jiang Fan

Massive Change: Centuries of Shenzhen's Transformation | Juan Du

One-House Zoo | Yin Yemin / Zheng Chu-Ling (ArchSeeing Studio)

Research Towards Self-built House in Urban village | The Urban Village Self-built House Study Group

WEGO | The Why Factory, MVRDV

Good Luck!| Gao Guangjian

Opening Ceremony | Pi San / Li Ning

Nantou Photo Studio | Yang Yankang

 

  

Support and Contribution Awards

  

Excellent Volunteer Awards

Yi Huifang, Li Xiang, Xiao Jie, Xu Xiaochang, Liang Xinwen, Liang Jinwen, Ye Na, Liang Tao, Hu Yapeng, Tan Xuan

  

Excellent Practice Awards

L.gem

Excellent Group

Fantasia Holding Group Co.Ltd.

YITIAN Group

Shenzhen New World Group

ManJingHua Group

  

Excellent Practice Awards

Luohu Sub-Venue

Yantian Sub-Venue

 Longhua Shangwei Sub-Venue

Longhua Dalang Sub-Venue

Guangming Sub-Venue

  

Outstanding Contributor Awards

Government of Nanshan District

Shum Yip Group

 

 

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