Category: Exhibition
Principal Architect: Meng Yan

Chief Curator / Principal Architect: Meng Yan
Project Manager: Lin Yilin; Project Architect: Rao Enchen; Team: Huang Yihong, Chen Lansheng, Wang Yuan | Zhu Jialin (Technical Director); Sub-venue Exhibition: Zhang Yun, Zhang Dandan, Xing Yue | (Collaborators) Yang Yong, Teng Fei,OCT Art & Design Gallery


Shenzhen was invited to the World Exposition 2010 in Shanghai at the last minute. URBANUS, as the curator and exhibition designer for Shenzhen’s paviolion, finished this task in an extremely intensive schedule by collaborating with government authorities and artists. The Shenzhen Pavilion was designated as an installation showcase and theatrical stage. It aimed to exhibit contemporary art installations with an experimental theater, and to use interactive multimedia technology to seamlessly merge different exhibition spaces in an unconventional way.

The 390-square-meter pavilion was an enclosed cubical space with a rectangular footprint, 43 meters in length, and 9 meters in width with a 7-meter height ceiling. It was located inside UBPA (Urban Best Practice Area) B3-2 exhibition hall, next to the Seoul Pavilion and the Bologna Pavilion. The design was intended to dramatize the space with a theatrical art installation and to introduce a continuous filmatic experience  from the external appearance to the interior space.

Visitors are guided to walk along the designated route, which is organized following the ‘trilogy’ way. The design of the space was inspired by the German composer Richard Wagner’s concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art). The ‘trilogy’ of the architectural space is based on the rebuilding of the existing urban village in Shenzhen called “Dafen Village”. The journey, in a chronological order, starts with a Prologue implying the Genesis of Shenzhen with a Mona Lisa façade – later known as “Dafen Lisa” – which was constructed as a montage of 999 hand-painted oil paintings units. The journey carries on to the second episode called “Dafen Transformation”, with a multi-media installation and miniature landscape models showing urban sample pieces of the village.  Then the journey leads to the third episodes called “Shenzhen, Frontier for China’s dreams”. It consists of numerous documentary films, historical prints and achieves, and ends with an epilogue with opportunities for review, discussion and contemplation.

The pavilion itself has sublimed into a total work art linking among and emerging from thousands of independent artworks, enchanting a condensed labyrinth of an urban village, exploring the past 30 years of drastic development of Shenzhen, and at the same time, questioning the ambitions and the visions of this emerging miracle city.


Credits and Data:

Project Location: Shanghai; Project  Period: 2009-2010; Site Area: 400㎡; Floor Area: 640㎡

Client: Shenzhen Government, Urban Planning, Land and Resources Commission of Shenzhen Municipality
Curatorial Collaborators: Zhou Hongmei, Mou Sen, Gao Guangjian, Yang Yong, THISMEDIA
Exhibits Collaborators: Gong Zhicheng, You Mi, Lei Lei, Zhang Dali, Yu Haibo, He Huangyou
Construction Collaborators: Huasen Architectual and Engineering Design, Hongtao Decoration Zhuhai King Glass Engineering, China Construction Steel Structure Group
General Contractor: China Construction Steel Structure Group,Hongtao Decoration,Zhuhai King Glass Engineering
Publication Collaborators: Jiangjun, Shi Jian | ToMeetYou Graphic Design, Huangyang Design, SenseTeam
Photographer: Yang Chaoying, Meng Yan, Liang Rong


Sub Venue at Dafen Art Museum, Shenzhen:
Painting and Composition of “Dafen Lisa”
CONVECTION: Dafen International Contemporary Art Exhibition
China International Mural Exhibition · Dafen · Shenzhen


Video & Books:
Dafen TrilogyⅠ— Painting and Composition of “Dafen Lisa”
Dafen TrilogyⅡ— CONVECTION: Dafen International Contemporary Art Exhibition
Dafen Trilogy Ⅲ — China International Mural Exhibition · Dafen · Shenzhen
Urban Theatre — Shenzhen Faces

Shenzhen, Frontier for China Dreams — Shanghai Expo 2010 Shenzhen Case Pavilion Guidebook
CONVECTION: 2010 Dafen International Contemporary Art Exhibition
Reading Village Painting City—Muralizing an Art Museum in The “Painting Village”
Shenzhen Case Series: Dafen Oil Painting Village, Dafen Art Museum, Shanghai Expo 2010 Shenzhen Case Pavilion
A Village by the SEZ – The Dafen Sample of China’s Urbanization