Sub-curator: Wang Hongwei, Feng Yu

In China, for a long time, “urbanization” is synonymous with modernity. It’s the image exact opposite of “rural areas”, and Chinese people’s imaginations Westernization, globalization and fashion. If we trace back people’s interpretations of urbanization, the cities that first walked into modernization South China’s Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. This forwardlooking attitude was kept until 1949. Then in 1978 China opened its door and embraced modernization and globalization again. In this process, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai were again the frontrunners. Hong Kong was least affected by the political movement, has the highest degree of openness and has not interrupted their modernization and urbanization process. By the early 1980s there was huge gap between Hong Kong and mainland cities. Guangzhou, thanks to its proximity to Hong Kong, became the first city to have the city awareness and led the movement in the Pearl River Delta. These are reflected in Chinese films and bring distinctive geographical characteristics.

Since 2000 (especially 2010), China entered the stage of large-scale urbanization. Large cities with over 10 million people began to emerge. The high-density urban agglomeration also changed the pattern. Inside the cities, problems such as urban villages began to appear. These are also reflected in the contemporary films and photography. If we look to the areas far beyond, try to analyze the changes of people’s ideas, behaviors and values, we can find many similarities. When we look at the different stages of development in those areas, they can be references for today’s urbanization and modernization.

The exhibition program of the Biennale hopes to present this from three perspectives, the films about urbanization and modernization of Pearl River Delta and South China since 1950s, the urban problems and urban villages of areas that were urbanized and modernized earlier, as well as films about current urbanization. During the third Uabb, we once had an “Early City Film Show”, which featured movies such as Dziga Vertov’s (the founder of Kino Eye) work Chelovek s kino-apparatom, he German expressionist film master F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise and, the French architect Le Corbusier’s works. We started from the timeline of topic of urbanization and modernization in America and Europe. For us, it might have been a bit too distant. And people will resonate more with this year’s movie screening.