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Oct 16th 2020

Feb 14th 2021

    China

goes

    Urban

The city to come

 

An exhibition

at MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale

di Torino.

October 16th 2020

February 14th 2021

In 1978, 18% of the population in China lived in urban areas. Since then the number of inhabitants in cities has increased approximately 1% per annum and currently makes up 60% of the total population. New infrastructures and settlements have gradually modified the landscape, transformed property rights, swept away administrative boundaries, and “gobbled up” rural spaces and villages.

The rapid, disruptive process of Chinese urbanisation unfolds before our eyes. Understanding it is not easy. Existing categories and models are useless. If we believe Chinese urbanisation to simply be an exaggeration and a flaw, we are effectively ignoring the fact it constitutes an epochal change, one which redefines roles and relationships not only from a geo-economic and geopolitical point of view, but also from the point of view of culture, imagination and possibilities. A change that the current pandemia makes ever more deep and hard. 
China Goes Urban proposes to change viewpoint, to look at reality rather than pigeonhole it in predefined categories and models. It is an invitation to explore the world by travelling through the city and architecture of today and tomorrow and circumnavigating the concept of city: although we all think we are familiar with and understand this seemingly simple concept, it shatters in the multiplicity of the contemporary urban.
Tongzhou, Zhaoqing, Zhengdong and Lanzhou are the new towns where we start to explore and where the exhibition begins.

Exhibition

itineraries

Photographs and videos, installations, maquette, data and infographics drive visitors along two logical itineraries.

The first one gradually deconstructs the idea that Chinese urbanisation is exceptional starting from the reconstruction of an “exhibition hall” in which developers and public administrations “stage” the city. The diversity and exoticism normally associated with Chinese cities are then chip away. By showing the ordinary everyday life unfolding in the new settlements, videos, images, installations and  explanations gradually make new Chinese urbanisations more “familiar”.

The second itinerary begins from  empty, distant, and lifeless spaces. Gradually, however, the same spaces become more animated: the photographs and videos narrow the gap between the visitors and the persons portrayed, their faces, gestures and movements. So similar to our faces and movements.

Tongzhou, Zhaoqing, Zhengdong and Lanzhou are the new towns where we start to explore and where the exhibition begins, moving from China to the world, and then back, from the world to the specific features of the new settlements.

To explore Chinese urbanization and question the features of the contemporary urban, China goes urban is organised around four main topics.

 

Urbanisation as a transcalar process

According to the UN, we live in the urban age. Since 2007 most of the world’s population lives in cities. The Chinese urbanisation is part of this global urban model made of relationships and flows, exchanges and intersections. Seeing from the global scale, Chinese new towns document the multiple forms of today urbanisation in which not everything is city, but everything is driven by the urban and show limits, contradictions and possibilities of today urban and economic development model.

 

 

Urban fragments 

At first sight we can describe Chinese new towns by listing a whole host of heterogeneous, discontinuous buildings and spaces. Each one appears to go in its own direction, impossible to reciprocally connect, and impossible to interpret univocally. At the same time, the fragmented nature of Chinese new towns higlights the radical multiplicity of the constant process of the construction of space and reveals the many worlds that have always made up the urban.

Infrastructures 

Viaducts, airports, railway stations, railway lines, and highways dominate the transformation of the landscape. Miles of pipes, cables, and conduits are hidden underground; telecommunications and satellite networks fill the air while their sensors continue ad infinitum to exchange invisible but omnipresent waves and microwaves.

Infrastructures are not just a background, a silent stage on which players and powers recite their roles. They are also, and perhaps above all, political, economic and social structures that define and support every aspect of urban life.

Urban and rural, and back again

On one side, the city, lights, skyscrapers, and roads full of traffic and people; on the other, the countryside, cultivated fields, farmers, and tractors moving in a rarefied, suspended atmosphere. This demarcation, so simple and clear, clashes with the reality before our eyes. Where does the city end and the countryside begin? The city is everywhere and in everything. Urban and rural are combined and superimposed, creating a sort of chameleon in which distinctions dissolve, differences are camouflaged, and predefined orders disappear.

Events

to learn more

NEXT EVENT

Wednesday January 7 2021 

5.00 PM

 

An Oriental Idea of Postmodernism

with Antonio di Campli, Politecnico di Torino

LECTURES ON CITY AND INNOVATION
Remarks on China and the world, by some Politecnico di Torino scholars

 

 

​THE EVENT WILL BE VISIBLE ON ZOOM AT THIS LINK

WALKING THROUGH THE EXHIBITION
Debates within the rooms of the museum, presented by Claudio Jampaglia

 

Saturday October 24, 2020, from 3 PM | Reading the City: Close up, from Afar

with Alessandro Amaducci, Università di Torino, and Samuele Pellecchia, Exhibition curator. WATCH

 

Saturday October 31, 2020, from 3 PM | The Power of Infrastructure

with Giorgio Cuscito, Limes, and Francesca Governa, Exhibition curator. WATCH


Saturday November 7, 2020, from 3 PM | The Urban Dream

with Daniele Brombal, Università Ca' Foscari and T.wai, and Michele Bonino, Exhibition curator. WATCH

 

Saturday November 14, 2020, from 3.00 PM | Urban Materials and Urban Designs

with Augusto Cagnardi, Gregotti Associati International, and Francesco Carota, Politecnico di Torino. WATCH

In collaboration with Biennale Tecnologia 

 

 

 

 

LECTURES ON CITY AND INNOVATION

Remarks on China and the world, by some Politecnico di Torino scholars

Thursday November 19, 2020, at 3 PM | City and Innovation

with Plinio Innocenzi, Università di Sassari, and Roberto Pagani, Politecnico di Torino, Scientific Officer at the Shanghai Consulate

Thursday December 3, 2020, at 5 PM | Rethinking the Traditional Chinese Village

with Carla Bartolozzi, Politecnico di Torino, and Du Qian, Shanghai Jiaotong University 
 

Wednesday December 9, 2020, at 5 PM | The Progress of the Construction Industry in China

with Bruno Briseghella, Fuzhou University, Giuseppe Carlo Marano, Politecnico di Torino, and Camillo Nuti, Università RomaTre

 

Thursday December 17, 2020, at 3 PM | Towards Socially Integrative Cities with Francesca Frassoldati, Politecnico di Torino, and the authors of the book on sustainable cities in Europe and China (event in english)

Wednesday January 7, 2021, at 5 PM | An Oriental Idea of Postmodernism

with Antonio di Campli, Politecnico di Torino

 

 

HEAD TO HEAD INTERVIEW

Dialogues on the places of Chinese Urbanization

Thursday January 28, 2021, at 3 PM | Displaying the City 

with Ole Bouman, Design Society Shenzhen, and Beatrice Leanza, MAAT Lisbon (event in english)

Thursday February 11, 2021, at 6 PM | New Districts and Beautified Villages in Urban China 

with Gary Hack, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Tim Oakes, University of Colorado Boulder (event in english) 

Thursday February 18, 2021, at 6 PM | The Inner Mongolia Model: News from the Northern Front

with Steve Bisson, Paris College of Art, Alessandro Zanoni, artdirector-photographer

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Wednesday November 11, 2020, at 2.30 PM | China Goes Urban - The City to Come

International conference with renowned architectural and urban scholars. 

with Ash Amin, University of Cambridge, Bian Lanchun, Tsinghua University, Ann Forsyth, Harvard University, Liu Jian, Tsinghua University, Lu Andong, Nanjing University, Bernhard Müller, Technische Universität Dresden, Brent D. Ryan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the curator of the exhibition Michele Bonino and Francesca Governa, Politecnico di Torino (event in english). WATCH  

In collaboration with Biennale Tecnologia

 

Thursday February 4, 2021, at 6 PM | Concluding Lecture 

With Stefania Stafutti, Università di Torino, with the exhibition curators

 
 
 

Plan

your visit

China Goes Urban

The city to come

from October 16th 2020 to February 14th 2021

THE MUSEUM IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE DPCM OF 3 NOVEMBER 2020.

The current health situation has guided the design of the exhibition path, leading to technological solutions that allow the exhibition to be enjoyed safely, avoiding gatherings, and with ad hoc multimedia content, usable on your smartphone, designed to deepen the contents while waiting.

MAO Museo d'Arte Orientale

Via San Domenico, 11 - Torino

thursday and friday 12.00 - 19.00
saturday and sunday 10.00 - 19.00
CLOSED monday, tuesday and wednesday

The ticket office is open until one hour before closing time. Exhibitions close 10 minutes prior to museum closing.

Ticket China Goes Urban: Full euros 10; reduced euros 8

Ticket China Goes Urban + permanent collection: Full euros 14; reduced euros 12

Reduced:

  • from 6 to 17 years

  • from 19 to 25 if students

  • disabled

  • groups

  • conventions

Free for:

minors under 18, disabled people + companion, Museum Subscription, Torino + Piemonte Card

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLINE

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR SCHOOLS

The visitor flow regulation system with digital interface was created thanks to the contribution of

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