Community Fantasy / 201501300214

Artisti: Liu Yi
Location: Shanghai Xintiandi
Year: 2015
Researcher: Dan Wang

When POPPER brand commissioned artist Liu Yi to do the exterior design of Xintiandi’s art space, Liu Yi turned the exterior into a large scale public work titled “Community fantasy / 201501300214.” The box-based artistic language takes the form of a three-dimensional painting, creating a unique brand space in the commercial landscape. The work is made of nine shipping containers that are designed for brand displays, artist exhibitions, or interactive public experiments.

The concept for the work originated in a furniture sculpture titled “The Boxes of Slums.” Hidden in the disorder of slum structures are grassroots knowledge and methods for reconstructing limited space. The artist was influenced by the dynamism of folk design and the coexistence of the group and the individual that are found in slums. The location of the work, Xintiandi, is a high-end shopping and business complex. Its bustling urban exterior may cause residents to forget that this area was once made up of traditional courtyards and decrepit houses. From the decoding of slum architecture into furniture design, “Community fantasy / 201501300214” goes further in reconstructing it into new shipping container social modules.

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“The Boxes of Slums” was born of richly irregular structural languages. It considers how “independent structures” and “community constructs” can be present at the same time, can even implicate one another, while continuing to progress without influencing one another. The work abandons neighborhood memorial architecture, but the local environment and history are represented in a language of highly abstract symbols and fiercely jarring colors.

Shanghai POPPPER is, in truth, a commercially branded activity. How can public art break free from a “decorative” function? Or rather, how can artists cleverly use a commercial collaboration opportunity to make public art? It’s now possible for contemporary art to do away with art history and the creative context and become a commodity displayed in consumer entertainment centers. Brand name artists use trademarks like so many luxury brands and join the shelves of commercial products for supermarket-style consumption. From start to finish, Liu Yi was determined to make this project into a public artwork. By changing the work multiple times, he strove not to make it a decorative object in the consumer landscape. Ultimately commercial brand activities were introduced into each of the shipping containers, giving the city residents a new feel of the street and shopping experience.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency