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Exhibition Histories

Uncooperative Contemporaries: Art Exhibitions in Shanghai in 2000

With essays by Jane DeBevoise, Lee Weng Choy, Mia Yu, Carol Yinghua Lu and Liu Ding; archival texts by Xu Hong and Zhou Zixi; reflections from participants such as Ai Weiwei, Chen Lingyang, Chen Yanyin, Feng Boyi, Hou Hanru, Li Liang, Li Xiangyang, Li Xu, Liang Shaoji, Xu Zhen, Yang Zhenzhong, Yang Zhichao, Zhang Qing, Zheng Shengtian and Zhu Yu, assembled by Anthony Yung; and an introduction by John Tain.

ISBN (paperback)


Table of contents

Introduction: Uncooperative Contemporaries — John Tain

Shanghai 2000: Let’s Talk About Money — Jane DeBevoise

Manifolds of the Local: Tracing the Neglected Legacies of the 2000 Shanghai Biennale — Mia Yu

‘Fuck Of’: Search for the Way in which Art Lives as ‘Wildlife’ — Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu

Coincidence and Re-collection; Lateness and Insight — Lee Weng Choy

Art Exhibitions in Shanghai in 2000

  • The Third Shanghai Biennale: ‘Shanghai Spirit’ — 第三届上海双年展:海上·上海
  • ‘Fuck Of’ — 不合作方式
  • ‘Useful Life’ — 有效期

To Select, To Be Selected and Who Selects: The Shanghai Biennale in the Context of Globalisation — Xu Hong, 2000

From Niuzhuang Village to BizArt — Zhou Zixi, 2004

Throughout: Voices: Shanghai, 2000 — Assembled by Anthony Yung


Picture and text credits



Shanghai’s ‘exhibition frenzy’ in 2000 presented conflicting positions at a transitional moment for ‘global’ contemporary art. This book explores what was at stake for modernity, contemporaneity, nationalism, internationalism and globalism in the city at the time, while looking back from diverse perspectives today. Landmark artist-led initiatives are analysed alongside the state-led Shanghai Biennale, then in its third edition, with the terrain further complicated by public interventions and commercial initiatives. What contrasting modes of public address were developed? How did visitors engage at the time, and how may we engage afresh now? And how might this moment in Shanghai index wider transformations of the art field?


Published by Afterall Books, in association with Asia Art Archive and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, 2020. Distributed by Koenig Books and ARTBOOK | D.A.P.

The title is available to purchase here.