About Intrude Art & Life 366 and the Zendai MoMA

Zendai Museum of Modern Art invites you to Intrude: Art & Life 366 in Shanghai. Intrude: Art & Life 366 is an unprecedented event in the city of Shanghai. Starting January 1, 2008 and ending on December 31, 2008, Zendai MoMA will present a cultural event to the people of Shanghai every single day of the year. This cross-cultural and interdisciplinary project is called Intrude: Art & Life 366 and aims to intervene in people’s daily lives, engage them to take part in art happenings and stimulate the public debate on art. An event of this scale and influence has never taken place in China before.

Curated by the director of the Zendai MoMA, Mr. Shen Qibin, Intrude: Art & Life 366 is a interdisciplinary project that connects culture and daily life in many forms and through different media. With a total of 366 events happening throughout the year, the events will be very diverse and will come from different cultural fields — exhibitions, site-specific installations, performances, concerts, film screenings, debates, etc. In order to present their work differently, artists will explore new concepts and venture out into the public sphere

Intrude: Art & Life 366 will present 366 different cultural events, taking place in public and private venues like parks, gardens, squares, shopping areas, etc. 100 Chinese and 266 international artists will participate, including local and internationally well-known artists and curators like Gu Wenda, Wang Jianwei, Yang Fudong, Xu Zhen, etc. There will also be collaborations with local and foreign institutions like the National Acadamy of Art in Hangzhou, the Centre for Contemporary Art & Politics, College of Fine Arts University of New South Wales in Australia, Institut pour la Ville-en-Mouvement in Paris etc.

Intrude: Art & Life 366 was created as a long-term project, continuing beyond the 366 days of events. All of the events will be methodically archived and will be presented in the future as international touring exhibitions. In addition, Zendai MoMA will regularly publish catalogues with scholarly essays on the projects and related ideas and issues, and magazines to inform people on the progress of the project.

ABOUT Zendai MoMA - Founded in 2005 and located in Pudong New Area in Shanghai, Zendai MoMA exhibits and collects innovative contemporary art from China and around the world. Zendai MoMA’s diverse program covers a broad spectrum of cultural activities, including film screenings, talks and educational events, theatre and music performances, and exhibiting visual and new media arts. The museum facilities include 4 galleries, a classroom, a gift shop/bookshop and a café. Covering 3000m2, and located in one of the fastest-developing areas of Shanghai, Zendai MoMA functions as a bridge between the local and international community, connecting both to the world of arts.

Eye to Eye project Summary

This project was created specifically with the intentions of Intrude 366 in mind and took place on Dec. 18, 2008 in Thumb Plaza in front of the Zendai Museum in Shanghai, China.

“Eye to Eye” is a North American expression that means two individuals (or groups) agree to acknowledge each other’s viewpoints. It is a courageous act to see “Eye to Eye”. It
causes one to open oneself to the possibility of new thinking. It is a step towards standing on common ground and arriving at mutual understanding In this time of cross cultural exchange, it is more important than ever that this concept of seeing “Eye to Eye” be promoted.

For Intrude 366, four American artists using the simplest of means, and drawing on over 2000 years of Eastern and Western art history, will construct a strand
comprised of 734 visual representations of eyes sourced from centuries of evolving culture. (366 on front and 366 on back)
In “Eye to I”, we will use standard 4.25 inch long shipping tags as surfaces. Onto the front and backside of each tag’s surface we will print or paint image of eyes culled from the canons of art history: From anonymous portraits painted in 3rd century c.e. Central Asian cave paintings to the expressive eyes of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, to the stylized eyes of
Warhol’s celebrities, and to the piercing eyes of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, each of the participating artists will select eye imagery, enlarge them to fit the each side of a standard tag and transfer them to the surfaces using traditional and non-traditional painting and printing techniques
such as linoleum block prints and Xerox transfers. Strong visual impact and unity will be produced through the use of the standard surface and by maintaining a restricted palette of
blacks, reds, and golds. Each tag will have one Eastern eye and one Western eye - adding another layer of the original concept of Eye to Eye. The resulting Eye to Eye strand will be held out at chest level with one of the participating artists holding the first tag at one end and a partner artist based in Shanghai holding the first tag at the other end. This will result in approximately meters of these historic images being exhibited. Once the entire strand is on display, pedestrians will be invited to cut a tag from either end.

As this performance takes place the three accompanying artists will be documenting the performance through video and photography and inviting the public to participate, facilitating the cutting away.

Each cut tag that people take away will serve as a talisman towards seeing eye to eye. With each tag that is cut, the two representatives from the East and the West will take one
step closer to each other. When all 366 tags have been cut and given away, the two artists will stand firmly and confidently, physically and emotionally: Eye to Eye.

In Summary, the Eye to Eye project collapses the past with the future. It places us in the present to combine images that may be obscure with images that have saturated contemporary culture. Eye to Eye underscores the commonality between East and West.

Using the simplest of means, Eye to Eye offers profound possibility for forging a rich collaborative cultural vision for the future.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wonderful Interviews Post Intrude 366

I was researching tring to find some information on the 366 Intrude Archive that is displayed in the Zendai Himalayan Art Center and came across this wonderful file of interviews and photos.
Please check it out!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Anticipating the Himalaya Art Center's opening and Eye to Eye's inclusion into the Permanent Collection

Developed by the Zendai Group, the owner, Mr. Dai Zhi Kang, has placed significant emphasis on making this hotel a living, thriving display of Chinese art. The building itself was designed by Arata Isozaki, designer of the Barcelona Olympic Stadium, and interiors by KCA International, of Burj al Arab fame. “The Himalayas Centre will be an iconic development in Shanghai. The Zendai Art Hotel promises to be unique in its artistic vision and what it has to offer. It is ideally located for business as well as leisure travellers,” said Mark Simmons, Area Managing Director – Asia, Preferred Hotel Group.“What makes this hotel unique is the artistic influence on its’ interiors. From the installation art in the lobby (an impressive piece named “Heaven & Chi” that will illuminate the 260 square meter ceiling from dawn to dusk with a changing skyscape of clouds, sun and moon) to the multi media projection at the reception desk, every aspect of the hotel’s interiors will allow guests to experience the fascinating art of China,” Hotel General Manager Mr. Graham Kiy explains.
Zendai Himalayan Art Center is planed at Pudong district, which is named to be a symbol of the recent economic growth of Shanghai. The frontage of the site is occupied by the International Exposition Center that will be the world biggest messe after its completion, and this art center is also requested to hold events in international scale,in coniunction with this messe facility in the near future.
The floor area of this facility is about 155,000sqm.From outside,it appears to be configured with three wing of buildings;a hotel wing,a museum/multi—purpose hall wing,a design center wing.The Hotel Wing consists of 450 guest rooms in five-star class hotel service.and the Design Center Wing houses commercial establishments, rental offices, and exhibition spaces for modem art.

The inside of the Museum/Multi—purpose Hall Wing is composed with curved surface structures corresponding to the exterior,consisting of a multi-purpose hall with the capacity of 2,000 people for various types of events,a modem art museum,and the enhance lobby space for those programs.From the early stage of this project,it was repeatedly reviewed and discussed how the requirement of the functionalities in varied characteristics (a hotel space,office spaces,a department store,a museum,a multi-purpose hall)are distributed to configure the building,since it was aimed to provide a sequential,unified facility rather than simply layering each functionality as an individual segment.
As a result.three wings are connected at 1 6.2m above the ground to share this single enormous space,and those facilities of the Modern Art Museum,the Multi-purpose Hall,and a large. scale banquet hall are allocated side by side.

There are two types of exhibition rooms provided in the Modern Art Museum.in the form. of a white cube room finside of the Design Center Wing)and a curvilinear room.(inside of the Museum/Multi-purpose Hall Wing)The stage area of the Multi-purpose Hall is partially taken into the Hotel Wing and juxtaposed to the Large Banquet Hall.
Those three varied functionalities are assumed to be used individually,but they can also be utilized as a continuous space if required by an event.This floor is intended as the central area of the art activities of this facility.
The vertical circulations provided inside of the facility from the outside and the ground level to the floor at 1 6.2 m are escalators.It is intended to produce unexpected encounters of the hotel,of-rices,department store visitors to the art activities during the circulation movements to other areas inside of the building.
Upper side of the building places the hotel guest rooms housed in a cubic form. and the office spaces in swastika configuration,enclosed with curtain walls.
The lower side with the Hotel Wing,the Design Center Wing is covered with screens in a marble like material.These screens are derived from Chinese characters as motifs,and designed by decomposing and recomposing the compositional elements of Chinese characters.

The Museum/Multi-purpose Hall Wing directly reflects the curvilinear structure,which is reminiscent of Taihu Rocks produced at a limited area of JiangNan region.
This Zendai Himalayan Art Center rendered as a hvbrid of those various design elements is expected to become a new symbol of Pudong district,projected to be open in 2009.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Inspiration Continues!

This project and the experience of going to China and presenting it at the Zendai MoMA has brought me into a whole new way of working and thinking about art.

I have been progressively building a new body of work where the Eye is a key component to the composition of the painting.
I am using a new process of painting that starts with tea staining, digital photographing, photo shop, acrylic transfers, and painting.

More of this series can be found on my blog
Sticks & Stones, Eggs & Bones

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Traces of Intrude: Art & Life 366 - The Stats

Public space:
including over 100 subway stations,squares, parks,shopping malls, restaurants,streets,etc.

Nonprofit alternative space:
in which over 200 art projects were executed.

Business sites:
in which nearly 100 art projects were executed.

Non-public space: including students' dormitories, ordinary people's homes and artists'
studios in which over 20 art projects were executed.

Virtual space: including the Internet, television and newspaper via which nearly 30 art
projects were executed.

Total mileage covered: 10,000 kilometers

Total investment: Budget investment: 12 million

If donations from artists, art organizations and foundations are taken into account, the
total investment has reached 20 million.

Number of proposals and artists:
Number of proposals received > 1,000

Number of artists and organizations participating: several thousand

Media coverage:
Television: 10 television stations including CCTV, STV and OTV paid special attention to
the project and the total amount of time of project-related contents shown on TV reached
400 minutes.

Print media: the circulation exceeded 10 million

Internet: online media reports reached 1,000 minutes

Number of participants: Nearly 10,000 person time

We would like to extend our gratitude to all the people who participated in and contributed to Intrude: Art & Life 366.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Support Art and Culture: Speech of Mr. Dai Zhikang,

I Support Art and Culture
Speech of Mr. Dai Zhikang, president of Zendai Group,

at the closing ceremony of Intrude: Art & Life 366
(Intrude's December Magazine)

I was involved in the conception and planning of Intrude: Art & Life 366 from the very
beginning. But at most times I preferred to be a viewer, who also participated in the
project from time to time. As a viewer, I feel that I'm not in the position to make detailed
comments. Just now three ladies from the project team shared with us their Intrude
stories. I am deeply touched, to be honest. It may take quite a long time for people to
realize and recognize the significance of something new in history such as Intrude. Hence,
as long as we've made our contribution, that's enough.
Intrude: Art & Life 366 was supposed to be something fun. It's quite out of my expectation
that members of the project team would feel so exhausted. But I believe the efforts were
paid off. With 366 brilliant art projects, Intrude did bring merriness and inspiration to the
In November this year, I went to Cuba, a country strongly against the U.S
I found that people in Cuba actually led a very happy life. When people in the U.S., the richest country in the world, were seriously affected by the global financial crisis, their life seemed less
happy than that of people in Cuba. When coming back, I found that due to the crisis, most
people in our group also looked a bit down, not as happy as people in Cuba. It occurred to
me that a capitalized society did bring people sense of security, but it failed to bring people
sense of happiness. This was exactly where art could play a role.
I just came back from a meeting held on Lu Mountain today. There I saw a sentence
excerpted from Analects of Zhuxi, a prestigious philosopher in Song Dynasty, engraved
on a rock. It read Uphold Justice, Annihilate Desire. It promoted me to think about one
question: Was excessive desires the root cause of the current problems? The authorities in
ancient China did everything within their capacity to depress the desires of human beings.
Why did they do that? That's because they were intimidated by a world where all kinds of
human desires were liberated. They tended to regard human desires as a horrendous devil
which was better to be sealed in the bottle.
Things that seem weird and somewhat funky in the view of the mainstream ideology, after
all, may not be that weird and funky, if we're willing to view it from another perspective.
On the plane back to China I read some biography of Che Guevara. In the Cuban society,
the rich were labeled as anti-revolutionary and bad guys. Only revolutionists like Che
Guevara and Castro were deemed as real heroes who fight against the rich and help the
poor. In a society like that, it was a dangerous thing to be rich. Nevertheless, orders of the
world outside Cuba were totally reversed. In China in particular, capitalists have become
shinning stars in the society and it seems that most of them actually quite enjoy being
in the spotlight. I used to be a poor guy myself. Hence, faced with such reality, I keep
wondering who are more important, the revolutionists or entrepreneurs. But one thing
for certain is that neither the entrepreneurs nor the revolutionists could shed light on the
essence of life.
That's why I would like to give my full support to the development of culture and art.
Compared with earning more money and being ranked higher on the fortune list, I believe
it's more important to make some contribution to the development of culture and art.
Based on such a standpoint, Zendai's support for art and culture will continue despite all
the difficulties.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Intrude Keeps Walking : from December's Intrude Magazine

It seems that scenes of the inaugural press conference of Intrude: Art & Life 366, which was held at Shile Boutique Lifestyle Center in December 2007, were still vividly remembered. Celebrities from theart scene were present, attracting wide attention from the media as well as the general public. Mr.Shen Qibin, chief curator of Intrude, gave a keynote speech at the press conference, which outlineda beautiful and exciting art map for the city of Shanghai. One year later, at this same familiar place, the grand closing ceremony of Intrude: Art & Life 366 was held, symbolizing that the spectacularyear-long art project came to an end.
According to Mr. Shen Qibin, "Intrude is a five-year project." It will continue in 2009, yet in another form. A Starting Point: Intrude Art & Life 366, Dynamics of Change and Growth Jan. 1st-Dec. 31st, 2008, retrospective exhibition of Intrude to be presented at Zendai MoMA in January 2009, will kick off a series of art events which are deemed as review and continuance of the project. In addition to brilliant videos, installations and paintings contributed by our Intrude artists, A Starting Point will also feature the display of project-related documents. Moreover, details about publication of Intrude archives and international tour of Intrude retrospective are also under discussion. We believe that within the next 4 years Intrude will enjoy the spotlight on a grander international stage. After 2008, Intrude keeps walking!

As all good things must come to an end, Intrude magazine is now presenting its final issue. During the past twelve months, the magazine has offered a great platform for the general public to learn more about Intrude. Besides project description, the magazine also features interviews with artists, feedback received and interesting stories behind the scenes.
Now it's time to say goodbye.
We would like to thank you for your appreciation and support to the magazine and the whole project.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Approach to Eye Symbology

I agree with Alicia, when she earlier mentioned in this blog, that the fascination with the visual impact of the eye as symbol, continues to inspire and challenge.
Instead of using it to represent cultural viewpoints, as we attempted in Eye to Eye, I have been exploring eye symbols that exist in Eastern and Western popular iconography to represent philosophical ideas.
In this case, the ideas of Materialism vs. Spiritualism in our current day.
As financial entities continue to topple and the West is slowly weaned from the opiate of compulsive consumerism, other parts of the world are experiencing a surge of materialistic opportunities to“ buy their dreams”.
At the same time, religions compete with all the shiny new products for the attention of the populace.
Individuals that are more in tune with spiritual pursuits try to find a balance between the two in this topsy-turvy world we all share. To attempt to "be in the world but not of it" is a bigger challenge today than ever before.
For this conceptual exercise I selected the “All-Seeing Eye of God” from the Great Seal of the United States that embellishes the American one dollar bill to represent Materialism…the “Almighty Dollar” that expresses, albeit tongue in cheek, the will to do anything to amass large quantities of it.
And other “all-seeing eyes” are from the East… painted ones that embellish the crests of Swayambunath Stupa and Bodnath Stupa in Kathmandu,Nepal to represent the idea of Spiritualism.
I am working here in mixed media with water soluble printing ink on printmaking paper to create these images. As contemporary cultures worldwide are in such a state of flux, East and West is used just to denote the source of the imagery, not to attribute the exclusive label of spiritualism and materialism to Eastern or Western points of view.
I hope you enjoy considering the philosophic overlays as they wrestle for your attention.

Deborah Garner
Images by D.Garner
Top image: Annuit Coeptis
Bottom image: Silentium Altum

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eye to Eye Continues to Inspire

The Eye to Eye project is continuing to inspire my work.
I guess painting 184 eyes was not enough for me...or maybe I have become addicted to painting eyes! (ha, ha..) These are a few Eye works in progress one of them will be in a show at Hampden Gallery, Opening on May, 10th, 2009.

To see more of my work or to follow my progress with the eye paintings be sure to check out my artist blog Sticks & Stones, Eggs & Bones.

The Eye is a universally, potent symbol of the Divine

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

East Meets West: Eye to Eye Expresses Good Will

One of the greatest things about our project were the feelings expressed during our performance. As we rocked to the music, gave away our painted eyes, and moved closer to two cultures/ two people meeting eye to eye there was a sense of good will, curiosity, and happiness that flowed through us and through the crowd. It was an amazing experience that transcended the language barrier. I caught a few of the reactions of participants who received eye tags in these photos.

Friday, February 27, 2009

John Sheldon Master Guitarist Scores Music for Eye to Eye

John Sheldon is a consummate musician whose creative path has had an amazing trajectory among the then rising stars of the 1960s and 1970s.

John bought his first guitar at around 15 from James Taylor, a close family friend and then suitor of his sister. He was notably inspired by the older JT’s just penned, self-revelatory compositions and distinctive playing style that was soon to rock the world in his debut album. Later in Sheldon's home turf of Cambridge, Massachusetts a soulful, tempestuous Irish minstrel named Van Morrison begins to use John’s basement as rehearsal studio and consequentially writes much of the material for his seminal album, "Astral Weeks" there.

At 17, jamming in the basement with Morrison, a melody and lyric evolved that entered the world as Domino.This eventually led to touring as Van Morrison’s lead guitarist. Immediately after high school graduation he became a session man in L.A. He soon developed a well-deserved reputation as a guitar whiz kid and toured with James Taylor, Danny Kortchmar and Linda Ronstandt. But after a decade of session work he decided to go back to school and hone his innate skills at the New England Conservatory of Music. It was here he was able to fully explore musical composition in many genres and become adept at all of them. On the East and West Coasts he was recognized mainly as a rocker and developed a loyal following. But in his heart of hearts he is a prolific storyteller and really a “painter with sound”. Ironically the early admiration of James Taylor’s songwriting came full circle a few years back when Taylor recorded John’s “September Grass” on the album, October Road and another song ,“Bittersweet”, on his most recent Greatest Hits collection.

Sheldon is a wonderful wordsmith but the instrumental tone poems and cinematic landscapes of sound that he is currently focusing on are deep and rich and transcendent.

We of the Eye to Eye Project were thrilled to have him consent to create a signature piece of instrumental music that reflects the exchange and juxtaposition of East and West that he called “Joined Horizons”. This was played over the fabulous sound system at the Zendai MOMA and charged the air of the outdoor plaza where we unveiled our project.

Recently developing atmospheric music for “Milosevic at the Hague” a play by Milan Dragicevich, John had been exploring folk music of the Balkans and the music it derived from. Some of the influences go back to the Ottoman Empire, where literally the East met the West. Intrigued with our idea of using images from art history to represent different points of view, he shared with me samples from vast sound catalogs he had created on his computer. Myriad passages of musical styles were used as points of departure,creating original music with historical inflections of tone and rhythm. They were carefully selected and artfully interwoven to create an aural conversation between East and West. The infectious beat that resulted had all passersby enthralled after the first clarion call of searing electric guitar. Young and old happily smiled and swayed to the music, instantly eliminating the language barrier and making it easy to give away our painted eyes.

We thank John Sheldon for generously creating and performing this wonderful music that added so much to our initial concept.

We invite all of you to check back for an audio clip that will be installed on this site soon.
To learn more about this exceptional musician and how to obtain his music please visit www.johnsheldon.com .

Friday, February 20, 2009

Intrude 366 Web Archive

Intrude 366 has finished its online archive of the 2008 projects.

To see the official Eye to Eye project archive go to this
link on the intrude 366 project archive site:

Photo from intrude site


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Intrude 366 Phase 2 - A Starting Point: Intrude Art & Life 366 Dynamics of change and growth Jan 1st - Dec 31st, 2008

Presented by:
Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art Dates: Jan 18th - Apr 18th, 2009
Venue: Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art (No. 28, Lane 199, Fangdian Rd. Shanghai, China)
Chief curator: Shen Qibin

On 18, Jan, 2009, A Starting Point: Intrude Art & Life 366, Dynamics of change and growth,
Jan 1st-Dec 31st, 2008, will be presented at Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art.

This exhibition is a review and continuance of the museum’s grand whole year long project:
Intrude: Art & Life 366.
Instead of coming to an end, Intrude: Art & Life 366 will enter a brand new phase in 2009. In addition to the brilliant videos, installations and paintings provided by our Intrude artists, the exhibition will also feature the display of project-related documents. Works of nearly 60 Intrude artists will be selected and put on display, making the exhibition one of the largest ever since the opening of the museum. What’s special about the exhibition is that this time works will also be displayed at the Thumb Plaza, an act to further reflect the core mission of Intrude: to make contemporary art transcend the boundaries of art museums and become more approachable to the general public. During the three-month exhibition, nearly 10 works will be shown at the plaza. The exhibition will last from 18, Jan, to 18, Apr, 2009.

Artist & Institution List:
Adad Hannah, Ala Younis, Anne Senstad, Barbara Edelstein, Cang Xin, Chang ke, Chen Hangfeng, Chen Zhou & Zhang Xiaojing, Dong Wensheng, Duan Yongjun, Elisa Marchesini, Gabriela Marciel, Gao Mingyan, Gu Wenda, Guan Huaibin, Guerrilla Girls On Tour, Guo Lijun, Museum In Progress , Heartbeat Sasaki, He Chengyao, Heidrun Holzfeind, Huang Dehua,
Huang Kui, Roslisham Ismail aka ise , Jen Denike, Li Ming, Li Mu, Li Qiang, Liang Bin,
Liang Shaoji, Liu Jin, Lydia Panas, Maider Lopez, Michael Yuan, Mitsunori Sakano,
Mo Chaolue, Razvan Botis, Ren Jie, Ren Qian, Romy Achituv, Sean Raspet, Shi Qing,
Staelens Mathieu, Susanne M. Winterling, Tiffany Chung, Touch Design(Pan Jianfeng/Zhao Jie/Lu Pingyuan), Two Girls Working, Utopia Group(Deng Dafei/He Hai), Vibeke Jensen, Wojciech Gilewicz, Wu Gaozhong, Wu Junyong, Yan Jun, Yang Guangnan, Yang Jian & Sandra Kunz, Yang Licai, Yang Yong, Yap Saubin, Yu Ji, Yu Xudong, Zhang Hui, Zhang Jianjun, Zhao Zhao, Zhu Siyun

Chief curator: Shen Qibin
Project manager: Tong Juanjuan
Academic advisors: Shen Qibing, Binghui Huangfu, Biljana Ciric, Wang Nanming, Zhang Aidong Executive curator: Biljana Ciric
Curatorial team: Liao Wenfeng, Hu Yun, Liz Coppens
Installation team: Yoyo Huang, Dai Wenjie, Du Luoming, Su Yingchun, Su Jing Location coordinator: Su Yi Media: Gu Yaofeng, Felicia Huang
Translator: Wu Chenyun
Archive editor: Christy Xie
Video documentation & editor: Wang Shui, Luo Huijun
Photographer: Zeng Yu, Tong Xin
Designer: Jiang Yanjie
Web master: Bob Wang

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Photos of Thumb Plaza and Zendai MoMA

These are a few photos from Thumb Plaza.

This was the perfect East meets West location for our project. I (with the flaming red hair) tended to stick out a bit in China.....If I had a penny for every look I got especially in the more rural areas where I can't even tell you most of the things that happened ..... actually there were even times when I turned around and caught people taking pictures WITH me! Yikes.....
So it was good to find a neutral place to just BE. I felt most "at home" at

Thumb plaza. It seems to be a popular place for ex pats., Americans, and Europeans.

I found comfort in my daily trip to Starbucks! although it is not quite the same.....

Wagas was a great place to eat as well and Barry (the manager) from the Philippines
was good to us.
We also had dinner at the local Irish Pub and Malones a sports bar.
We did of course have Chinese food but it was nice to have a choice especially when everything is foreign and your clock is 12 hours off.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Biljana Ciric: Art Forum - Best of 2008

The Intrude project made several of the "Best" lists on Art Forum. Biljana Ciric an Art Forum writer and also Head of the Curatorial Dept. at the Zendai Museum for the Intrude project listed it at #3. She writes……………

3. "Intrude: Art and Life 366" (Zendai MoMA, Shanghai) One of the larger projects of the year, Intrude attempted to bring art out of the white cube and into the public sphere. It was an ambitious project, with one artist or work per day, and the different reactions of media, artists, and others made for an interesting year. (I was involved as a member of the curatorial team for this project.) Perhaps its biggest contribution was its attempt to establish dialogues with very different social groups and fields of inquiry that had previously had no contact with contemporary art. At this scale, it becomes difficult to speak of curatorial discourse or critical intent, but it nonetheless created possibilities and opened passages, hinting at future directions for art in Shanghai


Biljana Ciric will be presenting this April at the Transcultural Exchange Conference hosted by Mary Sherman in Boston, MA.

Saturday, April 4, 20094:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Country Overview of Programs for Artists: China,
Moderator: M. Isabel Meirelles, Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Arts,
Northeastern University
Presenter: Biljana Ciric, Free-Lance Curator based in China

For more conference info:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Liz Coppens, Intrude Project Coordinator at the Curatorial Dept. of Zendai MoMA

Change of Art
(China Daily by Ida Relsted February 1, 2008)

Liesbeth Coppens is in her second year in Shanghai sharing her expertise in contemporary Chinese art. Not only does the 1.8 m tall blonde Belgian literally stand out from the crowd, she is also the only foreigner among 39 locals working at Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art.

When she landed the job as curator, Coppens joined an exclusive group of foreigners who, as a profession, help the world understand new Chinese art.

For Coppens, who has a degree in Art History and Cultural Anthropology, moving to Shanghai has proven an ideal way to combine her two interests: art and culture.

"In Belgium, knowledge about contemporary Chinese art was hard to come by, so I was naturally curious before moving to China," Coppens says.

"Also, I knew I wanted to move to a foreign country when I graduated from university. I have always loved to travel and experience new cultures."

Coppens had friends in both Beijing and Shanghai. When she got the chance in March 2005 to work at 198 Artspace, a private gallery in Shanghai's famed Moganshan Road art district, Coppens could hardly believe her luck. Unfortunately, it soon turned out that the commercial approach needed in a gallery was not the way to go for Coppens.

After nine months in the private art gallery, Coppens decided to move back to Belgium. However, soon after arriving home she realized it had been a mistake to leave China because she still had more to discover.

"I was simply not finished with China," she says.

So Coppens came back to Shanghai. This time she landed her dream job: Project Coordinator at the Curatorial Department of Zendai MoMA. And although Coppens, as the lone Westerner at the museum, is challenged daily on how business is run, she is at ease when she shows China Daily around the large white spaces of the museum.

"I find myself to be a curious person, and I am very fortunate to be here," says Coppens.

Zendai Museum of Modern Art is located in the Zendai Thumb Plaza in the Pudong District of Shanghai. The 3,000 sq m museum building has recently expanded its exhibition space and offices for extra employees.

Zendai MoMA currently exhibits the sculpture piece LOVE by American artist Robert Indiana, as well as works from contemporary Chinese artists.

According to Coppens, the aim is to both help build a native modern arts culture, and to develop a dialogue with the international arts scene.

"At the museum we seek to bring the standard of China's contemporary art academia in line with the country's rate of development," Coppens says.

Last fall, Coppens visited the Asian Contemporary Art Fair in New York City, where she found that the world's focus on Asian art, specifically from China, is increasing. However, Coppens says that much of this interest is hype, which is pushing up art prices.

"Of course I understand why, from a personal perspective, the 25-26 year old Chinese artists who are barely out of school and already selling paintings for $10,000 wish to keep business going," she says.

"At the same time, I do find some of the immense focus on Chinese contemporary art to be more hype than justified interest."

Coppens adds that judging by the catalogues of some young artists, she found that they either repeat themselves or reproduce Western modern art ideals instead of being innovative.

However, while Coppens is critical of some contemporary Chinese art, she remains passionate about the work on display at Zendai MoMA.

One of the projects Coppens is most excited about was launched in Shanghai's cityscape at the beginning of the year.

"We want art to become part of people's everyday life."

Therefore Zendai MoMA has launched the project 366 Days of Artistic Intrusion. During the year-long event, one new artwork or art performance can be found in Shanghai every day.

"Our goal is to make one cultural headline a day," says Coppens about the exhibition's slogan "Making the ordinary extraordinary, the mundane spectacular".

The 366 events will be created by 100 Chinese and 266 international artists or artistic groups, and will involve cooperation with local and international organizations such as the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, College of Fine Arts of the University of New South Wales in Australia, and Institut pour la Ville-en-Mouvement in France. The Zendai Museum of Modern Art is inviting artists, galleries, museums, curators and performers to participate in the ambitious project.

Liesbeth Coppens says her work in Shanghai is an ideal way to satisfy her interests in art and culture. Photos by Gao Erqiang

For Coppens living in a foreign country has proved very different to traveling through it. "I am actively and constantly trying to understand the Chinese," says Coppens who found her work with local colleagues to be enlightening.

"I don't live in the bubble of a typical expatriate life, but on the other hand I am not one of the foreigners here who are always totally pro everything Chinese."

One of the downsides to not living a typical expatriate life is obvious to Coppens when sees other young foreigners at bars and clubs: "These people spend half of my salary on a night out."

"People can't believe that I initially came to China on my own and without a job."

Coppens is used to not fitting in, however she does admit that sometimes she runs a little short on patience.

"Although there is a sweet innocence to it too, some days it does make me feel like a monkey in a zoo when people come up to me to measure how much taller I am than them.

"Getting angry, however, is a waste of time. Because I am a guest in their country, and it is my own choice to be here."

Since Coppens moved to Shanghai, she says her new mantra has become: "Chaos has its own rules."

This article was found at:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Emily Prager of Artforum on Intrude: Art & Life 366

This is an interesting article I found about Intrude 366 it has several photographs of other projects that Intruded on Shanghai.


As we explored the city of Shanghai we did stumble on a few projects ourselves.... Here is a photo of one I took at the subway. I am still tring to find out who did it......

We also met fellow Intrude artist Kate Stobbart who tries to fade into the background in her performance piece “On the verge of a Merge”. Her project took place on the subway where her clothing matched the hot pick seat she was sitting on. Her website is http://www.katestobbart.com/.