By Day by Night - Catalogues - Shahzia Sikander

The complex and often perplexing history has made Shanghai a world legend, and one of the most dynamic, thrilling, and promising of global cities. While toiling in hard negotiations, in double binds, in a deeply contradictory identity as a cultural and political hybrid, in the meantime Shanghai provokes so many fantasies and dreams. In spite of all of the complications, amongst the population there is always an irreducible optimism and confidence that drives the city forward. This renders the metropolis with a most spectacular urban-scape. Further, it is a city where life never stops: in the day, Shanghai is an enterprising center of economic and urban activities, accentuated by the uproaring noise of traffic, machines, and commerce. In the night, the streets are then invaded by the most electrifying symphony of all kinds of sounds that mix the night market hubbub with popular karaoke outcries — between hidden dark corners and dazzling neon lights, the city is turned into a paradise for leisure, culture and pleasure, with a flair of seduction, dream and fleur-du-mal style of poesy and adventure…

The exhibition structure entails two distinct but intertwined components that create an intimate and efficient relationship amongst the artists, the works, the events, the institution, the participants, and the realities of Shanghai’s city life. The exhibition, or the event, is to unfold throughout the daytime and into the nighttime, with constant surprises.

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