The Migrations exhibition opened beneath bright sun and clear skies, bringing together people from Longhua and Dalang, as well as graduate students from Shenzhen University and Langkou aunties. The opening ceremony celebrated the central idea of the 7th edition of the Biennale “Cities grow in difference,” taking advantage of the contrasts between the restored P+V, its surrounding urban village, and the clean design of INFUTURE. These contrasts created a particularly postmodern aesthetic that celebrated three generations of migrants—Hakkas who came to the area 300 years ago, missionaries who arrived 150 years ago, and the Shenzheners who have been path breaking Shenzhen since 1980. Indeed, the these differences are the nutrients that have made Shenzhen’s unique migrant culture.
The opening also extended the exhibition space from the P+V into the Langkou Plaza. At the entrance to the P+V, the collaborative piece “Stories of Rice” attracted guests as well as urban villagers, who proudly showed their handiwork to friends and family. In addition, the “Modern Nomads” tents attracted children and adults alike to play together. Sweet rice balls made the plaza even more welcoming.
Inside the P+V compound visitors were attracted to the artifacts of the “Mutual Gaze” exhibit. These paintings and tea cups, Hakka primers and embroidery were brought from Hakkaland to Europe in 1949 and returned nearly 70 years later. Each item hints at past lives and simple pleasures of home. Yet this history is as fleeting as the sound of tiles, like time itself, perceptible only in its passing.
Curious? Join us at the P+V to experience the diversity of Shenzhen’s urban villages. Below, more pictures of a happy opening day!