Every couple of years, Shanghai’s art and culture scene comes alive as a slew of exhibitions are organized in tandem with the Shanghai Biennale, arguably the biggest art event in the city. And every couple of years, Shanghaiist is disappointed by the various offerings. Shanghai never claimed to be the cultural center of China but one would think out of all the events and exhibitions this fall, something would get Shanghaiist excited. Instead, we can sum up this fall’s art events with one word: Boring!
But, it seems there is a silver lining afterall. This Saturday marks the start of the city’s very own Shanghai Fringe Festival, born out of the Edinburgh Fringe Fest, which is quite possibly the biggest cultural event in the world (at least according to their website). Why get excited? Because Fringe Fest brings together performers, musicians, and dancers (in addition to your run-of-the-mill visual artist) for 16 days of events that defy the norm … well, Shanghaiist is hoping. Their introduction on their website sounds promising enough:
“Fringe Shanghai” is a vibrant annual arts event celebrating and supporting the innovative and visionary works of up-and-coming artists. This year’s event marks the first such Fringe experience for Shanghai, opening a window to the premiere of international avant-garde arts. More than just a range of performances, “Fringe Shanghai” helps to lay the foundation for the development of a vibrant arts scene… With more than 20 international and local groups offering close to 100 performances, “Fringe Shanghai 2006” is set to bring cutting-edge arts to life in Shanghai.
“Cutting-edge arts” is definitely a welcome addition to the bland art scene here, and by the looks of the program, the next couple of weeks will give Shanghaiers some refreshing options for culture, especially in the realm of experimental theater. Many acts are foreign, as expected, but maybe this festival will encourage local artists to create their own brand of wackiness that Fringe Festivals around the world are known for.
One of the first events for Shanghai Fringe is The One Minutes, a video exhibition that features one minute videos from around the world. Check it out at BizArt this Saturday at 18:00. Shanghaiist would tell people to then head over to Bar 288 on Taikang Lu for the Shanghai Fringe opening party but we really rather you come to our Underground Halloween Party instead.
Shanghai Fringe, October 28th to November 12th. Various venues around town. Call 139 1844 5724 for program info, or visit www.fringeshanghai.com
The One Minutes, BizArt Art Center, 50 Moganshan Lu, Building 7, 4/F. Tel: 6277 5358, or visit www.biz-art.com
October 28th to November 5th
Image still of Allard Zoetman’s Homo Ecco Part II from BizArt’s website.