artists & participants
"An increasing number of cities are on the move - everything is in a state of perpetual change. Economic, social, political and cultural life develops at breakneck speed. This kind of progress has produced new hybrid forms of modernity. Urban diffusion and density, improvised cities, the mobile city, post-urban city, Glux City, Sim City, Fragmented City and threatening "social decadence" that Itsuko Hasegwa describes critically in the wake of Cardboard Constructions, that pile up in the shade of skyscrapers. Rem Koolhaas states that cities are "non-stable configurations". Post-urban cities are something hybrid and do not concern themselves too much about questions regarding their own identity. This gives rise to "a new aesthetic of the casual contrast of units that have nothing in common apart from their own co-existence". Koolhaas in S, M, L, XL expresses his conviction that if the centre no longer exists, then the suburb does not exist either, and consequently everything becomes city and belongs to the city. He mentions a new pervasiveness that includes landscape, park, industry, rust belt, parking lot, housing tract, single family house, desert, airport, beach, river, sky, slope, even downtown ...
This topic constitutes the theme of the exhibition CITIES ON THE MOVE which Hou Hanru and Hans-Ulrich Obrist have conceived for the Vienna Secession (November 1997), and whose key cities are: Bangkok, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Osaka, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Shen Zhen, Singapore, Tokyo, ..." (Hans-Ulrich Obrist)
The urban explosion in Asia is generating a great number of new Global Cities. These new global cities represent the erection of new economic, cultural and even political powers which are bringing about a new world order and new visions of our planet in the coming century. Apart from classical characteristics of global cities, such as being active elements of the world market and communication, various and multicultural urban culture,"internationalized" modes of life, inter-connectivity, etc. these new, Non-Western global cities also have their own specific characteristics: their own cultural traditions, historical backgrounds, which are mostly connected with the Colonial past and neo-colonial present, and hence new claims for developments. But, the most important is that, with their specific legacies, they become a new and original spaces in which new visions and understandings of Modernity, and new possibilities of "Utopian/dystopian" imaginations, can be elaborated and invented. It is certainly one of the most decisive factors of the global mutation that we are experiencing at the turn of the millenium. Several generations of artists, architects, urban planners, film makers and intellectuals from Asia have been contributing inventively to the formation of such new urban visions. They represent a raising force in the restructuring of our global urban/cultural order. An exhibition which presents such a new force in a Western context today, is not only necessary but also essential since the East and West are approaching each other unprecedentedly in the process of Globalisation. It is also particularly significant to celebrate the Centenary of the Vienna Secession with such an event before touring to several international institutions of contemporary art and architecture. (Hou Hanru)