The ROM's Shanghai Kaleidoscope
This Sunday the ROM debuts an impressive new exhibition that chronicles the rapid changes that have dramatically re-shaped China's largest city. Shanghai Kaleidoscope uses video, photography, fashion and multimedia installations to juxtapose the city's legendary past with the explosive new development, rising field of skyscrapers and contemporary arts, film and fashion scenes.
Packed into half of a crystal on the fourth floor, the exhibition might seems smallish in scale, but the personal viewing stations, audio and video displays afford hours of opportunity to sit back and watch Chinese feature films, documentaries and interviews with some of the participating artists.
Perhaps the most original work on display is a two screen video installation by Shanghai artist Yang Zhenzhong. Titled Let's Puff, the work (pictured right and left at top) presents a visual metaphor of the winds of change that have swept through China's cities during the past decade.
On one screen we see a young woman who periodically inhales and then forcefully exhales an enormous breath. As she exhales, we see, on the opposite screen, everyday street scenes in Shanghai that suddenly accelerate, as if they are being hurtled into fast motion by the power of her breath.
Shanghai Kaleidoscope runs through November 2nd.