April 3, 2016 – July 17, 2016
Multiple locations

The accelerated rise of megacities—those with populations of more than ten million—over the last 50 years has profoundly affected the lives of their inhabitants. Asia is home to more megacities than any other continent: the works by the 11 artists in this exhibition respond to the political, environmental, and social conditions of their home cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Seoul, conveying their textures, proportions, and striking material and visual juxtapositions.

Accumulations of objects that each artist encounters in daily life—dishes, doors, plastic bags—become immersive sculptures.

Like a sprawling megacity, this exhibition extends to all corners of the Museum. You’ll find works located throughout the galleries, and even outside the Museum’s Huntington Entrance, and at Faneuil Hall.

From the endless stream of migrants in densely packed Mumbai, to the bicycles that until recently filled the streets of Beijing, works by Hema Upadhyay and Ai Weiwei evoke the constant motion that characterizes emerging megacities.

Urban consumption is at the heart of Take off your shoes and wash your hands (2008) by Delhi’s Subodh Gupta: a wall of stainless-steel utensils found in urban Indian kitchens.

Choi Jeong Hwa finds beauty and grandeur in urban appetites, with Alchemy (2016), an installation comprised of cheap plastic objects from markets and 99-cent stores, while Delhi’s Asim Waqif and South Korea’s artist collective flyingCity are inspired by the rapid building that surrounds them—from the ubiquitous bamboo scaffolding of construction projects, to the metal parts churned out by machinists in central Seoul trying to compete in a globalizing market.

Aaditi Joshi amasses plastic bags on which Mumbai retail relies, finding beauty in them despite the enviromental threat discarded bags pose, and Beijing’s Yin Xiuzhen alters rubble left behind by waves of demolition around her city. Using cast aside historic objects as new construction dominates their cities, Song Dong creates interactive architectural sculptures that recall how Beijing families once ingeniously extended their cramped living spaces into rooftop pigeon coops, while Shanghai-based Hu Xiangcheng’s constructions find life in windows and doors salvaged from dismantled Ming- and Qing-era houses. Seoul’s Han Seok Hyun creates an undulating landscape of green products in Super-Natural (2011/2016)—using bottles of rice wine and packages of dishwashing detergent—to ask how his city’s growing environmental consciousness can be reconciled with its ever advancing urban development.

More information: www.mfa.org

 Ai Weiwei, Forever, 2003  64 Forever brand steel bicycles. The Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection. Reproduced with permission. Photography courtesy of Chuck Choi.
Ai Weiwei, Forever, 2003
64 Forever brand steel bicycles. The Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection. Reproduced with permission. Photography courtesy of Chuck Choi.
 Song Dong, Wisdom of the Poor: Living with Pigeons, 2005–2006  Reclaimed parts from traditional hutong courtyard houses. Courtesy of Pace Gallery. Photography Song Dong. © Song Dong.
Song Dong, Wisdom of the Poor: Living with Pigeons, 2005–2006
Reclaimed parts from traditional hutong courtyard houses. Courtesy of Pace Gallery. Photography Song Dong. © Song Dong.
 Subodh Gupta, Take off your shoes and wash your hands, 2008  Stainless steel utensils. Photography by José Luis Gutiérrez, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Subodh Gupta, Take off your shoes and wash your hands, 2008
Stainless steel utensils. Photography by José Luis Gutiérrez, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
 Choi Jeong Hwa, Alchemy, Culture Station Seoul 284, 2014  Found LED lights, plastic bowls, and steel armatures. Photo by Choi Jeong Hwa. © Choi Jeong Hwa / Park Ryu Sook Gallery.
Choi Jeong Hwa, Alchemy, Culture Station Seoul 284, 2014
Found LED lights, plastic bowls, and steel armatures. Photo by Choi Jeong Hwa. © Choi Jeong Hwa / Park Ryu Sook Gallery.
 Aaditi Joshi, Untitled, 2016  Fused plastic bags, acrylic paint, LED lighting, and wooden armature. Photography by David Desouza. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Maskara.
Aaditi Joshi, Untitled, 2016
Fused plastic bags, acrylic paint, LED lighting, and wooden armature. Photography by David Desouza. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Maskara.
 Asim Waqif, Venu, 2012  Bamboo, cotton and jute rope, tar, and interactive electronics. Collection Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, Brussels.
Asim Waqif, Venu, 2012
Bamboo, cotton and jute rope, tar, and interactive electronics. Collection Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, Brussels.
 Yin Xiuzhen, Temperature, 2009–2010  Used clothing and rubble. Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art.
Yin Xiuzhen, Temperature, 2009–2010
Used clothing and rubble. Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art.
 flyingCity, Drifting Producers: Power of Cheonggyecheon, 2007–2009/2015  Mixed media, kinetic sculptures made by the craftsmen in Cheonggyechen, overall design by flyingCity. Photography courtesy flyingCity.
flyingCity, Drifting Producers: Power of Cheonggyecheon, 2007–2009/2015
Mixed media, kinetic sculptures made by the craftsmen in Cheonggyechen, overall design by flyingCity. Photography courtesy flyingCity.
 Hema Upadhyay, 8' x 12', 2009  Aluminum, scrap metal from cars, enamel paint, plastic, found objects, M-Seal sealant, resin, and hardware. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi. Photography by Anil Rahe, Mumbai, courtesy Hema Upadhyay and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.
Hema Upadhyay, 8′ x 12′, 2009
Aluminum, scrap metal from cars, enamel paint, plastic, found objects, M-Seal sealant, resin, and hardware. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi. Photography by Anil Rahe, Mumbai, courtesy Hema Upadhyay and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.
 Han Seok Hyun, Super-Natural, 2011  Mass produced products. Photography by Han Seok Hyun/Park Myung Rae. Courtesy of the artist.
Han Seok Hyun, Super-Natural, 2011
Mass produced products. Photography by Han Seok Hyun/Park Myung Rae. Courtesy of the artist.
(Visited 195 times, 1 visits today)