Producing Chinese Urban Landscapes of Public Art: The Urban Sculpture Scene in Shanghai

Authors: Jane Zheng*,
Topics: China, Urban Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: urban sculpture, public art, public art planning, cultural policy, urban entrepreneurialism, Shanghai
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Balcony N, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This article utilizes an “urban landscapes” perspective to examine the urban sculpture scene and its production system in Shanghai. It reviews both the national urban sculpture discourse and urban sculpture planning practices since 1949, and then focuses on Shanghai specifically. It examines three major stakeholders in urban sculpture development and their interactions. The main argument is that Shanghai’s urban sculpture scene has evolved due to the proliferation of aesthetic and symbolic sculptures as opposed to traditional monuments; however, urban entrepreneurialism and globalization have been shaped by the continuity of the Chinese ideological framework, which has transformed urban sculptures from explicit into veiled political didacticism under the guise of caring for the people.

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