When you live in a city of 23 millions people, you really have to plan your moves, to avoid being stuck in the crowd. So the first week end of December, when it’s nice and sunny and everyone is going to the Christmas Markets, you go to the art museum hoping to be one of the few people there. Then you need to hope your three years old toddler will behave, but that is an other story (I am dreaming to go back to terrible twos).
So this is what we did last week end, destination Power Station of Art. Established on Oct. 1st, 2012, PSA is the first state-run museum dedicated to contemporary art in mainland China and it is also home to the Shanghai Biennale. The facility that houses PSA was renovated from a former power plant, whose brute style of industrial architecture provides a rich source of inspiration for artists and enables diverse creative possibilities.
Our favorite installation was by far The Great Chain of Being—Planet Trilogy, where the impact of an unknown object has created a vast crater in a barren moonscape. Entering through the fuselage of a ditched communist-era fighter jet, we took a winding path into the fearsome bowels of a mysterious planet, picking our way through the detritus and echoes of industry, technology, and civilizations. The darkened walkway culminates at the underside of the mysterious embedded object, revealing itself to be a glass cabinet of curiosities, swarming with thousands upon thousands of bees.
Second favorite installation was Lunar Station consisting of a steel pendulum and a circular pile of fine silver sand. The trajectory of the pendulum is partly influenced by the rotation of the earth and partly manipulated by a mechanical system that constantly influences the course of the pendulum into a chaotic pattern.
Unfortunately at the third installation the drama started over a chocolate bar, we became the main attraction for the visitors and we could have reactivated the whole power station with the strength of Olivia’s screams. If someone has suggestions on how to explain a toddler that a chocolate bar is very tasty even if broken, kindly get in touch 😉