Utopia at Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Amazing! Catch RMB City: A Second Life City Planning by China Tracy 2007-09, and other ‘urban’ works in the Utopia exhibition.

The large single channel video projection at the Art Gallery holds the superb detail and layering of Cao Fei’s 3D animation. Watch how the Birds Nest stadium and other architectural icons play out in the frenetic assemblage of the ‘live’ city.

“RMB City will be the condensed incarnation of contemporary Chinese cities with most of their characteristics; a series of new Chinese fantasy realms that are highly self-contradictory, inter-permeative, laden with irony and suspicion, and extremely entertaining and pan-political.”
-Artist statement

From Dunedin Public Art Gallery publicity:
RMB City was created by Cao Fei’s online identity China Tracy (with her platinum hair and suit of armour) on the Creative Commons Island of Kula. Named after Chinese money, RMB City shows a perverse view of Beijing—a blend of communism, socialism, and capitalism. Like Beijing itself, it is constantly under construction, candy-striped smoke stacks suggest continuous industrial production and ships move goods swiftly in and out of port. A giant shopping cart, filled with skyscrapers and religious monuments, floats nearby; and Tiananmen Square has been converted into a swimming pool.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Design, Inspiration, Site, Town planning, Urban design

2 responses to “Utopia at Dunedin Public Art Gallery

  1. kate

    I am not sure why this exhibition is called Utopia – I am still revelling in the BELOVED exhibition – it is just fantastic and a huge credit to many benefactors of the DPAG. All ratepayers should be glowing in BELOVED, no need for utopia when we already have it! I am proudly showing the book off to all who might be visiting the centre of Dunedin as a must do.

    • Elizabeth

      kate – I get your drift, and note the gallery is more than the lower galleries where ‘beloved’ works from the permanent collection presently hang, in something of a ‘mashup’.

      The book, ‘Beloved’, is a much more restrained and mannerly listing of the works, according to its own methodology – a truly useful reference with excellent illustrations and accompanying texts by knowledgable art writers, many of whom have dedicated years to the stewardship and recording of DPAG collections.

      Cao Fei’s Utopia is on the first floor – as is Taryn Simon’s exceptional photography in An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar that documents “the inaccessible places that exist below the surface of American identity. Simon gained permission to photograph high-security zones, like government-regulated quarantine sites, nuclear waste storage facilities, prison death rows and C.I.A. offices. Some images look like they could be museum displays, which only makes these mysterious spaces even more curious and seductive. Through her work, the strangeness of American culture shines.” (source: DPAG publicity)

      Two new contemporary exhibitions: The Asian by Heather Straka (now showing, ground floor), and Wayne Barrar’s An Expanding Subterra (opens Saturday, first floor).

      Lucky us, we have a large Dunedin Public Art Gallery!!!! ;-)

      The Gallery is open and free to the public for all but two days a year, being Christmas Day and Good Friday.

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