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curated by Bo Hongtao and Wang Zigeng Santa Caterina Church, Cannaregio 4924, Venice (Italy) - 22 September - 31 October, 2018  

Exhibition curated by Bo Hongtao and Wang Zigeng

Opening 21 September 2018

22 September - 31 October, 2018
Santa Caterina Church, Venice

Steel Home Still, Rendering images of No. 3 Blast, Architectural design agency: CCTN Architectural Design, Shougang CCTN, Shougang International Engineering Co. Ltd

“One of the largest industrial district regeneration projects in the world: Capital Steel's former site in Beijing will become the headquarter for China's winter sport ambitions.”

For almost a century, Capital Iron and Steel Corporation (today Shougang Corporation) in Beijing has been the industrial pride of the country and one of China's largest steel companies. Prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing moved the factory out of the city, due to concerns over pollutions. Rather than demolishing the blast furnaces and the cooling towers, the city left them as silent memorials. Now, with another Olympic Games on the horizon (2022 Beijing Winter Olympics), Chinese planners are working on the project of bringing the ruins back to life and instilling new meanings into this area. The new plan will keep structurally-safe buildings as intact as possible to be renovated soon. As a gift for the centenary celebration, the renovation is scheduled to be completed by 2019.

Steel Home Still in Venice will exhibit the past and the future of the Shougang industrial area. The exhibition documents a process of renewal and transformation driven by an economy devoted to creativity, leisure, and global competitiveness.

Curated by the chief architect of CCTN, Bo Hongtao, and the chief architect of Pills, Wang Zigeng, the exhibition includes design works completed by professionals from different fields, such as architecture, film and stage set decoration, graphic design, literature, documentary, photography, and multimedia art. The organizers of the exhibition are Shougang Group, Beijing Shougang Construction Investment Co.Ltd, and CCTN Design.

The concept of the exhibition follows the cabinets of curiosities tradition passed down from European Renaissance. Through a series of installations using spatial montage in the Church, the exhibition presents an immersive drama. The curators have reproduced “bedroom”, “study/classroom”, “trade union”, “drawing room”, and other representative moments of production and living for the exhibition.

The architect and curator Wang Zigeng is in charge of the overall concept and spatial installations. The set decorators of Sleep No More, Zhao Nali and her team, have reproduced different thematic spaces by combining artists’ creations with the historical items collected from the Shougang factory.

The “drawing room” is dedicated to the No. 3 Blast Furnace, the biggest construction in the Capital Steel industrial area: here are displayed a series of process drawings and research models of the CCTN team led by Bo Hongtao (Chief Architect of the No. 3 Blast Furnace Renovation Project), together with historical drawings and drawing tools from the archive. The other side of the room exhibits a large-scale profile model of the No. 3 Blast Furnace, produced by model artist Chen Yijie. It is a huge simulation model presenting a series of extreme spatial experiences.

Connections among spaces, objects and texts are created, endowing the space with a narrative and a depth of reading. Novelist Jiang Fangzhou’s writings will form the basis for the spatial experiences of audiences, which, together with the map drawn by graphic designer Liu Zhizhi, will become a clue for viewers to explore the space and the exhibition.

The multimedia device of artist Fei Jun’s team transforms a single spatial narrative into a multi-line narrative, allowing viewers to obtain various information and experiences in a limited space.

Practical information:
Location: Santa Caterina Church, Cannaregio 4924, Venice (Italy)
Nearest public water bus stops: Fondamente Nove and Ca’ D’oro
Dates: 22 September - 31 October, 2018
Opening Event: 21 September 2018

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