Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \\ Architecture (UABB) is currently the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the set themes of Urbanism and Urbanization.
Co-organized by the two neighboring and closely interacting cities of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, UABB situates itself within the regional context of the rapidly urbanizing Pearl River Delta, concerns itself with globally common urban issues, extensively communicates and interacts with the wider public, is presented using expressions of contemporary visual culture, and engages international, avant-garde dimensions as well as discourses of public interest.
This year UABB embarks on a new journey, holding its first ever art exhibition, directed by co-curator Hou Hanru, and opening new grounds in the art design world. The theme, “Cities, Grow in Difference”, will explore the future development of urban villages and their place among the rapidly developing cities of China, while communicating an understanding of ‘coexistence’. UABB 2017 will be held at Nantou Old Town in Nanshan district, an urban village that was once the administrative center of the Bao’An County. The main exhibition will span across the whole Shenzhen city and will also include three sub-venues in order to accommodate an event of its magnitude.
It is the only exhibition in the world to explore issues of urbanization and architectural development within China and around the world, creating a unique experience for its audience. Since its first exhibition in 2005, UABB has since organized 930 exhibits with over 1 million visitors globally. Last year’s edition was a huge success, seeing over 250,000 visitors over the 4 month long exhibition.
The curators for this year’s UABB are qualified experts who are working to deliver an exceptional experience for the biennale:
· Hou Hanru, a renowned curator based in Paris, Rome, and San Francisco, has curated/co-curated over 100 exhibitions and has advised in art institutions around the world.
· Liu Xiaodu, the co-founder and principal of Urbanus Architecture & Design Inc., has participated in numerous architectural exhibitions including the China Pavilion of 2016 London Biennale.
· Meng Yan, the principal and co-founder of Urbanus Architecture & Design Inc., was appointed chief curator of the Shenzhen Pavilion in the 2010 Shanghai Expo.
Past editions of UABB featured acclaimed exhibitor, Dutch Architectural Photographer Iwan Baan. Other organisations that have participated in UABB are the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. Past curator Ole Bouman has since taken on the mantle of founding director of Shekou and stayed on in Shenzhen after curating in 2015, while Yung Ho Chang the father of architecture in China is set to make another appearance at UABB 2017.
This year, UABB 2017 looks forward to seeing notable names from all over the world, such as Pierre Huyghe, MVRDV, Rob Voerman, and John Lin, architects and artists well-known for expanding the boundaries of their respective fields. This is not only an event that sheds light on urbanisation, but also champions a new social cause, helping to improve the lives of people living in urban villages while preserving its essence.