The Urban Studies project is a residency exchange programme for artists and curators between between Shanghai, China and Helsinki, Finland.
Urban Studies was launched during Shanghai World Expo 2010, in The Nut Lab Gallery, January 2010. Urban Studies Lounge presented Finnish visual and video art, installations and performances by Karri Kuoppala, Sauli Sirviö, Jenni Valorinta, Jukka Korpihete and Tuomas Laitinen.
The Urban Studies project has been developed in collaboration with curator Aura Seikkula and HIAP’s curator Marita Muukkonen. The project, which focuses on visual art, mirrors and investigates culturally and ecologically sustainable development in the urban environment. The project offers multidisciplinary encounters, and raises questions such as whether development can be defined solely in western terms, and what are its local dimensions in a global context.
The residencies in Shanghai are being arranged in collaboration with the DCA Artist-in-Residence programme, which is run in conjunction with Asia's biggest museum of contemporary art, Himalaya, and the ShangArt Gallery and Shanghai Centre for Visual Arts. The project is being run in Shanghai by the Chief Curator of the Himalaya museum, Li Zhenhua, who had a curator's residency at HIAP Suomenlinna in December 2010.
The timeframe of the Urban Studies project is January 2010–June 2011.
In the year 2011 three residents were sent to Shanghai’s DCA residency center: artists Jaakko Karhunen and Hannu Karjalainen, and curator Henna Paunu.
During the residency of 7 weeks Hannu Karjalainen familiarised himself with the architecture and urban design of Shanghai from the past 20 years. The information he gathered during his stay was used as a material for his two video-installations.
Henna Paunu is curating an exhibition Lohikäärmeen aika (The Time of the Dragon) for Rauma Art Museum at the end of the year 2012. The exhibition is based on her research during the residency in Shanghai. Part of the exhibition will be shown at the Cable Gallery in the beginning of the year 2013.
During his residency in Shanghai Jaakko Karhunen realized a work based on kites and their history in China. The work will be shown in Kluuvi gallery 5– 20.10.2012 in the exhibition Lao Baixing: Save our souls, a Melodrama.