Modu Magazine: A Tale of Urban China

“Mapping the City” at OCAT Anren – Exhibition

The exhibition “Mapping the city” explores the historical development of Xi’an through contemporary art. It was initially presented last summer at OCAT Xi’an for the museum’s fifth anniversary and is now presented at OCAT Anren until March 5th, 2019.

The exhibition creates a dialogue between place and time in Xi’an as it takes us on a journey through key moments of the city’s history, which have seen the built environment evolve and its boundaries expand. Each of the five chapters of the exhibition, ‘Witchcraft and the Mind’, Ruins and the Past’, ‘Landscape and Scenery’, Stories from the Street and Towards the Future? Back to the Past?’, combines historical narratives with local culture to reflect on urban changes in Xi’an. The city is approached not just as a geographical structure, but rather as a historical reality in which the past blends with the present and where the built environment reflects local history.

The sixteen artists who were brought together for the exhibition all have a link with Xi’an. They were born or live there, such as artist Guo Haiqiang who returned to Xi’an from Beijing and now sketches the surrounding mountains in open air. Other, such as Xi’an born artist Xie Sichong, left the city. She now lives in Los Angeles but sets the narrative of some of her artworks, such as Do Donkeys Know Politics, in her hometown. OCAT has also invited a seventeenth artist for the exhibition period in Anren, Chengdu-based artist He Liping. He presents his piece Here, Anren which introduces the geography and culture of the city which has its own historic significance. In a globalized world dominated by social media, “Mapping the city” makes us pause and observe our surroundings, reflecting on our own history and place within our cities.

Authors: Modu Team



"Mapping the City"


December 16, 2018 to March 5, 2019


OCAT Anren, No. 350 Yingbing Road, Anren, Chengdu


OCAT Xi’an, Anren OCT LOFT


Yang Xi


Cai Longfei, Cui Kaimin, Guo Haiqiang, Guo Tao, Guo Fengyi, He Tianqi, He Liping, Hu Yun, Pan Jian, Pan Xu, Shi Hengbo, Wang Chao, Xie Sichong, Yang Shuangqing, Ye Su, Yan Zhou, Zhang Yaqian

See full programme:

Randian Online

  • 2018/12/16 - 2019/03/05

  • Anren (Chengdu)

  • OCAT Xi’an, Anren OCT LOFT