modu : A Tale of Urban China

“Mobile / Immobile”: artists and researchers explore our lifestyles – Exhibition

Our modern world is characterised by its speed: the speed at which information travels on social media, but above all the speed at which humans travel across the world. Technological progresses since the 19th century have revolutionized our mobility practices as they made faster and cheaper trips possible. The Mobile Lives Forum’s exhibition “Mobile / Immobile”, happening in Paris until April, 29th, and gathering works of more than 30 artists and researchers, explores how our societies, territories and lifestyles have been shaped by these new practices of mobility, from daily commuting to migration. 

Artists have been particularly inspired by the Asian continent, and especially its growing mega-cities where mobility is ever-reinvented. In Tokyo, Sylvie Bonnot has photographed crowds moving across Shibuya, through which she questions the loneliness that can arise from constant movement. In India, Ishan Tankha travelled with workers visiting their families in the hinterland of Mumbai. His work highlights their dual urban and rural identity, as the Konkan train takes them from one place to the other.

The exhibition also presents several works on China, whose modernisation has given a whole new meaning to speed. Tim Franco has documented this transformation in its series “Métamorpolis”, which shows how roads and transportation networks have nibbled at the city’s rural margins.

The research Mobility in China: 50 years of acceleration seen by the Chinese realized by the Sinapolis studio uses Thomas Sauvin’s photographic archives to show the shifting perceptions and aspirations of the Chinese people towards mobility. From a distant dream in the 1970s, when people were tied to a place by the danwei and hukou systems, mobility has become a reality in the sprawling cities of the 1990s. Yet, the video-installation Yi by Wang Gongxin questions this newly experimented mobility in China, and elsewhere, and the social pressure to constantly travel faster and further. The exhibition challenges us to rethink our mobility – its injunctions and the imbalances that it increasingly embodies.

Date: from January 16 to April 29, 2019
Venues: Archives nationales, Paris site (main site for the exhibition): 60 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris ; Pierrefitte-sur-Seine site: 59 rue Guynemer, 93380 Pierrefitte-sur-Seine
Organizer: Mobile Lives Forum
Curators: Hélène Jagot, François Michaud, Pierre Fournié, Christophe Gay, Sylvie Landriève, Vincent Kaufmann
See full program:

Projection and round table at Cité de l’architecture

Rendez-vous Chine, presentation of the multidisciplinary research project “Mobility in China: 50 years of acceleration seen by the Chinese”. Projection of the 26′ documentary Images et imaginaires de la mobilité en Chine (directed by Jérémie Descamps and Frédéric Henriques), followed by a round table with Caroline Bodolec, ethnologist, Jérémie Descamps, urbanist, Sylvie Landriève, director of Mobile Lives Forum, and Thomas Sauvin, collector and artist

Date: January 29th, 2019, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Venue: Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, 7 avenue Albert de Mun, Paris 16e, Métro Iéna or Trocadéro (Auditorium)
Organizer: Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine/ Observatoire de l’architecture de la Chine contemporaine
See full program and register at this link:



January 16, 2019 to April 29, 2019




Modu Team
Exhibition, Projections, Conferences
  • 2019/01/16 - 2019/04/29

  • Paris

  • Modu Team