Modu Magazine: 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 Lille until September, the 15th, 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.

Author: Gwenaëlle Brandelet, edited by: Jérémie Descamps



"Mobile / Immobile": artists and researchers explore our lifestyles


June 15, 2019 to September 15, 2019

Current venue:

Maison de la photographie
28 rue Pierre Legrand
59800 LILLE
Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday 11am to 6pm

Past venue:

Musée des 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


Mobile Lives Forum


Hélène Jagot, François Michaud, Pierre Fournié, Christophe Gay, Sylvie Landriève, Vincent Kaufmann


Wednesday, June 19th at 8:30pm at Maison de la Photographie, 28 rue Pierre Legrand, 59 000 Lille

The documentary photographer Vincent Jarousseau will present his series on lower classes’s mobility taken in Denain (Departement du Nord, France) in a two year long project. André Gunthert, historian on visual cultures and research professor at EHESS and Sylvie landriève, geographer and co-director of the Vie Mobiles Forum will complete the commented projection.

Exhibition, Projections, Conferences
  • 2019/06/15 - 2019/09/15

  • Lille

  • Mobile Lives Forum