"Flying Away" by Liu Dao "Rise of the Phoenix" by Liu Dao "I was their Queen" by Liu Dao "Paris Of The East" by Liu Dao "Qi Pao Crush" by Liu Dao
Previous Next
"Paris Of The East" by Liu Dao
TITLE "Paris Of The East" (东部的巴黎)
ARTIST Liu Dao 六岛
MEDIA LED display, neon sign, silk, stainless steel frame
DATE Made in island6, Shanghai 2010
SIZE 200×100×5 cm | 79×40×2 inches
WEIGHT ARTWORK WEIGHT: 84 kg | 185 lb + CRATE WEIGHT: 50 kg | 110 lb
EXPOSURE exhibited in "Prophecies"
CREDITS Wang Dongma 王东马 (video animation) • Zhang Deli 张德丽 (design) • Elena Shamova (performance) • Thomas Charvériat (art direction & technical guidance) • Tony Argueta (post-production assistance) • Zane Mellupe (production direction) • Zhang Leihua 张雷华 (production coordination)

"Paris Of The East" is Liu Dao’s homage to the Golden Age of 1930s Shanghai, an era in which the city gained its reputation as the capital of the Orient, a playground for the rich and famous and a mecca for the movers and the shakers of the world. The pursuit of wealth, commerce and pleasure reached unprecedented proportions – as did vice and organized crime. Alongside the flourishing of grand Art Deco structures and great commercial enterprise, the city was ruled by the mafia-like Green Gang (chin. 青帮), rife with brothels and reeking of readily-available narcotics. “Paris of the East” seeks to capture the moment of the riches, adventure and sin that Shanghai in the 1930s has come to stand for; a time when the can-can dance of Europe’s nightclubs was performed by Chinese women with impossibly white skin in the cabarets on Rue Montauban, now Sichuan Nan Lu; a time when giants of finance would stumble out of opium dens and into the raucous clubs of the French Concession, where singing patrons twirled with waiters as if in a Toulouse-Lautrec painting; a time when twenty year-old actresses would shriek with laughter as they danced on tables in restaurants and hotel bars with diplomats and royals from around the world, while the ships from every continent continually docked and set off in perpetuity to make the Port of Shanghai a paddlewheel that drove the city on through the nights of every season of every year until it all ended in the blink of an eye.
The artwork displays a large intermittent neon sign alongside an LED image of a girl writhing in provocative welcome. The signage is reminiscent of the bustling, almost garish siren calls to trade and commerce which has characterized – and still characterizes – much of Shanghai. Each letter lights up in quick, colorful progression in metaphor for the rapid, unremitting pace of life in the bright metropolis, while underneath the layer of patterned silk that serves as the blackness of night a girl’s dances subtly shine. The girl’s playfully flirtatious, yet almost surreal, sing-song styled swaying, fires the viewers’ imaginations and fantasies. Her body language says: Come and get me, boys! However, like the grandiose, airy promises the city makes to millions, her intangible, unidentifiable form constantly eludes any actual grasp. In the heady combination of the two images, Liu Dao brings together old memories and new technology to set off neural fireworks within the observer’s brain to seamlessly merge the excitement of bygone days with advancements of the present. [Laura Breitenberger]

STATUS Reserved
Download the LED animation source fileHigh Resolution PhotoWatch a video of this artworkmore
* This web site, including, but not limited to, text, content, images, photographs, videos, audio, and material of any nature is protected by the ADAGP
island6 is a philanthropic project founded by artists and managed by devoted creative staff. The spirit & driving force behind all of island6's works and art-forward exhibitions is collaboration.
六岛是由艺术家自发创立, 由创作人员管理的公益艺术机构。其精神是为艺术家提供平台并支持各项协作项目。