“The Freaky Deaky island6 Circus Show” (六岛奇妙马戏秀)
“The Freaky Deaky island6 Circus Show” exhibition poster
1. "Lullaby From The Past" • 2. "Rum Pump Pump" • 3. "Double Happiness" • 4. "Anthology of Labia" • 5. "Old Friend Charlie" • 6. "Hungry Hugger" • 7. "Hula Alula" • 8. "Zhongshan Tunic" • 9. "Groesste" • 10. "Kawaii Qing" • 11. "Pom Pom Styrofoam" • 12. "Hot Shot
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages prepare to be amazed! Step right up, come closer, you won’t believe your eyes! Behind this curtain witness the magnificent, the stupendous, the horrendously amazing – the world-renowned island6 gallery’s most marvelous exhibition: “The Freaky Deaky island6 Circus Show”!
It’ll be a feast for your senses: sugary buttery heaven in the form of poppy popcorn for your taste buds. There are wondrous daring acts to mesmerize even the most well-traveled pair of eyes. Tingling vibrations will run through your entire body as you enjoy the show. But of course, in true Liu Dao character, looking won’t be enough…No! This show wants you to join in on the fun. To groove with the dancers, to walk the laundry line tightrope far above the Shikumen alleys, to clap and yell with the symphony of consumers surrounding you in the stands!
We’ll have it all: acrobats, bearded ladies, strongmen, fire-dancers, and the not to be missed tattooed man of Moganshan. You will be transported by the sensuous sounds of our sonic sirens playing exotic instruments from the far West; trained animals from fish to dogs to elephants, all following the electric rhythm of the ringleader. After dark, we’ll have lovely ladies engaged in acts of scandal: riding bicycles, smoking cigarettes, and the sordid exploits of the Siamese twins of Shanghai. Liu Dao’s latest exhibition will also showcase and celebrate all the craven wonder and delicious horrors that befit the life of the modern man, sights you never knew you wanted to see. Stories you dare not let yourself believe- drink in with your retinas as much of these images as you can, but we can guarantee you will stay thirsty for more. 
This exhibition playfully interrogates the aesthetics of the circus—from the massive posters to the extravagant costumes, to the creative fictions that were woven to sell magic and medicine to an eager and willing customer base, craving distraction from the humdrum of daily life, to lose themselves in the flights of fancy and eye-watering feats that the Circus provides. In fact, looking back it quickly becomes apparent why artists from Renoir and Degas to Picasso and Matisse all felt compelled to depict the circus in their artworks. From working class to the elite, everybody went to the circus. And for artists it was a very exciting visual spectacle from which to draw inspiration. Just picture all those acrobats and clowns in their bright exaggerated costumes serving as the ultimate muses full of dynamism and of course drama!
Which begs the question, why do people go to the circus in the first place? Is it to laugh? To feel the secondhand adrenaline of a man putting his head between the jaws of a lion? To hope and pray for an accident on the trapeze line? Then as now, we share the impulse to lose ourselves in the magic and mystery of the Big Top Show, to trade the concrete jungle for a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of horror, wonder and amazement, even if just for a few hours. Are you prepared to be amazed?
Before digging into the island6 circus show, this exhibition wants to question our basic assumptions of what we understand to be the circus. So, what is the circus?
Each one of us has a reaction to that question. Some people smile, remembering with fondness the feelings which the mere uttering of that word produced during childhood. Others feel fear of the unknown or the mystical or maybe the clowns with exaggerated emotions painted onto their faces. Most feel some degree of curiosity. This has always been the secret weapon of circus masters, media companies, and other entertainers. The promise of joy; the confrontation and eventual overcoming of fear; the wonder of curiosity...Can you imagine anything without its roots buried here? This is the circus. It’s the art of the spectacular! Mass entertainment! The guarantee to see things which you’ve never seen before and will likely never see again. 
The circus is entertainment in its most classic form, and yet it’s ever evolving, adapting, presenting new spectacles to keep us coming in. The Freaky Deaky island6 Circus Show has something suitable for all ages, and we’re sure you will find a couple of jaw-dropping surprises. Ready to run away and join the circus? Come join us from November 27th 2021 to February 27th 2022. The show is about to begin!
From November 27th 2021 to February 27th 2022
Tiara Alvarado-Leon
Nick Hersey, Thomas Charvériat
Camilla Zhao 赵莹
Aline Hui 许桑淇, Gao Lei 高磊, Tang Dashi 汤大师, He Dashi 贺大师, Wang Chuanwen 王传文
Serena Charvériat-Young 杨倩菁
Carlin Reinig
island6 art collective (Liu Dao 六岛)
island6 Main Space, 50 Moganshan Road, building #6, 2/F, Shanghai
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