Fes­tiv­i­ties sealed with a kiss

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE ARTS - By WUNI in Shang­hai wuni@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shang­hai Xin­tiandi Style Mall is filled with a fes­tive mood, fea­tur­ing large-scale in­stal­la­tions, knit works and var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, un­der the theme “kiss”.

“Kiss­ing is sel­dom taken as the theme of art­works be­cause in ori­en­tal cul­ture, peo­ple re­strain them­selves from ex­press­ing their emo­tions,” says Jiang Shan, cu­ra­tor of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

“Through the ex­hi­bi­tion, we hope to en­cour­age peo­ple to be con­fi­dent and brave in ex­press­ing their love.”

In­side the mall, which spans a large area from Zizhong Lu (Road) to Fux­ing­nan Lu (Road), dozens of col­or­ful or­na­ments, in­clud­ing bal­loons, lol­lipops and lip-shaped dec­o­ra­tions are hung on the walls and from the ceil­ing.

Among the dec­o­ra­tions, a bright-col­ored woven-wool art­work at­tracts most eye­balls and evokes a feel­ing of warmth.

The de­signer, Gu Yeli, says the art piece, Kiss For­est, was in­spired by US artist AndyWarhol’s 1963 ex­per­i­men­tal film

Kiss, which fea­tured var­i­ous cou­ples kiss­ing for three and a half min­utes each. Gu also or­ga­nizes a small workshop to teach knit­ting to chil­dren.

Artist Wang Xue­jun sets up a stain­less-steel mir­ror at the mall’s gate lead­ing to Zizhong Lu (Road).

Visi­tors, in­clud­ing men, are in­vited to put on lip­stick and kiss the mir­ror, thus kiss­ing them­selves.

The Beast Flo­ral Shop, an avant-garde flower shop in Shang­hai, con­trib­utes two walls of flow­ers that are made into the shape of a book, named Kiss Book. Ar­ti­facts of bees and but­ter­flies are in­stalled among the blos­soms, kiss­ing the flow­ers. The work rep­re­sents love and har­mony in na­ture.

Ar­chi­tect Ma Ke cre­ates a Kiss Bridge with trans­par­ent acrylic boards and ce­ramic fish­bowls. Bridges are of­ten spots for dat­ing lovers in tra­di­tional Chi­nese folk­lore and the gold­fish in the bowls are wit­nesses of the lovers’ kisses.

In the south plaza, an 18-me­ter-high in­ter­ac­tive tree-shaped light in­stal­la­tion en­cour­ages peo­ple to kiss. Each kiss ac­ti­vates a light se­quence, re­mind­ing au­di­ences of their sweet childhood mem­o­ries of kisses and em­braces.

At the side of the tree is a counter, in which each kiss is counted and rep­re­sents a dona­tion to char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Or­na­ments dec­o­rate Shang­hai Xin­tiandi Style Mall.

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