Shanghai Biennale Announces Theme, Artists for 2021 Edition

April 06, 2021 

The thirteenth Shanghai Biennale. Photo: Shanghai Biennale.  

The Shanghai Biennale, whose thirteenth edition is scheduled to run from April 17 through July 25 at the Power Station of Art and various other locations throughout the titular city, has released a list of 64 participating artists, of which 33 will create new commissions. The theme of the main exhibition is “Bodies of Water,” and the show draws inspiration from the interdependent relationship between humans and our increasingly imperiled climate. The theme is seen as particularly fitting given the Power Station’s former function as a coal-electrical plant which gave rise to the industrialization of the Huangpu River on which it sits.

Portrait of Andres Jaque, courtesy of the curator. Photo: Miguel de Guzmán 

In a statement, the biennial’s chief curator Andrés Jaque said, “The 13th Shanghai Biennale advocates for the momentous contribution that art plays in the reconstruction of a world shaped by environmental, social and political distress. The Biennale is sensitive to the way art constitutes and infiltrates life itself, and to its capacities for bodied reparation, transformation and dissidence.”

Image: Paula Vilaplana. Produced for the 13th Shanghai Biennale  

(The Opening Ceremony of "AN ECOSYSTEM of ALLIANCES - A Project for Current Art Education at Colleges") Photo: Shanghai Biennale.  

Responding flexibly to the continuing Covid-19 crisis, the Biennale for its 13th iteration has adopted an atypical format, starting in November, when it hosted a five-day inaugural summit. This was followed by five months of programming and presentations.


The full artist list follows below.


Alberto Baraya

Ana Mendieta

Antoni Muntadas

Astrida Neimanis

Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor

Clare Britton

Ayesha Tan Jones

Cao Minghao and Chen Jianjun

Carlos Casas

Carlos Irijalba

Cecilia Vicuña

Cheng Xinyi

Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe)

Dai Chenlian

Debajo del Sombrero (Andrés Fernández, José Manuel Egea, Miguel García, María Lapastora and Belén Sánchez)

Diakron and Emil Rønn Andersen

Diane Severin Nguyen

Feliciano Centurión

Guo Fengyi

Heather Phillipson

Ibiye Camp

Itziar Okariz

Jenna Sutela

Joan Jonas

Karrabing Film Collective

Kyriaki Goni

Liam Young

Michael Wang

Nerea Calvillo (C+arquitectas)

P Staff in collaboration with Basse Stittgen

Pepe Espaliú

Pu Yingwei

ReUnion X DMAS

Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen

Sun Xiaoxing

Qiu Zhen

Zhao Kunfang and Huang Siyao

Tabita Rézaire

Torkwase Dyson

Vera Frenkel

WORKac (Amale Andraos and Daniel Edward Wood)

Zadie Xa and Benito Mayor Vallejo

Zheng Mahler (Royce Ng and Daisy Bisenieks)


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