A Happy Arrangement combines a series of discarded objects found amongst the rubble of Shanghai's construction sites, black and white images taken from the Shanghai Urban Planning Centre and a series of cityscapes from the cities of Shanghai, Qingdao and Jinan, all of which are experiencing the process of mass urbanisation as China shifts from a rural to an urban population.
The fragmented objects have been shot in a studio, in the same way as a commercial product would be.
"By explicitly presenting the remains of a wild gentrification process, the artists raise questions about the role of art as a means to archive the present, within the perspective of an uncertain future, as well as a commodity provided to the art community. At the same time the artifacts are abandoned survivors, undesirable hints of human presence, left behind because of their lack of commercial value. Mirroring the fate of their former owners, whose houses were destroyed to leave space for high profit residential developments, these scraps are conferred a new dignity associated with the aesthetics provided by mainstream consumerist society."
The black and white images are taken from the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center in which the future of Shanghai is mapped out in the form of a a 3D model. They take on the vantage point of the planner, generic tower blocks repeating themselves endlessly amid large scale infrastructure projects and a scattering of more distinctive structures. The city is cleansed of anything old, unplanned or organic.
The work is an attempt to raises issues about the eradication of history, the top down planning policies characteristic of many rapidly developing cities across China and the developing world and the effects of environment on the experience of the individual.