11 November 2016 - 12 March 2017

LUNÄ Talks

11th Shanghai Bienniale, Power Station of Art, CN

More information: Shanghai Bienniale
Curated by: Raqs Media Collective

Hosted by: Liu Tian
Liu Tian is a Chinese artist and curator, he researches into topics relate to artistic creation, curating, writing and visual culture. Since 2006, as an artist, he has participated in Cloud Theatre — Shanghai Odyssey (director, 2013), Reactivation: The 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012), The 3rd Inward Gazes: Documentaries of Chinese Performance Art (2012) and Design Network Asia (2006), among others. As an curator he has curated many exhibitions, including Memorandum for Gaia-The 1st PSA Emerging Curators Program (2014), Idiosyncrasies — Hanart 100 (2014), Greenbox: The Space of Media Reality (2013), What A Form: A Reportage — Wu Shanzhuan and Inga Svala Thórsdóttir (2013), West Bund 2013: A Biennial of Architecture and Contemporary Art (assistant curator, 2013), and New Folk Movement — The Reconstruct of the Commonality Living at The 2nd Songzhuang Art Festival (2006). In 2010, he established Open Matter Institute, an artistic independent research and creative project.

Guests are amongst others: Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Li Bin, Juntai Shen, Lu Ding, Sun Zhengfan, Miao Qihao, Jia Qin, Zhu Dayi, Tang Fei, Liao Fei, Benny Shaffer.


The first LUNÄ Talk during the opening weekend, PSA, Shanghai, CN

‘Why Not Ask Again?’ The theme of this biennale is both a demand and a query. It tells us to look beyond answers. This biennale will have done its work if it gives rise to a forest of questions in your mind and a storm of desires in your heart, where the unpredictable is something to be welcomed, not feared.

Questions are like pressure points – the vital points along the meridians of the body that are crucial to health and sickness, pleasure and pain. Giving them primacy in this edition of biennale is like attending to the pressure points in the body of our con- temporary world. Three clear conceptual pressure points are identified as fulcrums for the curatorial work – Maneuvers, Disputations and Stories, with which this biennale will yield an open ended, alive, curious image of our world.

LUNÄ Talks are part of the Terminal installation LUNAR STATION

The Lunar Society’s members have been called the fathers of the Industrial Revolution. The importance of this particular Society stems from its pioneering work in experimental chemistry, physics, engineering, and medicine, combined with leadership in manufacturing and commerce, and with political and social ideals. Its members were brilliant representatives of the informal scientific web which cut across class, blending the inherited skills of craftsmen with the theoretical advances of scholars, a key factor in Britain's leap ahead of the rest of Europe. – Jenny Uglow 

LUNÄ is a facsimile of the original table around which an influential group of industrialists, poets, inventors, doctors, writers, physicists, chemists and thinkers known as the Lunar Society met each month in Birmingham between 1765 and 1813. Members included James Watt, Josiah Wedgwood, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestley and Erasmus Darwin and they forged strong links with Bristol based contemporaries including Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Beddoes.

The society was given its name by the monthly meeting of the members at full moon during which the participants discussed their latest research, with the aim of learning from each other and sometimes they would develop projects collaboratively or support each others projects.  Since January 2011 the table is used in different locations including England, Austria and the Netherlands for an ongoing series of critical discussions updating topics that occupied the Lunar Men as new scientific and industrial developments, but also art, education and social rights.

LUNÄ collapses the optimistically progressive value systems that were enthusiastically promoted during the Enlightenment into the mass production and globalised retail environment that can be seen as their legacy today. LUNÄ is a replica of the Lunar table in the Soho house combined with a set of eight IKEA chairs.