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Pasted Landscape - A 3-day seminar about architectural mimicry in China

Institute for Provocation is excited to present PASTED LANDSCAPE, a three-day workshop consisting of an artist film screenings, research presentations and discussions. It is part of a year long curatorial research project which examines the pervasive practice of architectural mimicry in contemporary Chinese residential built environment. Through artistic and architectural investigation, PASTED LANDSCAPE aims to provide a platform intended to unpack the complexities behind the mimicry architecture phenomena, inviting international and local visitors to participate in these discussions.

Program Schedule:

Friday December 4th 6 – 9:30 pm in IFP Studio

6:00 – 6:15 Introduction by curator Siyun Tang

6:15 – 7:20 Screening of “Chinese Dreamland” by American filmmaker David Borenstein.

7:30 – 8:45 Screening of “Double Happiness” by Austrian filmmaker Ella Raidel

8:45 – 9:15 Discussions with Siyun Tang, Ella Raidel, John van de Water

Introduction to the films:

DOUBLE HAPPINESS - A Beijing Premiere of Ella Raidel’s film, which takes the Chinese copy of Hallstatt, a small idyllic town in Austria, as the starting point to explore China’s fast urbanisation and the culture of copying. Ella Raidel is an Austrian video artist and filmmaker. She has shown her work in international exhibitions, and video/film festivals.

CHINESE DREAMLAND - A new film by David Borenstein, examining the meaning of internationalisation through the eyes of foreigners hired to impersonate celebrities to promote real estate in China. The film will officially premiere in 2016.


Saturday December 5th 2-5pm in IFP Studio

Full-day Seminar, research presentation

2:00 – 2:15 Introduction by Siyun Tang

2:15 – 2:40 Pasted Landscape by Siyun Tang

2:40 – 3:00 Agency of Imitation by Siyun Tang and John Zhang

3:00 – 3:15 break

3:15 – 3:45 Booming Cities by Xinyue Zhang

3:45 – 4:15 Port Cities As Method by Desmond Sham, presented by Xinyue Zhang

4:15 – 5:00 Panel Discussion

Introduction to the research:

AGENCY OF IMITATION - A presentation of the research essay and an accompanying video collage by John Zhang, which discusses the structural issues that contribute to the phenomenon of architectural mimicry in contemporary China. John Zhang is a practising architect and a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art, UK.

BOOMING CITIES - A visual essay by London based designer Xinyue Zhang which examines China’s urban transformation through a set of time-based satellite analysis and maps in the Pearl River Delta.

Sunday, December 6th

Workshop: Reimagining the city

2 – 6pm in the IFP Studio

Creating an oral archive of demolished homes for local residents.


Siyun Tang: Siyun Tang is a curator and researcher currently based in London. In her final MFA studies at Gold- smiths, University of London, she examines the identity reconstruction in transforming society as China, through its bodily and spatial practices. Her final projects, Pasted Landscape will be presented as a touring event cover location including London, Beijing and Hong Kong. In addition to this, she is interested in the artistic response to the dynamic composition of twentieth century digitality. As an arts writer, she has passion in the self-publishing practices. She published a project Mirage in The Standard Model, Curatorial Propositions with 17 other curators in July 2915. In addition to this, she is also founder and a member of an artist collective The Rooftop, based in China and established in 2010.

Ella Raidel (b.1970 Austrian) is a researcher and filmmaker from Austria, working in experimental documentary films in Europe, Asia and Africa for the past years. She focuses on the cultural phenomena of globalization circulating in various domains—the private and the public, the domesticate and the cooperate, the mass and multitude--to present as experimental video, video installation, and films. She has also written papers and books on cultural studies, film aesthetics, art theory, Sinophone film, and other cross-disciplinary subjects of urban space, mass media, and social practices.

David Borenstein (b.1987 American) is a director currently based in Copenhagen. He is a 28-year old emerging director who has directed films for ARTE, Al Jazeera English, Danish National News, NYTimes, with more currently in production. He was a cinematographer and Producer for “The Hand that Feeds,” winner of the audience award at the Full Frame Film Festival. He received PhD training in Anthropology at City University of New York. A former Fulbright Scholar in China, David speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese. His first feature film “Chinese Dreamland” (Sundance, Danish Film Institute) will premiere in 2016.

John Zhang: John has a strong research interest in the conditions of contemporary Chinese architectural practice, which has been informed by his personal upbringing, his cultural background, and his professional experience. He is fascinated by the ways in which buildings are commissioned, conceived and made in a rapidly transforming China, and holds a special interest in film making as an evocative and immersive tool in the realisation and communication of his research. He is currently exploring these themes in a PhD at the Royal College of Art.

Zhang Xinyue: Xinyue Zhang (AADipl.) is an architectural designer based in London. She has previously worked in Tokyo and Vancouver as an urban planning designer and a teacher. Xinyue is currently collabo- rating with various academic and cultural institutions with her works on Contemporary Urbanization of China.

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