Qiu Anxiong, Huang Rui at Seeds of Time

Shanghai Project, Chapter 2

Envision 2116


Exhibition: Seeds of Time
April 22 – July 30, 2017
Venues: Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Envision Pavilion, Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum


Curated by Yongwoo Lee and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Shanghai Project Chapter 2 exhibition Seeds of Time will launch on April 22, 2017. The show takes its title from the documentary of the same name, which follows visionary Cary Fowler as he champions the creation of the world’s first global seed vault. Located in Norway and a vital defense against rapid loss of crop diversity, the Svalbard Seed Vault consists of a seed collection on a scale larger than any other. Sharing the documentary’s call for action regarding the climate situation, the Shanghai Project seeks to explore sustainability in order to better understand possible solutions for urgent environmental problems.


Seeds of Time is a single chapter within ongoing investigations by Shanghai Project participants. With each new chapter, the ever-unfolding structure develops further beyond the biennial format to which it first responded. The exhibition will present the projects of Root Researcher interdisciplinary teams led by Bruno Latour, Sophia Al-Maria, Qiu Anxiong, Otobong Nkanga, and Zhang Haimeng, coming from one of five fundamental disciplinary frameworks.


Venturing out into the city in the form of a bus, Qiu Anxiong imagines in “Route of the Future” what shape an underwater Shanghai may take in a century’s time, visually responding to science-fiction writer Ken Liu’s “Shanghai in 48 Hours, a Weekend Itinerary for International Visitors by Roaming Planets Guides, 2116.”