With Shenzhen as the “Super Protagonist”, the team has launched the thematic curatorial season “Super Storyboards” to offer diverse perspectives on the city. The exhibition contains three parts: “Nature and Humanity”, “History and Future”, and “Diverse Culture”, highlighting the city’s inclusiveness and vitality. Located on the first floor of RAIL IN, the exhibition combines “themed halls” and “art galleries”, inviting visitors to discover Shenzhen culture.
Nature and Humanity–Themed Hall “A Symphony of Mountains and Sea” and “A Chorus of Life”
The giant “mountain” structure in this storyboard is inspired by the rolling hills in Shenzhen. It is eye-catching on the outside and immersive on the inside. Divided into two areas, the “mountain” section provides brand-new and diverse perspectives on Shenzhen,telling stories of Shenzhen life through a montage of videos. The area “A Symphony of Mountains and Sea” showcases the natural environment and landform changes of Shenzhen from a macro angle.
If you stand on the “Observation Deck” platform inside through the ramp, you can look out over the natural landscape of Shenzhen. Through the two observation windows on the ramp, visitors will catch a glimpse of the geographical evolution of the Pearl River Estuary over the past hundreds of millions of years and the movement of the coastline at the Shenzhen Bay with a bird’s-eye view. The area “A Chorus of Life”, on the other hand, zooms in on the harmonious coexistence of all creatures in Shenzhen.
Here, you can witness the “balance of life”, with Shenzhen people on one end and its animals and plants on the other. The videos showcase many vibrant scenes in the city, such as labor, predation, inheritance, and species reproduction. Both sides enjoy a beautiful life in the city and together form the “Shenzhen community of lives”. These moments are captured in small “bubbles” flashing and seeing the balance tilt, visitors can feel the resonance of these lives and the delicate relationship between human beings and nature.
History and Future–Themed Hall “IN/OUT: Wandering in Shenzhen”
The CABLE team was invited to curate and design the storyboard “History and Future”. At the entrance of the exhibition, visitors can see the space divided into two different areas, colored black and white. By briefly disconnecting from reality, visitors will immerse themselves in the memories of the city’s past and the imagination of its future. The black area “IN Beneath the Surface” is based on the “Urban Drifting” project created by the Handshake 302 team and the School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology.
The area showcases historic images and tours of the early construction areas in Shenzhen. A selection of places in the city is displayed on the left wall. Visitors can also listen to humanistic stories on the radio from corresponding tapes. Moving on to the video area, visitors can lie down and learn the complete story through the ceiling screen above.
The area provides visitors with a unique lens to understand the history and legacy of Shenzhen over the past forty years. The white area “OUT Above the Future” is based on the project “META-SHENZHEN” conducted by Urban Planning & Design Institute of Shenzhen (UPDIS). A future parallel world is created that breaks boundaries and connects the virtual and the real.
Visitors can look into the black space from different heights, and different lights and images of the city’s typical scenes are presented with infrared sensing. Visitors can also play as virtual characters, experiencing weightlessness in Mangrove Bay and Liuxian Cave and enjoying a virtual cloud travel through the grass and trees on both sides of Shennan Road. This offers a brand-new way to interact with a city in the future.
Diverse Culture — Art Gallery “Cultural Diversity in Shenzhen”
The “Diverse Culture” storyboard consists of five art galleries on the first floor, showcasing Shenzhen culture from various perspectives. The “Tracing History” gallery presents local languages in three windows to showcase regional diversity, including: “The Capital of Eastern Guangdong” which illustrates the evolution of Shenzhen’s administrative districts; “Amazing Coast Defense” which shows the development of the maritime military; “The Story of Salt” which provides insights into the economics and trade of ancient Shenzhen.
The “City at Present” gallery showcases various facets of the city, including: “Revive! The Ancient Town” which narrates the story of Nantou Ancient Town where traditional Lingnan culture meets modern urban civilization; “Art on the Assembly Line” which portrays Dafen Village, known for producing replicas of Western oil paintings; “Innovation is My Power” which focuses on the high-tech zone where technological innovations thrive; and “Gratitude to Mangrove” which provides an overview of the mangrove forest and its invaluable biological resources.
The “Ocean Culture” gallery presents fascinating ocean stories of people in Shenzhen, including: “Mazu, Please Bless Me” which delves into oceanic beliefs; “The Great Exchange” which focuses on maritime trade culture; “My Boat, My Home” which tells the story of how the Tanka, or boat people, live with the sea; “Where Do I Come From?” which reflects on the changing dynamics of nations at the Pearl River Estuary; “Remember to Go Home Often” which presents the tales of Chinese people traveling abroad and returning to find their families.
The “Born to the Sea: Coast Changes in Shenzhen” gallery, designed by the CABLE team, showcases the interdependence of Shenzhen’s urban development and coastline over the past 40 years through interesting illustrations. Visitors can see how the coastline has expanded over the years. The “Future City Manual”, jointly created by Tencent Research Institute and DDH Studio, sheds light on WeCityX, Tencent’s future city exploration program, which aims to reflect and explore how technology will influence and change the way cities are planned, built, operated, and governed. Source by Diameter Narrative Design.
Location: Shenzhen, China
Design: Diameter Narrative Design
Chief Planner: Yuan Qian
Curator & Chief Designer: Degeng Li
Art Director & Installation Artist: Wendou Zhou
Project Team: Sida Bai, Yujia Chen, Yiwei Guan, Meng Liu, Xini Qian, Mingdong Song, Joanne, Li Xiong, Jiaxun Zhang (Alphabetize by Last Name)
Content Support: China Academy of Urban Planning & Design Shenzhen, Shenzhen Direction Ecological Development Co., Ltd., Mangrove Wetland Conservation Foundation (MCF), Dapeng Peninsula Marine Library
New Media Technology: Beijing Huocheng Welai Interactive Technology Co., Ltd.
Installation Production: Shanghai Jianzhun Landscape Engineering Co., Ltd.
Exhibition Construction: Shenzhen Gongcheng Exhibition Co., Ltd.
Organizer: RAIL IN
Supporter: Shenzhen SCPG Group
Joint Curator: CABLE
Photographs: TAL, RIGHT ANGLE, Courtesy of Diameter Narrative Design