A quick guide to Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

A quick guide to Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

A preview of the key projects and the names to look out for at the provocative two-city biennale
The Shenzhen Civic Square will host the bulk of events of the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale.

The third Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale may be young but it sure is ambitious.

The cross-border event takes on the weighty themes of urbanism, architecture and city mobilization. A 49–day marathon of forums and exhibitions takes a long, hard look at urban planning deadlocks plaguing the two cities, and offers crash courses in urban planning.

With big-name draws such as iconic architects Rem Koolhaas, Shigeru Ban and New York-based design firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the biennale is sure to make design junkies sit up and pay attention.

Here’s a look at the headlining events of the show.

Shenzhen Marathon


Legendary Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist hosts a six-hour marathon conference, where they’ll interview 30 artists, architects, writers and academics from the Pearl River Delta region, non-stop.

December 22, 1/F Multi-function hall, Shenzhen Civic Center, Shenzhen

Urbanism\Architecture Film Exhibition


Screenings of eight time-honored films on urbanism spanning the silent era to modern cinema, all shown in original 16mm film. Some titles will be screened outdoors, such as Vertov’s classic modernist documentary “Man with A Movie Camera” and Expressionist director F. W. Murnau’s “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.” Screening details are available here.

Runs December 5 – January 23, various locations in Shenzhen

Odyssey Project


Chinese architecture crosses over with literature in Odessy. Biennale chief curator Ou Ning commissioned nine prominent Chinese writers to write about nine avant-garde buildings in China and publishes the fictional stories in a 400-page book that's expected to come out before the biennale opening. Pairings include Han Dong writing about the Luyeyuan Stone Sculpture Art Museum in Sichuan, and Zhu Wen for Tibet’s Yaluntzangpu Boat Terminal.

A documentary for the project, shot by contributor Zhu Wen, will be screened at the biennale's opening ceremony.

6 pm - 7 pm, December 6, Shenzhen Civic Square, Shenzhen

Under the Sun: Hsia Changshi Retrospective


All there is to know about iconic Chinese architect Hsia Chingshi, who pioneered the modernist Lingnan architectural style. The show features the master’s construction models, photos, books, blueprints and essays.

Runs December 6 - 20, 3/F Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen



Hong Kong's urban redevelopment debate gets a face lift at "Excavation". The 2500 square meter installation is a fantasy archaeological site from the future, where the remains of a present-day street market are 'excavated.'

"To do this, we have relocated a 30-year-old market booth from Central to the biennale site," said the installation's co-creator Syren Johnstone. Johnstone and his team hopes to drive home the 'impact of absence' and urge visitors to reflect on Hong Kong's rapidly changing cityscape.

Runs December 6- January 23

Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

Shenzhen Civic Square, Shenzhen, China (Shenzhen main venue) and West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade (Hong Kong main venue)

December 6 - January 23

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