The accelerated rise of megacities—those with populations of more than ten million—over the last 50 years has profoundly affected the lives of their inhabitants. Asia is home to more megacities than any other continent: the works by the 11 artists in this exhibition respond to the political, environmental, and social conditions of their home cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Seoul, conveying their textures, proportions, and striking material and visual juxtapositions.
Accumulations of objects that each artist encounters in daily life—dishes, doors, plastic bags—become immersive sculptures. From the endless stream of migrants in densely packed Mumbai, to the bicycles that until recently filled the streets of Beijing, works by Hema Upadhyay and Ai Weiwei evoke the constant motion that characterizes emerging megacities.
Like a sprawling megacity, this exhibition extends to all corners of the Museum. You’ll find works located throughout the galleries, and even outside the Museum’s Huntington Entrance, and at Faneuil Hall.
See museum website for more information about the artists and their work.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, Megacities Asia, introduces the work of several artists from the megacities of Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi and Mumbai who are fueling their practices with materials found in those places and responding with large, immersive sculptures indelibly marked by their urban contexts. This compact and dynamically designed book presents the towering accumulations of stainless steel vessels, plastic wares, discarded architectural elements, grocery products and other found objects by artists Ai Weiwei, Choi Jeong Hwa, Subodh Gupta, the collective flyingCity, and others, dazzle us with their sheer mass and strange transformative power, and envelop us in complex global issues of migration, consumption, sustainability and cultural heritage.