International artists exploring time, space, and transformation in the context of a double exhibition.

YK Lu is a small street which is struggling to become (or to reject the becoming of) a new center of expatriate culture in the busy downtown of Shanghai, China. 

Front View: Galleries and cafes spring up in vacant storefronts; attracting a small cast of expatriates and youths, often vanishing as quickly as they came. Neighborhood residents regard these new spaces with moderate and distant curiosity as they head toward the street’s enduring features: vegetable stands and traditional bakeries, mechanics and repair shops, clothing outlets and newsstands; intersections of familiar people and places. 

Back View: A winding alleyway bustling with activity. Laundry is hung, pickles prepared, bikes repaired, children minded, folding-tables set up on corners for games and gambling, buildings to lean against for a gossip; a heart of neighborhood culture without anything to designate it as such, just the necessities and desires of daily life in community, each person leaving some trace on their environment. We also notice the ubiquitous advertising boxes dotting the street,  touting an array of products, overlooked as part of the scenery too familiar to notice by day, backlit by night and lining the lanes with eerie squares of colored light. On the second glance these boxes enchant us, thanks to the low-quality inkjet prints of their contents and the exposure to sun and rain - crazily fraying and seeping inks describing patterns that were never intended, colours turned in upon themselves by the sun, contexts absorbed or removed entirely. Mr. Juice Salesman obtains a bizarre paisley pattern across his face, Ms. Mobile Phone finds herself seeping in gay colours that she herself fails to notice with her fixed smile. We find an extraordinary, unexpected, and completely unintentional exhibition behind the row of galleries.

On YK Lu we see a familiar story: the old rubbing shoulders with the new, the intentional with the incidental, transformation in both time and space, projection and resistance. Returning to those boxes in the alleyway, let's give them something new (or build upon something old): a display of creative experimentation that takes into consideration the unique features of the space in which it seeks to find its dwelling.

20 outdoor boxes will be rented for the month of May 2012, Shanghai’s rainiest. Inkjet-printed artworks will be displayed and exposed to the chance hand of the elements for one month. Each work in this back-stage exhibition will be photographed in multiple stages of transformation, providing the material for a second exhibition in one of the front-stage galleries of YK Lu.