Liang Zhao

City Scene No. 2, 2004

Beijing is the capital of China and a city of superlatives. In 2008 it was home to the Olympic Games. The government sought to show the world how radically up-to-date this metropolis with its approximately 15 million residents can be. Numerous omnipresent slogans announced this from 2004, and there were numerous measures to make the city even more modern and progressive. Skyscrapers seemed to be shooting up hourly in the CBD, as did new buildings beyond the third ring road. Large numbers of demolition and resettlement measures and the urban development of the green belt in the framework of the Olympic Games have left negative traces on the city. Video City Scene No. 2 by Liang Zhao (b. 1971) focusses on the seamier side of this development four years before the Games. Building sites, smog, scenes of night-time violence, brawls and unrest as well as everyday situations that focus on the new attitude to life show China’s metropolis unvarnished and unadorned and in a different light from the official sanitized picture presented by the Party.

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Liang Zhao
City Scene No. 2, 2004
1 channel video (colour, sound), 31‘
Courtesy Sammlung Goetz, Medienkunst, München