PRINT Summer 1980

Working in the Streets of Shanghai and Guilin

FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS I have constructed dwellings for an imaginary civilization of Little People in the streets of different cities around the world. In January of this year, during an art group tour of the People’s Republic of China, I took time off from planned activities to build two “dwellings” in the streets of Shanghai and Guilin.

I worked in the old section of Shanghai—a district the tourist is warned not to enter without a guide because of the small labyrinthine streets which make getting lost inevitable. It is a neighborhood of fantastic intimacy, and the life lived in the street is unparalleled.

The day before, I had explored and chosen three likely spots to work: what I estimated to be a fairly protected “semi-private” window ledge, the blank side of a wall of an inhabited building with a hole in it, and the wall of a completely vacant lot adjacent to a construction site. I was

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 1980 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.