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Shanghai Biennial begins at Contemporary Art Museum

As a vital front for modern art in China, Shanghaiis playing host to a large art exhibition. The Shanghai Biennial presents work from over 70 artists and centers on the theme of social change. The artists hope to deliver on this theme through interactive devices.

The largest art installation at the biennial is entitled ‘Telephone’. Pick up the receiver on any telephone — and there are over 50 of them hung on some 30 posts — one can hear a piece of audio. Be it a pop song or a description of an academic term.

The seven people in this group are each chanting a story from the newspaper in their hands. This art work is called “News Blues”.

“It’s that You always have to change the leader of the group, which is not framed. Somebody might read for five minutes, or ten minutes. There’s very simple set of rules. And they have to organize themselves. Function like a miniature society...You have to organize yourself.” Nicholas Boothman, artist said.

Another interactive art work is imitating how different kinds of noise in the city can hypnotize people.

“Noise is away a monotonous sound repeating itself again and again, so it draws you to sleep.” a visitor said.

“What I’m hearing is the noise generated by factories. It’s really annoying. It causes insomnia.” a visitor said.

Trying to understand how a changing society effects people, the art biennial runs until next March. The works featured have been submitted from 20 countries and regions.