Notes for an imagined city: the Ou Ning notebook at the Taipei exhibition

The notebook of the artist and curator Ou Ning is participating in theCloud of Unknowing: A City with Seven Streets exhibition, taking place from May 10th to August 17th at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The work has been produced in 2010 in the occasion of Detour Shanghai, the eighth venue of the Moleskine travelling exhibit, and donated to lettera27 by the author. The notebook joined the foundation’s collection of the artists notebooks and is now back on the international contemporary art arena: the Taipei exhibition is in fact part of the project aimed at giving value to this cultural heritage through its distribution at the exhibitions and events around the world.

Cloud of Unknowing: A City with Seven Streets is born out of the idea of Thomas Tsang e Ching Yueh, the exhibition curators and architecture and urban science scholars, and is part of the official celebrations of the 130 year anniversary of the Taipei city foundation.
25 artists from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and Japan are invited to re-elaborate the theme of urban space, of the relationship between its habitants, of the physical places as aggregators of the collective memories. The exhibition explores the contemporary oriental cities’ characteristics in order to see, through their real and imaginary evolutions, the reflections of the wider social transformations and the relationship between the modernity and technology.

The seven sections of the exhibition follow this inspiration.  The Street as Utopia chapter hosts the Ou Ning notebook titled  Bishan Community: How to Create Your Own Utopia. In the Moleskine notebook the artist expressed his research on the creation of the utopic microstate in the Bishan Village. The community imagined by Ou Ning is made up of intellectuals that come back to the country side, thus triggering the rebirth of the rural zones as a reaction to the difficult city life conditions and to the capitalist economic system. To elaborate this ideal “city” Ou Ning has invited the scholars and architects to put down their Bisham village realization ideas in the notebook. At the exhibition Cloud of Unknowing: A City with Seven Streets we will find the future structures, the constructions and visions in progress, which take shape from the pages of the Moleskine notebook and materialize in a set-up, which allows to explore the utopic future imagined by the artist.

Image: Ou Ning, Bishan Community: How to Create Your Own Utopia, Moleskine Detour Shanghai, 2010, Courtesy of Moleskine.