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The square river

A commission for a Participatory Banquet for the Shanghai Universal Exhibition

25 November 2020
Year :
Location :
Power station for Art, Shanghai

Imagined by the curator of the Power Station of Art and a curator of La Centrale for Contemporary Arts of Brussels, the project was commissioned as being part of a future exhibition called SHANGHAI UNIVERSAL.

The project THE SQUARE RIVER is conceived as a large table, similar that on St. Catherine Square in Brussels, but in a square format, to allow the inclusion of the map of China and its major rivers. It is designed as a set of 51 tables that can seat more than 600 stools. The entire surface of the table represents a huge map of China and its rivers, on which food bowls, plates and chopsticks would be painted by the public visiting the exhibition.

On the main ground floor of the museum, near the entrance, a ceramic workshop will be installed to allow anyone to sit down and paint a few tiles with images of the food utensils. Poetic and literary texts will be written along the rivers, crossing the bowls, plates, and cups, creating a fictional land made of geography and food items.

Once the 51 tables are completed, they then can be separated from each other to form a vast cafeteria where people can sit, eat, drink and exchange ideas. This project is part of Inscrire latest series of Banquet for the people.

On the ground floor of the museum, there will be 5 huge but pale white spheres, each with a blue map of the continent, for people to play with them and make them roll in the space.  Huge wooden chopsticks will delimit the ball game surface.


Chinese art students from a local University
La Centrale for Contemporary Arts of Brussels
Esam-Ecole Supérieure des Arts et Média de Caen/Cherbourg
Power station Museum
The Belgian Consulate in Shanghai
French Consulate in Shanghai
The City of Brussels


Power Station Museum
Centrale for Contemporary Arts de Bruxelles