Shanghai Urban Space Art Season: Open Call for Artworks

Shanghai Urban Space Art Season 2019 (SUSAS 2019) will open at the end of September this year and last for nearly two months. SUSAS 2019 is honored to have Mr. Fram Kitagawa, the art director of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and Setouchi Triennale, as its artistic director who curates the entire event under the theme of Encounter. The program includes 20 permanent public artworks standing in various spots of the 5.5km long Yangpu Waterfront, which is enclosed by Yangshupu Road on its north, Huangpu River on its south, Qinhuangdao Road on its west and Dinghai Road on its east, as well as 5 artworks whose proposals we are now publicly calling for. Besides, a temporary exhibition will be held at the main exhibition area which used to be Shanghai Dockyard.

As a chance for the public to participate in SUSAS 2019, the call for proposals is released to the whole world. The selected proposals are likely to be realized, with the original pieces permanently installed in Yangpu Waterfront.

We sincerely welcome ideas from you, artists in China and beyond!

Shanghai, located at the estuary of the longest river in China, the great Changjiang (Yangtse) River, is a city that has developed through various overlapping encounters between history and the world, the land and the rivers, industrial and commercial civilizations, oriental and western cultures, art and life, and between people and people. The artistic regeneration of both sides of the Huangpu River waterfront will once more make Shanghai a city where history and the world intersect.

With the theme of “Encounter,” Shanghai Urban Space Art Season (SUSAS) 2019 will be staged with the aims of 1) artistically regenerating the Yangpu Waterfront and industrial heritages along the Huangpu River, and 2) acquiring international attention to and engagement with Shanghai’s urban spaces.

The theme of “Encounter,” is composed of three concepts: 1) A century of industry / A century of people, 2) Art born from the rivers, and 3) A network linking the world.

A century of industry / A century of people

Development of infrastructure such as gas, waterworks, electricity, railways and the telephone system forged ahead in the latter half of the 19th century, and it was also during that century that foreign capital began to penetrate into China. The Bund, which had consisted of trading companies up to that time, was rapidly transformed into a huge financial investment center, the capital flowing out from the Bund spawning innumerable factories, including spinning mills, in the outskirts of Shanghai.

Being East Asia’s second largest trading port as well as a transport hub, Shanghai built the foundations of its industrial development in the first half of the 20th century with the construction of docks, power plants and a succession of soap factories, building materials traders, fish markets, yarn-making factories, and other industrial facilities. The culture of Shanghai blossomed through this industrial development and the ethos of the people of Shanghai, who delight in ushering in the new while preserving their traditions.

SUSAS will unveil artworks that breathe new life into the yards, boats and industrial heritage areas that have now exhausted their roles. Artworks that reflect the daily lives of the common folk and the lifestyle of the people who lived in the international city of Shanghai from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries will also be exhibited.

Art born from the rivers

Formerly a fishing village, Shanghai flourished as a bustling port town during the Tang dynasty (618-907), functioning as a gateway linking distant cities and countries to Shanghai’s hinterland, to which the information, goods and energy that landed at the docks were transported by ship. During the long period before the diffusion of railway and motor vehicles, the Changjiang and Huangpu Rivers were the vital “roads” that connected the interior regions with the sea, and it can also be said that Shanghai is a city that developed through the blessings of rivers. SUSAS staged on the banks of the Huangpu River, takes as one of its concepts “art born from the rivers.” A River Art Aquarium will be established to enable visitors to encounter works of art integrated with the rivers, forms of life that inhabit the rivers, mysterious creatures that appear in legends and folktales, as well as living beings that have now become extinct, and much more.

What’s more, the 16 districts of Shanghai that spread out from the rivers all have their distinctive charm, such as the central districts that carry the varied atmospheres of other countries, districts where one can sense the vestiges of erstwhile county seats, and districts that have extensive farmlands and untouched natural beauty. SUSAS will also feature a presentation through art dubbed the “Sixteen Views of Shanghai,” which will showcase the diverse charms of the 16 districts.

A network linking the world

The primordial appeal of cities is that they are fun to walk around. By combining Shanghai’s culture and art, SUSAS will create an art network providing an urban experience that will be the pride of the world. Without a shadow of doubt, this will result in unforgettable experiences of a galaxy of artworks to be encountered one after another every time you walk through the city.

The works of art displayed by SUSAS will be created by world-renowned artists from more than ten countries, and artists selected by an international open call for proposals. Furthermore, SUSAS welcomes Mr. Fram Kitagawa, prominent as the pioneer of regional revitalization through art, to serve as artistic director. A team of Chinese and Japanese experts takes charge of the production and installation of the artworks. SUSAS will thus be realized through international collaboration and networking.


  • Date of announcement of the open call
    July 12, 2019

  • On-site briefing
    July 26, 2019

  • Submission period
    August 26 through August 31, 2019

  • Date of announcement of the Result
    September 28, 2019


To apply and find out more information, visit:


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