The ground-breaking exhibition of Zaha Hadid Architects, which opens at Modern Art Museum Shanghai (MAM) this July, will be complemented by a transatlantic trio of remote events.
The VIP invitation-only launches will take place simultaneously in two locations in the US on July 7 2021: at the High Line Building in New York City and One Thousand Museum’s Sky Lounge in Miami. Both buildings were designed by the award-winning and world famous architect Zaha Hadid, who passed away unexpectedly in 2016 but whose creations are still be erected today. A third event is planned for London later in the month.
The remote opening events will feature live feed video from the exhibition itself as well as special greetings from Zaha Hadid Architects CEO Patrik Schumacher, and Shai Baitel, the artistic director of MAM.
Baitel said: “The idea is to celebrate the genius of Zaha Hadid and the opening of the historic exhibition in mainland China with a live launch to make guests feel as if they are at the exhibition, in spite of the impossibility of travel to China during this time.
“MAM Shanghai is the only museum in the world with such a global perspective and commitment to share its content with the West and allow art and design fans, professionals and media to enjoy the exhibition from afar.”
The events will also feature a special dessert inspired by Zaha Hadid’s designs and created by MAM Shanghai’s F&B director, Shahaf Shabtay.
The exhibition will contain a retrospective display of projects dating from 1982 to today, from MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome (2010) and Leeza SOHO in Beijing (2019) to the studio’s ground-breaking projects currently in development across six continents.
Defined by a timeline of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) formative works in China, ZHA Close Up at MAM Shanghai explores the pioneering research and interconnecting relationships that unite their projects around the globe, detailing the technological innovations that are transforming how the studio imagines, designs and constructs built environments.
Founded by the late Zaha Hadid in 1979, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) redefined architecture for the 21st century with a repertoire of projects that have captured imaginations across the globe.
Hadid was a major figure in the world of architecture and the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She first travelled to China in 1981 at the very beginning of her career. Like her birthplace Iraq, carved by the Euphrates and the Tigris, China’s natural landscapes and urban settlements have been shaped through history by its great rivers and waterways. Travelling from north to south, visiting many Chinese cities to experience its art and architecture, Hadid studied the methods that embed its historic architecture within the great theatre of natural landscapes.
The exhibition will also present Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD), formed in 2006 out of a need to create a separate platform to share Hadid’s distinct dialogue of contemporary design, although the ZHD portfolio encompasses 40 years of research. Today it is defined by Hadid’s inventive methodology and signature design in furniture, lighting and fashion which transcends boundaries and has a global following. ZHD has partnered with iconic brands to create exceptional one-off and limited edition pieces which form part of some of the world’s most esteemed museum collections. Each piece effortlessly conveys immaculate craftsmanship and Hadid’s virtuosity with fluid geometry. Launched in 2014 under its own label, the ‘ZHD Collection’ further expresses Hadid’s vision in an uncompromising pursuit of excellence and non-conformity to define the acclaimed brand and ensure its timeless and revered presence within the design world.
Baitel added: “I am excited to include, as part of our interdisciplinary and immersive approach at MAM, this important exhibition, celebrating Zaha Hadid's ingenuity. Hadid was an exceptional woman, and we are delighted to show our audience the development of her movement as a researcher, designer, and architect through various geographies and histories—and how this movement impacts the current innovative vision and work of Zaha Hadid Architects, following her untimely passing. Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) continues and expands on her legacy and MAM is proud to present this show, granting unprecedented insights into the vision of one of the most important architects of our time."
Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects, said: “With this show we aim to present who we are close up, our depth of experience, our current preoccupations, and our aspirations for the future.”
MAM Shanghai is the largest contemporary art museum in Shanghai, measuring over 7,000 square meters. The state of the art museum located at the heart of Shanghai’s cultural mile along the Huangpu River is a premier institution for contemporary art with a global and multidisciplinary approach.