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The City of Time, Ma Yansong’s new work for the Aranya Theater Festival

Written by:
MAD Architects
Courtesy of Aranya Theater Festival, MAD Architects Qi Ziying

Taking up the metaphor of avian migration, Migratory Birds 300, a 300-hour artist residency, brings together 300 creators from diverse fields and backgrounds to congregate and co-create by the seaside of Aranya, China. Between June 12 and June 25, Ma Yansong’s The City of Time hosts 300 artists, 131 group works, and 194 works, including shows, installations, sculptures, body art, performance art, paintings, and videos.

The City of Time,

Dissolves after 300 hours.

Revolving around an axis perpendicular to the sea,

It offers a spiritual roost for creators.

In real cities,

The need for functionality suffocates spiritual spaces.

Building a fanciful city by the sea,

Allows the substance of theatre and art,

To breathe natural life into this space.

Taking flight and transcending reality,

It is a place dedicated to time, human behavior, and nature,

Inspiring contemplation on our relationships with ourselves and the world.

Migratory Birds 300 is perhaps the most romantic, imaginative, and polyphonic of the Aranya Theater Festival programs. As the most widely discussed public art residency project, it unfolds in two venues: Aranya, China, and Regent’s Canal in London, England. The value of Migratory Birds 300 lies not only in the gift of uninterrupted time for creating new work but also in the communal living and work space shared for 300 hours. The residency promotes novel cooperation between previously unacquainted artists, encouraging creators to push the boundaries of their work and complete innovative group works.

Design Team: Wang Yiqi, Yang Xuebing

Images courtesy of Aranya Theater Festival, MAD Architects Qi Ziying

Aranya Theater Festival Shooting Team

Zaiye studio: Wang Zhen, Wang Yong, Chen Ying, An Chen, Hou Xuefei

Silver salt photosynthesis:Zhu Shi, Wang Zhe, Liu Xin

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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