Founded in 2005, the Urbanism/Architecture Bi-City Biennale (UABB) of Shenzhen and Hong Kong is the world’s only biennial exhibition dedicated to urbanism and urbanization. The Biennale is a collaboration between two of the most intensely urban cities in the world, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Avenues Shenzhen had the honor of being the only school among 47 institutions to participate in the 9th biennale, held between December 2022 and March 2023. Our 6th grade students took the theme of “Between Cities” as inspiration for their exhibit, focusing on the challenges that urbanization presents to individuals. Specifically, they presented their research into Nantou Ancient Town, a walled city in Shenzhen that dates back to 331 CE. Their exhibit was based on close observation of the lives of people in urban and rural areas, and the connections between them.
By selecting “Between Cities” as a theme, our students hoped to make the audience think about gaps–not only physical ones, but also social and cultural ones. The students incorporated multiple perspectives and subjects into their project, from marginalized people, to overlooked social problems, and the complex emotions that can arise during human interactions. Their exhibit included installation art, photography, documentary films, and songs, allowing the city to manifest across different media.
Through the exhibition, our students hoped to draw viewers’ attention to the gaps in the city, to help them understand the contradictions and dilemmas that arise in the course of urbanization, and to encourage them to consider every individual’s role in these processes.