Power Station of Art
Founded on October 1, 2012, Power Station of Art is the first public contemporary art museum in mainland China and the main venue for the Shanghai Biennale. It is located on the banks of the Huangpu River that flows through the heart of the city. The 165-metre chimney is both a city landmark in Shanghai and an independent exhibition space. The buildings that the museum occupies today were originally the Nanshi Power Plant. During the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, it served as the “Pavilion of the Future”. Power Station of Art has witnessed Shanghai’s change from the industrial to the information age, and its rugged industrial architectural style has provided artists with a wealth of imagination and creative possibilities.
The Power Station of Art was the first power station of Shanghai to light up the streets of the city. This striking brutalist building situated on the Huangpu River has now been made into an international art gallery.
I was inspired by the layout of this immense building and split up the floor plan to create a score for the piece. I also created sample instruments and soundscapes with the recordings gathered from the space and the adjacent river using contact microphones, hydrophones and a stereo hand recorder.
Using cello, vocals, orchestral arrangements, choral ensembles, location samples, synths and piano, Abi Wade explores human nature through real and abstracted personas on her debut album ‘Beautifully Astray’. Haunting brass and a blissful wind section filters through sweeping strings to form an orchestral arrangement that perfectly complements Wade’s heartfelt lyrics.
“The cello is so versatile, and I love to explore those many characteristics using various techniques both traditional and unique, it’s such an emotive instrument and has a very human tone.” says Abi.