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Art in Parking Lots @Oct Loft

Shenzhen Daily    2019-05-16

Cao Zhen

ART in unexpected places may lead to surprise and wonderful discoveries. Now, OCT-LOFT has invited 13 groups of artists to do art in small but functional parking lots to inspire thoughts on public space.

“Different from other public spaces, a parking lot is a field defined based on the management of urban traffic order. This space is both private and public, contradictory and coexisting,” said Zhu Decai, curator of the “ON/OFF” exhibition.

"Fairy." Photos by Cao Zhen

"From Bauhaus to Zaohaus," a clock-shaped mirror.

“The boundary of a parking lot is a symbol of rules. We aim to discuss the intervention of public art, which may soften the boundary while preserving the original functions. We would like to see whether this art-in-parking-lot experiment may dissolve the contradiction between public and private, and view the balance between space and rights with a more open attitude.”


Most artworks at the exhibition are creative graffiti, such as Hong Kong artist Rainbo’s “Twins,” Hong Kong graphic designer Uncle’s “In & Out,” Thai graphic designer Rukkit Kuanhawate’s “The Eagle and Rat,” Spanish duo Reskate’s “Connection” and Japanese illustrator Kouno Lulu’s “Fairy.”

These colorful graffiti not only give the gray and dull parking lots more vigor but also convey a warm power of security. “Twins,” on the main gate of OCT-LOFT’s North-Area parking lots, features a pair of patron saints, reminding drivers and pedestrians to concentrate on parking and walking safely.

"The Eagle and Rat."

Kuanhawate uses a wall and a parking lot as a canvas for “The Eagle and Rat.” “The eagle on the wall is hovering above the rat on the ground, so a driver should park in the right place to hide the rat,” the artist explained.

Reskate uses fishing net and fish as the inspiration for “Connection” to emphasize the relationship between the parking lot and the act of parking. The duo also uses a phosphorescent technique so that the net is visible in the daytime while a hidden fish glows in the night, which brings about two different visual impacts depending on the time.


The normal perception of a parking lot is confined to a flat space, so Uncle tries to break through this two-dimensional norm in his three-dimensional “In & Out” graffiti, re-examining the boundaries of internal and external constraints.

"In & Out."

In addition to the vibrant graffiti, the exhibition also features social studies on public behaviors in public space. Liu Daizong, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities’ director of China and director of the China Transport Program, contributed an installation of an old car decorated with flowers. The installation, together with chairs, a table and photos of his past research, integrates leisure, reading and entertainment. The project “CarSeeNo” aims to enhance the humanization of the area and to stimulate diverse vitality.


Taiwanese group City Yeast invites visitors to decorate a unique car that belongs to Shenzhen and explore the color of the city. They put a car-shaped installation and a bunch colored ribbons at the entrance of OCT-LOFT’s South Area. Everyone is welcome to pick a favorite ribbon and lace it on the car.

“Colors in a city make a first impression on travelers. In addition to green plants, seasonal changes, signs and instructions, floating colors of pedestrians and vehicles are also included. There are over 3.5 million vehicles in Shenzhen every day. The choice of cars and colors are filled with stories, which forms the style of the city,” the group explained.

"Shenzhen Highlight"

At the opening of the exhibition Saturday, Guangzhou dancers Long Yunna, Peng Mi and Wang Lingyan gave a dance in OCT-LOFT’s North Area, which is a one-time-only artwork for the exhibition. The organizers hope the exhibition is not only a static visual presentation but also an open form integrated with the environment and catalyzing the creative vitality of the city.

Dates: Until July 11

Venue: OCT-LOFT, Nanshan District (南山区华侨城创意文化园)

Metro: Line 1 to Qiaocheng East Station (侨城东站), Exit A or Line 2 to Qiaocheng North Station (侨城北站), Exit B

Map of the exhibited works. Image courtesy of OCT-LOFT

*Special thanks to Shenzhen Daily for allowing us to republish.

Event Details

Event Date: 
Saturday, May 11, 2019 (All day) - Thursday, July 11, 2019 (All day)
Pricing Info: 
Free entry
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OCT-LOFT (Overseas Chinese Town)
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
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