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Contemporary Art Practice (MA)

Shiqi Sha

My work is deeply influenced by architecture. During my five years of undergraduate architectural studies, I was required to design to specification. I was allocated land for new builds or renovations, and the renderings of buildings must be rendered in a superior style to promote purchase. I couldn't help but start thinking about the role I played in this process.

Workers follow the design drawings and physically construct transit and production spaces within the limited working space, and then we are transported by constructed transit space, becoming a high-speed labour force, shuttling through various beautifully packaged buildings and into these spaces in constant production, wanting to occupy the space to the maximum, homogenising and hierarchising spontaneously or forcibly.

Capitalist relations are reproduced through the organisation of urban space as a vehicle. So I make the space for the transportation of labour power and render a silver metallic surface to make it appear unusable and inaccessible, to isolate the glorified architecture from the obscurity of people, to explore how space can feel different if the socialised space is stripped of its sociality.

I am smiling for the camera with one hand touching my face.

I am adept at using CGI to present the spaces I capture visually and through this development process I reflect on the role I play in architectural design.

Like the working class, I am trapped in a small space for production, a tool of capitalism. Although I try to avoid the spaces I create becoming opulent, this does not stop transitional spaces from becoming uniform and monotonous under the influence of globalisation, but still being inevitably used again and again.

Part IScience, technology and the art of architecture rationalise reproduction to the extreme, like a cult that binds people around it, preaching a common belief that involves everyone and isolates everyone at the same time. We unconsciously work for it, using a limited, narrow working space to maximise output.


video, 1920 × 1080, 00:00:54
With shiny narrow well cover.
a spiral staircase.
a retractable narrow ladder.
a walkway on the upper floor of the mall.


In this collaborative project, I worked with members of the Blackfriars Settlement for half a year to explore the boundaries of space through physical performance and in the process attempt to break through the shackles imposed by the cult of architecture, to break through the consistency and inertia of people's behaviour in transit space.

Projection of the performance on the wall.
ProjectionWe built a new boundary with chairs and crept through them, we tried to break through the boundary but always seemed to be trapped. I projected through the grids on the shelves, framing the video on the wall of the catering corridor, trying to recreate how we are nested in layers into the trap of reproduction, and although the shadow is virtual, it still leaves the video in tatters, like our pursuit of a glorified space that also locks us firmly.