The legacy of renowned British-Iraqi architect, artist and designer Zaha Hadid to be honored in a stunning new exhibition at MAM Shanghai.
Running from 26 June – 15 September 2021, ZHA Close Up will explore the ground-breaking projects created by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) over the past 40 years in a retrospective display of projects dating from 1982 to the present day.
From the urban spaces of the MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome (2010) and Leeza SOHO in Beijing (2019) to the many projects currently in development across six continents, the exhibition, a first for mainland China, will reveal ZHA's consistent desire to innovate and inspire over 40 years.
Founded by the late Zaha Hadid in 1979, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) redefined architecture for the 21st century with projects that captured imaginations across the globe.
ZHA Close Up explores the journey of four decades of experimentation by ZHA which saw its designs become more spatially inventive, technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive with each new design, placing its work at the forefront of developments in architectural practice worldwide.
ZHA Close Up will present the studio's award-winning and pioneering research into concepts such as sustainability, computation and design, analytics and insights, social media and virtual reality.
Hadid was a major figure in the world of architecture and the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004.
She first traveled to China in 1981 at the very beginning of her career. Traveling from north to south, visiting many Chinese cities to experience its art and architecture, Hadid studied China's historic architecture and its place within the natural landscape and used this as inspiration for much of her work in this part of the world.
ZHA's competition-winning design for the Peak Club in Hong Kong (1982-1983) is the result of Hadid's investigations into the fluid relationships between building and site, interior and exterior, architecture and engineering. In this and other seminal projects such as the Guangzhou Opera House (2010) and Beijing Daxing International Airport (2019), ZHA's work mirrors the coherence of nature within architectural structures yielding projects which are recognized around the world.
The exhibition will also present Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD), founded in 2006 to showcase ZHA's contemporary design work. Today it is defined by Hadid's inventive methodology and signature design in furniture, lighting and fashion which transcends boundaries and has a global following. ZHD has partnered with iconic brands to create exceptional one-off and limited edition pieces that form part of some of the world's most esteemed museum collections.
Shai Baitel, Artistic Director of MAM Shanghai, said:
"I am excited to include, as part of our interdisciplinary and immersive approach at MAM, this important exhibition, celebrating Zaha Hadid's ingenuity. Hadid was an exceptional woman, and we are delighted to show our audience the development of her movement as a researcher, designer, and architect through various geographies and histories—and how this movement impacts the current innovative vision and work of Zaha Hadid Architects, following her untimely passing. Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) continues and expands on her legacy and MAM is proud to present this show, granting unprecedented insights into the vision of one of the most important architects of our time."
Patrik Schumacher, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects, said:
"With this show we aim to present who we are close up, our depth of experience, our current preoccupations, and our aspirations for the future."
MAM Shanghai is the largest contemporary art museum in Shanghai, measuring over 7,000 square meters. The state-of-the-art museum, located at the heart of Shanghai's cultural mile along the Huangpu River, is a premier institution for contemporary art with a global and multidisciplinary approach.
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