Grandson of Caoyang Reno (Yang Weijie)

Grandson of Caoyang

Son of educated parents, Reno was raised by his grandmother in Caoyang Sancun, a workers’ residential housing district constructed in the 1950s. After an accidental fall eight years ago, his grandmother has not left her room on the third floor. Reno often visits her, and asks after her health in the Subei dialect, the lingua franca of migrant workers from north Jiangsu Province for the past 100 years.

Caoyang is lovely in autumn, Reno says. His grandmother, a former sanitation worker, no longer gets around, but Reno’s memory is filled with traces of her life. These traces lace into and out of Reno’s own memories of his life here. On an autumn day, you are invited to ‘take a trip with grandma’ through Caoyang Sancun—through the local market, across the winding rivers and creeks, towards Lanxi Youth Park.

  • Number of participants: 15
  • Registration required.
  • Note: Anyone who grew up in Caoyang Sancun is especially welcome.

51 Personae presents 51 dramas that feature 51 real-life scenarios, and so it provides 51 stories—though not answers—expanding the possibilities of the 11th Shanghai Biennale: Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counterarguments, and Stories. While arguments and reasoning do not always come up with rhetoric sufficient to accurately reflect one’s contemplation, stories are embedded with uncertainty, diversity, and vitality, as is indicated in the proverb: “There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes”. From the stories of others, one enters their lives, causing a reflection on one’s own life, and in this sense, the stories of others are linked to ours.51 Personae engages life, emotions, common sense, nature, history, economics, society, culture, and art, responding to and exceeding our speculations. It takes its chance in the way individuals present their dramas to become mobile power stations. Each of these 51 individuals and groups are small waves in the ocean of history, and a spindrift of the human race. Through life’s serene currents, and its mild gentle ripples, knowledge and energy are delivered and exchanged.51 Personae embodies Raqs’ curatorial approach, through which multiple triggering mechanisms are developed, activating different perspectives in the audience, enriching the dialogue between art and life, friction between philosophical whims and literature, and the flow between intellect and emotion.