Portable City by Yin Xiuzhen, 2009-2012

As you walk into the MCA’s architecture-inspired exhibit, Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, the first piece you see is Yin Xiuzhen’s Portable Cities: five open suitcases spread out along the floor.

Each contains a mini-skyline, small buildings made out of cloth – just like the clothes our suitcases carry. You can even see the tags on some of the clothes that make up rivers and lakes, and buttons in odd places. Most of the little buildings are built along the open flap, inside the body of the suitcase is a map of each city, viewable through a small lit hole.

Hangzou, China

The blue-painted walls suit the yellow strings hung above. The strings map out the distance from one city to the next, forming a makeshift globe out of the three blue walls that surround the five suitcases. The string-suitcase combination makes for a beautiful scene, like a miniature world that can be thrown in the washer whenever it gets dirty.

Check out the rest of my Portable City pictures and others from the MCA here in my Flickr set:)

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  1. I really loved Yin Xiuzhen’s piece, she is one of my favorite contemporary Chinese artists. Lovely description!

    d a n i e l l e | daniellewu.com

    • Thanks so much Danielle – this piece was one of my favorites! Love your blog too!:)