MIÀN, A SITE-SPECIFIC INTERVENTION
BY FILM DIRECTOR JIA ZHANG-KE
PRADA RONG ZHAI, SHANGHAI
Milan, 27 July 2020 – Prada will present Prada Mode Shanghai, the fifth iteration of Prada Mode, a traveling social club with a focus on contemporary culture that provides members a unique art experience along with music, dining, and conversations. Past Prada Modes have augmented and extended significant cultural events in various cities
worldwide, in partnership with prominent artists, academics, and cultural figures.
From 31 August to 1 September 2020, Prada Mode Shanghai will take over Prada Rong Zhai, the historic villa in the heart of Shanghai. Renowned director, producer, and writer Jia Zhang-Ke—famous for his works such as Still Life (2006), A Touch of Sin (2013), Ash is Purest White (2018), and Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue (2020)—will
transform the space into MIÀN, a site-specific intervention inspired by the director’s cinematic work.
“The word ‘miàn’ has over a dozen meanings in the Chinese dictionary,” Jia writes, “It can mean processed food made from ground wheat, a trajectory formed by a moving line in geometry, a meeting, a surface of things or a person’s face.” MIÀN, in collaboration with Prada Mode Shanghai, will invite guests to explore some of the word’s many meanings. The intervention will be divided into three chapters that together “reflect the diverse faces of the world…to present human dignity which is called ‘tǐ miàn’ in Chinese.” Each chapter toys with the polysemy of MIÀN. The first chapter, chī miàn/ Noodle Eating, will connect guests with one of the earliest forms of food production through a demonstration of flour-making and cooking with flour, alongside food samples for guests. In the second chapter, bǐao miàn/ Surface, Jia will invite guests to consider bodily autonomy through the lens of tattoo and disco, both pursuits of rebellion and liberation. The third chapter, huì miàn / Meeting, visits Shanghai’s history through a series of video interviews, inviting guests to move back through time in the elegant, historical surroundings of Prada Rong Zhai.
Prada Mode Shanghai’s daily program will feature both morning and afternoon conversations with leading cultural figures for guests to attend. Members will also have access to complimentary daily screenings—including a series of short films by the director—held in a 1980s-era video hall, and to fine dining and cocktails inspired by the villa’s history and Jia’s own restaurant, Mountains May Depart, in Shan Xi Province. With the musical curatorship by Chinese renowned actor Huang Jue, the ballroom will be refashioned as a Chinese Disco Hall from the 1990’s for DJ sets and dancing every night.
ABOUT JIA ZHANG-KE
Jia Zhang-Ke is a director, producer, and writer. A graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, he was born in Fenyang, Shanxi, China, in 1970. His debut feature Xiao Wu (1998) won the grand prize at The International Forum of New
Cinema in the 48th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2006, Still Life won the Golden Lion at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. Jia Zhang-Ke received the Leopard of Honor at the 63rd Locarno Film Festival in 2010. In
2013, he won the award for Best Screenplay at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival. In 2015, Jia was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award Carrosse d’Or (Golden Coach) at the Cannes International Film Festival.
In 2017, Jia initiated the Pingyao International Film Festival to promote works from young directors and to enhance the communication between Chinese and international filmmakers. In 2019, he founded the Lüliang Literature Festival in Lüliang, China, connecting the rural community with an atmosphere of literature and reading.
Jia’s major works include Xiao Wu (1998), Platform (2000), Unknown Pleasures (2002), The World (2004), Still Life (2006), 24 City (2008), I Wish I knew (2010), A Touch of Sin (2013), Mountains May Depart (2015), Ash Is Purest White (2018), and most recently, Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue (2020).
ABOUT PRADA MODE
Prada Mode is a travelling private club that provides members a unique experience with a focus on contemporary culture. Imagined as a place that augments and extends significant global cultural gatherings at diverse locations worldwide, Prada Mode offers guests exclusive access to unique programs and content that complement the themes and subjects of the host event. In advance of the event, Prada Mode members receive credentials and special invitations for all current and future occurrences of the club.
The inaugural iteration, Prada Mode Miami, was held at Freehand Miami from December 4th to 6th, 2018, and served as both an exclusive destination and a discreet, elegant retreat from the daily clamor of highintensity cultural engagements during Art Basel: Miami Beach. A sitespecific intervention by artist Theaster Gates was present throughout the club imbued with the experience of music, retreat and archival practice.
On the occasion of Art Basel: Hong Kong, Prada Mode Hong Kong took over the third floor of Barrack Block of Tai Kwun on March 27th and 28th, 2019. Events included a special set up of the Prada Invites project and Dolls’ House, an installation by photographer Jamie Diamond, as well as conversations on actual themes.
The club’s third iteration, Prada Mode London, occupied 180 The Strand, the iconic Brutalist building in the heart of the city for October 2nd and 3rd, 2019. The dynamic program included a new installment of Theater Gates’ Black Image Corporation, and the launch of Collective Intimacy, a live programme of performances and talks created in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory and The Showroom, London.
Most recently, Prada Mode Paris was held at Maxim’s in Paris on January 19th and 20th, 2020, to align with the opening of Paris Haute Couture. The legendary 1893 Belle Époque restaurant was transformed by AI researcher and professor Kate Crawford and artist and researcher Trevor Paglen into an installation titled “Making Faces” which included art projects and architectural modifications focusing on data gathering, surveillance and facial recognition.
ABOUT PRADA RONG ZHAI
Prada Rong Zhai is a meticulously restored early twentieth-century mansion in central Shanghai. Designed for the distinguished family of entrepreneur Yung Tsoong-King a century ago, Rong Zhai is one of Shanghai’s finest Western-style garden villas. In 2004, Rong Zhai was deemed a Jing’an district cultural relic, and the following year it was designated one of Shanghai’s remarkable historic buildings. In 2011, Prada began working on a revival of the stunning home. The result is an emblem of Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli’s admiration of Chinese aesthetic heritage and a deep commitment to the city of Shanghai. Since its reopening in 2017, the mansion has served as a unique site for Prada’s diverse activities in China as well as hosted four exhibitions presented with the support of Fondazione Prada. The upcoming show “Rubber Pencil Devil” by Alex Da Corte will be on view from 13 November 2020 to 24 January 2021.