Wang Bing in “China⇋Africa: Crossing the World Color Line” at Centre Pompidou, France

China⇋Africa: Crossing the World Color Line

Exhibition Dates: 2020.03.04 – 05.18

Exhibition Venue: Centre Pompidou, France


Magician Space is pleased to announce Wang Bing in the exhibition “China ⇋ Africa” at Centre Pompidou, which exhibits his latest film work Scenes, Part I, Lagos.

Should the China ⇋ Africa connection be seen as a form of total emancipation from colonialism or as the expression of a new relationship based on domination? The “China ⇋ Africa” exhibition examines the real and imaginary spaces resulting from this dialogue, which were first constructed within a framework of Marxist ideology and colonial and then decolonial history. It is an implicit interrogation of Western history.

The exhibition sets out to outline theories of Sino-African encounters, from shared imagery of struggles to the configuration of transcultural or globalized identity. It questions certain economic (through the works of François-Xavier Gbré, Pratchaya Phinthong and Yonamine) and social transformations born of this relationship (Wang Bing, Anawana Haloba, Marie Voignier), as well as unleashing critical imagination (Musquiqui Chihying, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Binelde Hyrcan).

To this possible constitution of a collective memory is added a series of personal narratives in the films of Marie Voignier and Wang Bing, respectively observing the trajectories of a community of Cameroonian shopkeepers and a Nigerian migrant in Guangzhou.


Wang Bing, Scenes, Part I, Lagos, film still, 60mins

Wang Bing, Scenes, Part I, Lagos, film still, 60mins

Wang Bing, Scenes, Part I, Lagos, film still, 60mins

Artist’s Statement

I met Kingsley while shooting Scenes in Guangzhou (China), and we eventually followed him to Lagos, his home in Nigeria. I knew nothing about Africa before this visit and was very curious about life there, while the local people, for their part, were unsure what to make of this outsider who had come to film them. During my visit to Lagos, I happened to meet some Chinese people with businesses there in catering, oil and mining, and financing platforms. Every day in Lagos, thousands of green-helmeted motorbike taxi-couriers provide a busy shuttle and delivery service through the streets and alleys of the city, reminiscent of similar promotional services found in Chinese cities. In the last few years, Kingsley has made several trips between Lagos and Guangzhou, hoping to find business opportunities buying Chinese goods for his wife to sell in their shop in Ikotun.

Wang Bing

Jan. 2020 Guangzhou

Wang Bing, Scenes, Part I, Lagos, film still, 60mins

Scenes are the first chapter of Wang Bing’s filmic exploration into the ongoing and nuanced exchanges between China and Africa. It began with Wang’s encounter with Kingsley, he moved between his hometown Lagos and Guangzhou in search of business opportunities. Intrigued by Kingsley’s experiences, Wang decided to go and film in Lagos even though he was unsure if his outsider status would become an intrusive force. Yet, once there, the scenery of waves of green-helmeted motorbike couriers providing shuttle and delivery service through the busy streets and alleys of the city offered Wang a sense of familiarity, which allowed him to capture the daily lives of Kingsley and others in this otherwise foreign land.

Curator Yung Ma