stage候台BACK shanghai (2008 - 2013)
In 2008 Susanne Junker inaugurated stage候台BACK, an artist run space for experimental projects in Shanghai China. For nearly 6 years, stage候台BACK hosted numerous exhibitions in two different locations in China’s financial capital. The first location was in the legendary 696 Weihai Road warehouse which was home and workspace for an artist community of around 70 artists. Chinese and international artists worked side by side and a handful of exhibition spaces found their platforms in this former pre-Communist opium factory.
Junker’s intention to direct an artist run space was to reflect the drastically changing society of modern China and bustling daily life in Shanghai that she witnessed on her visits when she travelled between Paris and Shanghai on a frequent basis. By the mid 2000s the local art community was growing with plenty of newly opened commercial galleries concentrating primarily the booming Chinese contemporary art market. stage候台BACK saw itself as an addition but also aesthetic counterpart to that, mainly bringing in foreign artists to enrich and internationalise the local scene and ‘walk the red line’ with edgy programming.
Furthermore, the cultural exchange through the invited artists and local audience had significant importance, erasing prejudices and helped shape the understanding between dissimilar conceptions of historical and educational backgrounds. After the eviction of artists 696 Weihai Road in May 2011, stage候台BACK was invited to join the team of famed Eastlink gallery at the M50 art complex but working independently on further Junker’s and stage候台BACK’s supporters curated program.
The last exhibition by stage候台BACK up to this point was hung in March 2013 after Junker decided to concentrate on her own art work again. With anticipation, Junker wishes that one day the concept of artist run spaces and art foundations that essentially promote culture for culture and not culture for any other reason such as promoting real estate, will find its importance and grounds in this new social structure of mostly money driven minds.