Shanghai Soulmates 上海灵魂知己

Jeanne Boden & Rolf A. Kluenter
Jeanne Boden & Rolf A. Kluenter, 2017

Shanghai Soulmates 上海灵魂知己 is a bilingual (Chinese - English) limited edition art book with photography by Rolf A.Kluenter and text by Jeanne Boden.


This book is based on Rolf A. Kluenter’s Shanghai Soulmates art film with Isaac Julien, Shen Fan, Ding Yi, Yang Fudong, Hans Van Dijk, Alexander Brandt (Fei Pingguo), Lothar Spree, Lu Rongzhi (Victoria Lu), Shen Qilan, Pu Jie, Thomas Fuesser, Shang Lu (Jean Loh), Zhe Chen, Simon Kirby, Xue Song, Chris Gill (Li Yunfei), Yang Qingqing, Zhou Tiehai, Lorenz Helbling.


For my text I had interviews with all the artists in Shanghai. The statements about art, aesthetics and philosophy presented in my text - especially in the 'round table dialogue' reflect the real viewpoints or the artists.



"Shanghai Soulmates is a contemporary mural, a hand scroll in motion, a 9-screen video installation, a collage of ‘synchronicity’, a Gesamtkunstwerk, a crossing of roads and interactions between soulmates at a certain moment in time – 2012 – at a certain place – Shanghai. Their meeting in this artwork represents a slice of history, a shifting platform reflecting inner and outer worlds.


As if drinking tea with a friend …

Right there in the middle of the table of soulmates surrounding Kluenter is the topic of art, of life, of inner connection, of people in today’s Shanghai.


Ding Yi pours a cup of tea – or better - four cups of tea in +x movements for Hans Van Dijk who for once has returned to the realm of the living to reflect on the coming into being of contemporary Chinese art. Soulmate Thomas Fuesser who captured Hans Van Dijk in a 1993 photograph has brought his friend Pu Jie. Fei Pingguo alter ego to Alexander Brandt grasps the moment of Lothar Spree finishing a poem and the zooming lens shifts to the inner world of Jean Loh’s naval - the primordial universal scar. Jean Loh always in search for photography with a spiritual dimension carefully introduces soulmate Zhe Chen. Yang Fudong sits next to Isaac Julien discussing the search for beauty and harmony. Curator Lu Rongzhi is supported by loyal soulmate Shen Qilan. Zhou Tiehai and Lorenz Helbling reflect on how to support art and artists. Shen Fan is making jokes with soulmate Simon Kirby, and Xue Song turning the world into dust and nothingness talks to Chris Gill who attempts to uncover the beauty of the blurry butterfly.

Yang Qingqing arrives late, still in search for her soulmate …


All of them seem to be talking at the same time.

A Raphael again?

No … it’s a Kluenter.

Synchronicity he calls it, worlds floating into worlds existing simultaneously, in synchronicity and harmony.