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Quest City


Artist Ni Youyu deconstructs and reconstructs eight catalogue cabinets formerly used to store index cards in the Shanghai Library.

The artist transforms the drawers into windows to the world of knowledge, referencing the form of a minimalist tower. The artwork preserves the nostalgic memories of the handwritten index cards in the new era of scientific and technological retrieval while creating a monument of the development and innovations of the Shanghai Library.

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“The concept of 'relic' does not exist. Although the wheel of history keeps moving forward, each moment in a different era is a cross-section of history. Quest City is to re-understand the so-called 'new' and 'old' by reproducing and innovating historical sections. Although the function and value of the book index card have been gradually dissolved, artists can still remove its physical form and give it a new meaning through aesthetic logic."

-Ni Youyu, Artist

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Quest City transforms eight old wooden cabinets, previously used to store index cards in the Shanghai Library during the 1990s, into a tower featuring plaster windows. While technological intelligent search has replaced traditional book index cards, the handwritten index cards continue to evoke nostalgic memories. These cards were once the guide for readers to locate books, which served as windows to knowledge, providing people with the opportunity to appreciate the warmth of history and cultural heritage.

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