Adel Abdessemed
Adel Abdessemed: An Imperial Message

Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai

From 6 July to 11 September, 2022.

Adel Abdessemed probes the wounds of our present. His art, which spans the media of drawing, video, sculpture, poetry, sound, and installation, unfolds as a powerful experience of opposing materials, emotions, and concepts. Titled An Imperial Message after Franz Kafka’s short parable, the exhibition features 44 pieces of work by the artist, among which 12 are newly created. Collectively, the works on view carve out an introspective journey, inviting audience to reflect upon the violence pervading the contemporary world we inhabit and confront our own profound feelings, fears, and desires.

Born in 1971 in Algeria, Abdessemed now lives and works in Paris, France. The artist produces works deeply embedded in power issues. Both his character and his work reveal that he is a fierce guardian of the essential pillars of humanity, of love, of compassion, and of hope. Through evocative yet subtle experience, Abdessemed’s works suppress our systemic desensitization to violent acts. In so doing, the artist shows his unique ability to convene the seemingly discordant elements of tenderness and shock.

As Larys Frogier, Director of Rockbund Art Museum, puts: “Adel Abdessemed has a unique position in contemporary art, and the way he touches those who engage his works has virtually no equivalent. That effect lies in his unique use of raw, simple materials and words, as well as straightforward but very subtle fabrication of the image, but also in the way his works revisit some of the historical and theoretical assumptions in the contemporary arts.”

The Museum will publish a catalogue to accompany the exhibition and organize a series of public programs exploring various themes, including public issues as well as artistic creation and its background, through poetry, music, novel and other mediums. Meanwhile, the Museum will set up a reading room, providing the audience with more means to better understand the artist’s creation.

From 6 July to 11 September, 2022.


Curator: Larys Frogier

Rockbund Art Museum
20 Huqiu Road
Huangpu District, Shanghai

Museum website