Travel Report: Rain Room – Yuz Museum, Shanghai.
March 2019. “Have you heard about Rain Room?” my colleague Lena asked me back in Ruian a few days before my Shanghai trip. Hmm, I had not heard of Rain Room. “What’s the deal?” When she explained the concept to me I found myself so fascinated I made sure to pencil in a visit to the city’s Yuz Museum. And that’s where I found it, in a private art gallery and exhibition space housed in an old aircraft hanger. The museum showcased a bunch of stuff, but I had a packed schedule and only wanted to concentrate on Rain Room.
Rain Room is an interactive art installation by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass. It’s a simple but brilliant idea that gives visitors the chance to walk through a huge downpour without actually getting wet! When I entered the installation that afternoon it was just myself and a couple of Chinese guys. And from the moment I walked in the sound of the beating rain was almost deafening.
Rain Room, Shanghai.
True to its word, this cool installation allowed me to forge a slow and careful path through the downpour without getting soaked. They achieved this with hidden motion sensors that detect human movement. Pretty damn clever.
According to its creators, the room is an amplified representation of our environment that simultaneously exposes and protects visitors from the water falling all around. It also explores how human relationships with nature are increasingly mediated through technology. In Rain Room a seemingly intuitive relationship develops between visitors and the artwork, man and machine. Deep.
Yuz Museum, Shanghai.
Rain Room is located in Shanghai’s Yuz Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s a little bit out of the way in all honesty, so best accessed via the subway’s Yun Jin Road Station on Line 11. Take Exit 7 and load up the 15-minute walk with Google Maps. Entrance to the museum is free.
Note: Rain Room’s stay at this museum is now over, but the exhibition continues to travel globally. At the time of writing it is showing in Melbourne, Australia.
Like this? Check out more articles from my wanderings around Shanghai.
Wanna delve further afield? You’ve come to the right place, as I’ve written hundreds of reports from all over China.
For a more detailed and personalized slant, you might want to take a look at my short story series Challenged in China.
I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.