Rainer Prohaska – Enter Beijing


Beginning with one of Beijing’s most common modes of transportation, the
Chinese three-wheel pedicab, known as “sanlunche” in Mandarin, Prohaska traveled the streets of Beijing.

During his two-month journey, the vehicle expanded, becoming larger and taller, and absorbed materials and objects discovered during transit. The three-wheel pedicab mutated into a living collage and became a flexible medium that then altered communications, grew and reflected, and transformed again, growing and reflecting upon itself.

Enter Beijing is an experiment in modular temporary sculptures as malleable modes of engagement in public space. By way of taking a common object from everyday life in Beijing and changing it, while remaining within the original landscape, Rainer Prohaska presents a modified view of the reality of the Chinese three-wheel pedicab and its surroundings through interaction and performance.

In addition to the final form the bike has taken, Prohaska documented his process and exploration through drawing, photography and video.

This documentation captures moments of altered interaction, dimensions, atmospheres and spaces of Beijing, as well as the changes the medium itself underwent. The drawings show Prohaska’s stages of invention, from early construction plans and design modifications to future concepts, and illustrates city plans of Beijing. The photography and video reveal the streets, people and communications made through the mobile medium.

Translated comment sheets voice the reflections made by Chinese people living and working in Beijing as they interacted with the modified bike. These were collected on large sheets of paper attached to the bike and written upon as Prohaska traveled throughout the city.

Prohaska’s performative acts of construction throughout his journey played a crucial role in transforming the dialogue created between the city, the vehicle, the city dwellers and the artist himself.

Amertah Perman