‘Cities on the Move’ (1997–99) is regarded as a significant exhibition that responded to the intersection of East and South East Asia’s city cultures and the region’s urbanisation in the late 20th century. Involving more than 150 architects, artists, filmmakers, and designers, it is considered to be a landmark event in contemporary exhibition making for its extensive use of urbanism theories, its strong involvement of architects, and its attempt to recreate an ever-evolving city within an exhibition space—where performances, screenings, and discussions continuously took place during the exhibition period. Co-curated by Hou Hanru and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the exhibition’s aim was ‘to present the dynamic and highly creative situation of contemporary architecture, urban planning and visual culture in the region [of East and South East Asia] as the strongest manifestation of the process of modernization in the region’. ‘Cities on the Move’ was first shown at Secession in Vienna (December 1997 to January 1998) before it toured to CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux (June to August 1998), P.S.1. in New York (October 1998 to January 1999), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk (January to April 1999), Hayward Gallery in London (May to June, 1999), multiple venues in Bangkok (October 1999), and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki (November to December 1999).
AAA has worked with Hou Hanru to organise and digitise the archive of the exhibition since 2014, which includes research materials gathered during the preparation of the exhibition, ephemera, photo documentation, journalistic reports and reviews, and other primary source material around the different iterations of the exhibition.