‘The Floating Eye’ was the curatorial theme of the Sydney Pavilion in the Shanghai Bienale, the largest international art event in mainland China, attracting over 8 million visitors. Sydney was part of the Inter-City Pavilions, offering observations of a city’s shifting references and influences. The challenge was to convey the varied perspectives of the city’s transforming reality observed though its demographics, environment, history, politics, geography and society. We built a visual language of symbols, combined and intertwined by a shifting graphical interpretation of the lens of the viewer. The result was a striking device that helped vistiors navigate the exhibition, whilst articulating a theme that avoided the need for wordy articulation.