Chinese art is booming. A growing circle of artists, galleries and museums is forming a true Mecca for creativity. At international auctions from New York to London, Chinese talent is increasingly emerging at the top of price lists - young, enthusiastic Chinese contemporary art is impressing the world over with a blend of traditional themes and modern approaches to high-profile art shows. This spring, official recognition of the country as a new global player on the international art scene was complete, as Art Basel – the world’s most important contemporary art fair – opened a further venue in Hong Kong alongside existing locations Basel and Miami Beach. The next big cultural event followed shortly afterwards: September saw the inaugural HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award presented in Shanghai, with an emphasis on innovative art out of Asia. Next to Beijing, Shanghai is now regarded as the most important center for art.
Local Art Guide
Rockbund Art Museum
At the northern end of the "Bund", Shanghai's waterfront promenade, this museum is an international platform for promoting contemporary art and combines cultural tradition with the urban mainstream. Highlight: In September the HUGO BOSS ART ASIA Award was awarded in the Rockbund Art Museum.
This gallery, run by Swiss national Lorenz Helbig, was the first to specialize in contemporary art, and is still one of the leading contemporary art galleries in the country. Helbig is passionate about promoting young Chinese art, and is known for showcasing local artists internationally. Besides the classic gallery spaces in the 50 Moganshan Road creative quarter, on the outskirts of the city Helbig runs ShanghART Taopu - a huge factory building filled with workshops, exhibitions, an art supermarket and a café.
50 Moganshan Road
The old textile area is where the studios of the most well known artists are located, as well as countless galleries and exhibition spaces! Avant-garde artist Xu Zhen, whose name is a byword for contemporary Chinese art, developed here his cross-media works that have already been shown in New York's MoMA, the Tate Liverpool and in the context of the Venice Biennale. Island6 have also settled here: The institution is run by the artists' collective Liu Dao, composed of a group of emerging artists, curators, writers and critics
Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MOCA)
The MOCA is particularly outstanding as an institutional establishment: In MOCA’s futuristic glass house in the middle of the People's Park, the focus is on innovative art and new design. There are also three other museums that have successfully specialized in contemporary art: the Doulun Museum of Modern Art, the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in the Pudong district and the Shanghai Art Museum, which hosts the Shanghai Biennale every two years.
Island6 Art Centre
In this exhibition hall of 750 square meters, the focus is on media-based art. The many artists studios that are in this creative area pull the crowds in: avant-garde artist Xu Zhen has already exhibited his cross-media work at the MoMA in New York, the Tate Liverpool and in the Venice Biennale – and his name has become synonymous with contemporary Chinese art. Zhou Tiehai has a similar reputation, reflecting particularly the newer developments of Chinese art. Tiehai’s works are highly conceptual - and since taking a creative break he has eschewed pens and brushes. His works are created all on the computer and then curated by his assistants.