Shanghai
Art Guide

Contemporary art exhibitions, news and editorial from Shanghai.

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Mainland China's most glamorous city lagged well behind Beijing during China's contemporary art boom in the 1990s and 2000s. Over the past decade, however, Shanghai has taken the lead, thanks in large part to the arrival of world-class museums from one end of the city to the other along the Huangpu River.

Each of Shanghai's museums has its own unique architecture adapted from a past life. There's the beautiful Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), for instance, housed in the former Royal Asiatic Society building, which was established in 1932. And then there's the public Power Station of Art, once a working power station (a fact given away by its name and towering chimney) and now home to the Shanghai Biennale.

Following the barges further upstream brings visitors to three museums established by private collectors: Wang Wei and Liu Yiqian's Long Museum, identified by the huge coal hoppers outside; Chinese-Indonesian collector Budi Tek's Yuz Museum, housed in former aircraft hangars and specialising in jaw-dropping kinetic and large-scale pieces; and karaoke magnate Qiao Zhibing's newly established Tank Shanghai, located in repurposed fuel silos.

On the Bund proper, where early-20th-century architecture—including RAM's building—lends some old-world charm, are blue chip galleries such as Lisson Gallery, Perrotin, and Pearl Lam Galleries. The city's other leading commercial galleries, including ShanghART, MadeIn Gallery, AIKE, Edouard Malingue Gallery, and Arario Gallery are now clustered together in the West Bund.

The West Bund is also where mainland China's leading art fair, West Bund Art & Design, takes place each November. ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai are the city's other big fairs, both of which have helped cultivate an ambitious new generation of Chinese collectors at events that take place in the palatial Shanghai Exhibition Centre.

Among other art spaces worth seeking out are chi K11 art museum, a generously sized contemporary art space beneath art patron Adrian Cheng's K11 shopping mall; OCAT, which specialises in video and new media art in a space on Suzhou Creek; and four local galleries that continue to punch above their weight: M97, Art Labor, BANK Gallery, and am art space, all of which are located in Jing'an.

Image: Shanghai. Photo: Stefan Wagener (CC BY 2.0).

Featured Current Exhibitions In Shanghai

Current Exhibition | Shanghai
10 April–6 June 2021
Koon Wai Bong

Watching the Clouds Roll By: Koon Wai Bong Solo Exhibition

Asia Art Center View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Koon Wai Bong, Watching the Clouds Roll By: Koon Wai Bong Solo Exhibition, Asia Art Center, Shanghai (10 April–6 June 2021). Courtesy Asia Art Center. 
Watching the Clouds Roll By: Koon Wai Bong Solo Exhibition
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
2 April–29 May 2021
Bernard Frize

The Other Side (From Right-to-Left or the Reverse)

Perrotin View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Bernard Frize, The Other Side (From Right-to-Left or the Reverse), Perrotin, Shanghai (2 April–29 May 2021). Courtesy the artist and Perrotin. Photo: Mengqi Bao.
The Other Side (From Right-to-Left or the Reverse)
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
27 March–27 June 2021
Zhang Peili

Mortals Index 2020

Beijing Center for the Arts View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Zhang Peili, Mortals Index 2020, Rén Space, Shanghai (27 March–27 June 2021). Courtesy Rén Space. 
Mortals Index 2020
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
18 March–16 May 2021
Su Chang

Hole

ShanghART View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Su Chang, Hole, ShanghART M50, Shanghai (18 March–16 May 2021). Courtesy ShanghART. 
Hole
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
13 March–29 May 2021
Bernard Piffaretti

Twin Peaks and Company

Lisson Gallery View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Bernard Piffaretti, Twin Peaks and Company, Lisson Gallery, Shanghai (13 March–29 May 2021). © Bernard Piffaretti. Courtesy Lisson Gallery.
Twin Peaks and Company
Upcoming Exhibition | Shanghai
5 June–21 August 2021
Jason Martin

Space, Light, Time

Lisson Gallery View Exhibition
Courtesy Lisson Gallery.
Space, Light, Time

Shanghai In Ocula Magazine

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Current Exhibitions In Shanghai

View All Exhibitions (186)
Contemporary art exhibition, Zhang Peili, Mortals Index 2020 at Beijing Center for the Arts, Shanghai
27 March–27 June 2021 Zhang Peili Mortals Index 2020 Beijing Center for the ArtsShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Su Chang, Hole at ShanghART, M50, Shanghai
18 March–16 May 2021 Su Chang Hole ShanghARTM50, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Bernard Piffaretti, Twin Peaks and Company at Lisson Gallery, Shanghai
13 March–29 May 2021 Bernard Piffaretti Twin Peaks and Company Lisson GalleryShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Jason Martin, Space, Light, Time at Lisson Gallery, Shanghai
5 June–21 August 2021 Jason Martin Space, Light, Time Lisson GalleryShanghai

Ocula Member Galleries In Shanghai

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Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Almine Rech Aspen, Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai
Arario Gallery contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Arario Gallery Cheonan, Seoul, Shanghai
Asia Art Center contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Asia Art Center Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai
Capsule Shanghai contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Capsule Shanghai Shanghai
Galerie Dumonteil contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Galerie Dumonteil Shanghai, Paris
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Lisson Gallery London, East Hampton, New York, Shanghai
Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Pearl Lam Galleries Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai
Perrotin contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Perrotin Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo
Rén Space contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Rén Space Shanghai
ShanghART contemporary art gallery in M50, Shanghai, China ShanghART Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore
ShanghART contemporary art gallery in Westbund, Shanghai, China ShanghART Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore

Contemporary Institutions In Shanghai

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Recent Events In Shanghai

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Contemporary art exhibition, ART021 2019 at Ocula Advisory, Shanghai, China
7–10 November ART021 2019

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