Art Guide

Shanghai art galleries, exhibitions, news and editorial.

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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
18 September–23 October 2021
Cristina BanBan


Perrotin View Exhibition
Sarah BanBan, Manchego (2021). Oil on canvas. 152 cm x 203 cm. Courtesy of the artrist and Perrotin, Shanghai. Photo: Charles Benton.
Contemporary art exhibition, Cristina BanBan, Melancolìa at Perrotin, Shanghai, China
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
11 September–23 October 2021
Liao Wen

Almost Collapsing Balance

Capsule Shanghai View Exhibition

Exhibition view: Liao Wen, Almost Collapsing Balance, Capsule Shanghai, Shanghai (11 September–23 October 2021). Courtesy Capsule Shanghai.

Contemporary art exhibition, Liao Wen, Almost Collapsing Balance at Capsule Shanghai, China
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
3 September–9 October 2021
Kenny Scharf


Almine Rech View Exhibition
Kenny Scharf, Hwaway (2021). Oil, acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen with powder-coated aluminium frame. 76.2 x 76.2 cm. © Kenny Scharf. Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech. Photo: Charles White of JW Pictures.
Contemporary art exhibition, Kenny Scharf, Earth at Almine Rech, Shanghai, China
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
2 September–30 October 2021
Hélio Oiticica

HO in Motion

Lisson Gallery View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Hélio Oiticica, HO in Motion, Lisson Gallery, Shanghai (2 September–30 October 2021) © Estate of Hélio Oiticica. Courtesy Lisson Gallery, Shanghai.
Contemporary art exhibition, Hélio Oiticica, HO in Motion at Lisson Gallery, Shanghai, China
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
8 August–10 October 2021
Liu Xiaodong

Your Friends

UCCA Edge View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Liu Xiaodong, Your Friends, UCCA Edge (8 August–10 October 2021). Courtesy UCCA.
Contemporary art exhibition, Liu Xiaodong, Your Friends at UCCA Edge, China
Current Exhibition | Shanghai
22 May 2021–22 May 2022
Group Exhibition

Urban Theater: A Comedy in Four Acts

UCCA Edge View Exhibition
Cao Fei, Re-enchantment: The Birth of RMB City, (2021). Multimedia interactive installation, single-channel video, color, sound, customised binoculars, screen, speakers, 10’32”, 150 × 40 × 61 cm (×2). Commission by UCCA Edge, courtesy the artist and Vitamin Creative Space. Image courtesy UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Urban Theater: A Comedy in Four Acts at UCCA Edge, China

Shanghai In Ocula Magazine

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Current Exhibitions In Shanghai

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Ocula Member Galleries In Shanghai

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Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Almine Rech Aspen, Brussels, London, New York, Paris, 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 Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Lisson Gallery East Hampton, London, New York, Shanghai
Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore
Perrotin contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China Perrotin Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo
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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