Art Guide

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Shanghai Galleries Featured on Ocula

Ocula Member Galleries are selected by a committee of respected gallerists, and our Shanghai Art Guide highlights the best of contemporary art to see in the city's leading galleries.

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Shanghai's galleries and artist-run spaces are concentrated in two main regions: the West Bund art district and M50 Creative Park, south of Suzhou River.

West Bund District

Stretching alongside the Huangpu River at Xuhui Waterfront is the West Bund district, developed as an art district with the support of Shanghai's municipal government. Host to a plethora of museums, large-scale exhibition spaces, and commercial galleries, West Bund will be Asia's largest cultural corridor upon completion.

In the district you will find international blue-chip galleries including Perrotin, Lisson Gallery, Almine Rech, and Pearl Lam Galleries, each representing some of the world's leading artists.

Also in West Bund since 2017 is Arario Gallery, founded in 1989 with three locations across South Korea and Shanghai. Its roster of close to 50 Asian artists highlights emerging and experimental talent, and includes Gao Lei, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu.

West Bund is the home of ShanghART, one of Shanghai's first contemporary galleries founded in 1996 by Swiss gallerist Lorenz Helbling. Representing Chinese and Chinese-born artists from Geng Jianyi to David Diao, Yang Fudong to We Yiming, ShanghART devotes its programme to the development of contemporary art in China.

Other galleries in West Bund include the artist-conceived platform MadeIn Gallery and contemporary gallery AIKE.

Xuhui District

Shanghai's urban Xuhui District takes its name after the historic area of Xujiahui, formerly the site of the French Concession. French and Catholic influences preside across the district's architecture and culture, and is today a major financial hub of Shanghai, as well as a shopping and entertainment precinct.

Among the galleries in Xuhui District is Dumonteil Contemporary, established by Dothi and Pierre Dumonteil in 1982. With locations in Shanghai and Paris, Dumonteil represents dozens of modern and contemporary Chinese and French artists, including Weng Jijun and Hugo Deverchère.

Established in 2016, Studio Gallery doubles as an incubation space for artists, promoting the development of long-term practices through non-profit research programmes, studios, and an international residency project. Its artists include Inhee Yang and Dagmar Keller.

Housed within a 1930s garden house surrounded by idyllic greenery is Capsule Shanghai, another of the city's young galleries. Spotlighting artists who examine migration and transnational experience, the gallery's programme—which includes Leelee Chan, Huang Hai-Hsin, and Cai Zebin—rarely disappoints.

Situated close to Shanghai Library is the avantgarde space BANK/ MABSOCIETY, housed within the former Bank Union Building. The studio engages international cultural and historic issues, representing artists such as Yitian Sun, Xu Bing, and Shi Hui, and collaborating with the likes of Ai Weiwei, Alvin Ong, and Lawrence Lek.

M50 Creative Park

Shanghai's M50 Creative Park, also known as M50 or 50 Moganshan Road, is home to a vibrant art community with over 120 galleries and studios housed within converted factories and warehouses. Often compared to Beijing's 798 Art Zone, M50 has occupied the former industrial area south of the Wusong River since the early 2000s.

ShanghART's second Shanghai gallery can be found here, along with contemporary art space Gallery 55 and artist-run space Island6 Arts Center, home to the collective island6.

Many of China's established artists have set up studios in the precinct, including Ding Yi, Zhou Tiehai, and Xue Song. M50's lively cultural scene has also attracted design firms including Labbrand Design, whose headquarters are in the area.

Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Almine Rech Upcoming Exhibition:
Aaron Johnson
Arario Gallery contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Arario Gallery Current Exhibition:
Kohei Nawa
Capsule Shanghai contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Capsule Shanghai Current Exhibition:
Mevlana Lipp
Dumonteil Contemporary contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Dumonteil Contemporary Upcoming Exhibition:
Jean-Marie Fiori
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Lisson Gallery Current Exhibition:
Richard Deacon
Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Pearl Lam Galleries Current Exhibition:
Philip Colbert
Perrotin contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Perrotin Current Exhibition:
Jean-Marie Appriou
ShanghART, M50 contemporary art gallery in M50, Shanghai, China
ShanghART, M50 Current Exhibition:
ShanghART, Westbund contemporary art gallery in Westbund, Shanghai, China
ShanghART, Westbund Current Exhibition:
Studio Gallery contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China
Studio Gallery Current Exhibition:
Ou Ming

Shanghai Exhibitions Featured on Ocula

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Explore current and upcoming exhibitions across Shanghai's best galleries, institutions, and non-profit art spaces.

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Each November, the global art community gravitates toward the city to partake in ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, which has brought together major international galleries and local institutions at the Shanghai Exhibition Center since 2013. Founded by collectors Kylie Ying, Bao Yifeng, and David Chau, the fair is a constituent member of Shanghai International Arts Festival.

West Bund Art & Design was founded the following year in 2014. Attracting a host of museums and galleries to settle near West Bund Art Center, west of the Huangpu River, the fair has cemented the region's status as Shanghai's official commercial art district.

More Galleries in Shanghai

Shanghai is home to one of the world's most dynamic and vibrant arts scenes. Browse our extended selection of galleries to visit around the city, as recommended by the team at Ocula.

Shanghai Contemporary Institutions

Considered an essential part of the city's cultural landscape, Shanghai's museums and institutions offer an exceptional arts experience, with many particularly noteworthy for their architecture.

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Explore our selection of the best spaces to visit, including the Power Station of Art, Long Museum, Yuz Museum Shanghai, and the Rockbund Art Museum.

West Bund Museums

Sited in the former Nanshi Power Plant is Shanghai's first state-run contemporary art museum, the Power Station of Art (PSA). Opened in 2012, PSA is a landmark in the city's skyline with its distinct 165-metre chimney. It is also home to the Shanghai Biennale.

The Long Museum is a world-class private museum founded by Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei, with locations in West Bund, Pudong, and Chongqing. Its vast collection spans generations, covering traditional and contemporary art from China and around the world. Recent exhibitions have showcased works by Jennifer Guidi, Pat Steir, and Shiota Chiharu.

Inaugurated in 2019, the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project is a five-year cultural exchange partnership between the French museum and Shanghai West Bund Development Group. The initiative sees works from Centre Pompidou's collection brought to West Bund Museum, while introducing works by Chinese artists to Paris. West Bund Museum has recently hosted solo exhibitions of Wassily Kandinsky, Chen We, and Laurent Grasso.

Yuz Museum Shanghai is a non-profit organisation opened in 2014, boasting an impressive glass building designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto and converted from a former aircraft hangar. The Yuz Museum has hosted exhibitions by internationally renowned artists such as KAWS and Andy Warhol, as well as younger generations of artists including Eddie Martinez, Tschabalala Self, and Hernan Bas.

The Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) seeks to elevate contemporary art through research, conservation, and public discourse. Housed within the former Royal Asiatic Society Art Deco building, RAM's galleries were once occupied by Shanghai Museum, and has exhibited the works of artists such as Trinh T. Minh-ha, Zeng Fanzhi, and Ugo Rondinone.

Within an 1800-square-metre refurbished greenhouse in the People's Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MoCA) gathers legacies of art and design. Founded in 2005, MoCA has hosted retrospectives not only of contemporary artists such as Yayoi Kusama, but also fashion labels including Dior and Chanel. The museum has also partnered with international institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Korea Foundation.

M50, Jing'an and Beyond

Since 2013, Chronus Art Center (CAC) at M50 has dedicated itself to the research and presentation of new media art, hosting residencies, workshops, and lectures that develop criticial discourse around new technologies. With experimental initiatives like 'Art & Technology @', CAC supports Chinese artists such as Yan Lei to venture into advanced programming and production.

Further up north in Jing'an District is UCCA Edge, the latest of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art's three venues. Punctuated by concrete slabs across three storeys, UCCA Edge's expansive space recently hosted a retrospective of Andy Warhol, and a solo exhibition by Chinese realist painter Liu Xiaodong.

Established in 2005, the Shanghai Himalayas Museum (formerly known as Shanghai Zendai MoMA) is a non-profit art institute in Pudong that focuses on exhibitions, academic exchange, and research. The establishment is reputed for organising the inaugural Shanghai Project, an interdisciplinary ideas platform co-directed by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Yongwoo Lee.

Located in the Suhe Creek area in Jing'an is OCAT Shanghai, China's first major art institution focusing on media art and architectural design. Inaugurated in 2012, OCAT Shanghai moved to its current premises in late-2019, where it continues to promote pioneering, socially-engaged practices through exhibitions, public programmes, and research.

The Museum of Art Pudong (MAP) opened to the public in mid-2021. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the museum has a focus on introducing world-class artists to the local scene, as well as a view to nurture domestic artists, offer educational and research programmes, and enrich international exchange. Recent exhibitions at MAP include Xu Bing and The Dynamic Eye: Op and Kinetic Art from the Tate Collection.

Shanghai in Ocula Magazine

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Ocula Advisory on Shanghai

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Gain in-depth insights into Shanghai's art scene with Ocula Advisory, our service for collectors wishing to build and manage their collections.

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Led by Ocula's founder Simon Fisher, Ocula Advisory assists new and established collectors in growing and managing their collections.

With 40+ years of combined experience and extensive relationships with galleries, auction houses, art dealers, and collectors, Ocula Advisory has exceptional knowledge of modern and contemporary art, as well as market trends.

Follow Advisory Picks, Perspectives, and Selections for must-see art in Shanghai.

Artists on Show in Shanghai

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In any given week, you can see the works of some of the world's most exciting artists in Shanghai. Here you will find a selection of artists whose works are currently on show in the city.

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Sign up to My Ocula to follow artists and galleries, save artworks to your favourites, and be informed when new exhibitions and features are published.

Shanghai has propelled the careers of Chinese and international artists, with its renowned galleries and museums providing a global stage for seminal exhibitions. Artists who have recently held major solo exhibitions in the city include Cai Guo-Qiang, John Armleder, Joan Miró, and Yan Fudong.

Artworks in Shanghai

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Browse artworks available from leading Shanghai galleries on Ocula.

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Sign up to My Ocula to follow artists and galleries, save artworks to your favourites, and be informed when new artworks become available.

Shimmer by Mevlana Lipp contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Mevlana Lipp Shimmer, 2022 Wood, velvet, acrylic colour, ink, sand, and aluminium stretcher
80 x 60 cm
Capsule Shanghai Contact Gallery
Line Array-Black #099 by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork works on paper, print, mixed media
Kohei Nawa Line Array-Black #099, 2022 UV print, paper, acrylic, wood
56 x 100 cm
Arario Gallery Contact Gallery
Search by Mevlana Lipp contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Mevlana Lipp Search, 2022 Wood, velvet, acrylic colour, ink, sand, and aluminium stretcher
60 x 45 cm
Capsule Shanghai Contact Gallery
Pearl by Mevlana Lipp contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Mevlana Lipp Pearl, 2022 Wood, velvet, acrylic colour, ink, sand, and aluminium stretcher
80 x 60 cm
Capsule Shanghai Contact Gallery
White Code #3 by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork painting
Kohei Nawa White Code #3, 2022 Paint on canvas
97 x 162 cm
Arario Gallery Contact Gallery
Dune #56 by Kohei Nawa contemporary artwork painting
Kohei Nawa Dune #56, 2022 Paint on canvas
123.5 x 141.3 x 6 cm
Arario Gallery
The Landscape is for Plants by Yuki Saegusa contemporary artwork painting
Yuki Saegusa The Landscape is for Plants Oil on canvas, tempera
116.7 x 116.7 x 3 cm
Arario Gallery Contact Gallery
Coyote by Toru Kamiya contemporary artwork painting
Toru Kamiya Coyote Acrylic on cotton, panel
100 x 55 x 5 cm
Arario Gallery Contact Gallery

Events in Shanghai

Throughout the year Shanghai plays host to major art events and fairs, attracting thousands of collectors and enthusiasts from across the globe to its cultural hotspots, West Bund and M50 Creative Park. Drawcards include the Shanghai Biennale and PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai, both held in the spring, and China's leading art fairs, West Bund Art & Design and ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, which take place in November.

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PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai is the largest dedicated fair for photo-based and digital artworks in the Asia Pacific, established in 2014. Its annual showcase presents a wide range of photography, film, and digital work, from modern masters to experimental practitioners at the forefront of their medium.

The unmissable Shanghai Biennale returned for its 13th edition in 2021 at the Power Station of Art. Centred on exploring local issues with a global outlook, the Biennale secures Shanghai's position at the forefront of contemporary art dialogue whilst providing a platform for interdisciplinary exchange.

With these high-profile events taking place year-round, Shanghai has cultivated an ambitious new generation of Chinese collectors with a strong support for the local and international art scene.

10–13 November ART021 | 2022

Over the past decade Shanghai has reasserted its status as the financial hub of China, thanks in part to the arrival of world-class galleries, museums, and institutions along the Huangpu River.

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Despite lagging behind Beijing during China's contemporary art boom of the 1990s and 2000s, Shanghai has developed a reputation as a global art centre, with a cultural offering to rival that of New York or Paris.

Shanghai's museums and galleries are notable for their unique architecture, often adapted from a past life. The Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) is housed in a beautiful 1932 Art Deco building, originally home to the Royal Asiatic Society. The Power Station of Art, once a working power station, is now home to the Shanghai Biennale.

Following the barges upstream, visitors encounter three museums established by private collectors: Wang Wei and Liu Yiqian's Long Museum, identified by its coal hopper design; Chinese-Indonesian collector Budi Tek's Yuz Museum, housed in former aircraft hangars and specialising in jaw-dropping kinetic and large-scale artworks; and entrepreneur Qiao Zhibing's TANK Shanghai, located in repurposed fuel silos.

The iconic Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, as well as the cultural exchange initiative Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project, are both crucial establishments in the city, serving exhibitions that consistently expand outlooks on contemporary forms of expression and global cultures.

Early 20th-century architecture—including RAM's building—lends old-world charm at the Bund proper. The district is also home to global blue-chip galleries such as Lisson Gallery, Perrotin, Pearl Lam Galleries, and Almine Rech. Other leading commercial galleries include ShanghART, MadeIn Gallery, AIKE, and Edouard Malingue Gallery.

The West Bund is where mainland China's leading art fair, West Bund Art & Design, takes place each November. Staged in the palatial Shanghai Exhibition Centre, the annual ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai have also contributed to the cultivation of an ambitious new generation of Chinese collectors.

Spread throughout Shanghai's former French Concession in the Xuhui District is an exciting new generation of galleries backing young artists and experimental practices: Capsule Shanghai, Studio Gallery, BANK, Antenna Space, and Arario Gallery, to name a few. Fittingly located nearby is Dumonteil Contemporary, who spotlight modern and contemporary French and Chinese artists.

South of the Wusong River, M50 Creative Park hosts Chronus Art Center, whose focus is on research and new media art, as well as ShanghART's second Shanghai location, where it showcases emerging and experimental talent.

UCCA Edge extends the UCCA institution further north, across three storeys of the EDGE tower. On the other side of the Huangpu River, the Shanghai Himalayas Museum promotes research and academic exchange in addition to exhibitions, reflecting Shanghai's pluralistic, multifaceted approach to developing conversations around contemporary art.

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

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