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Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’ Ocula Conversation Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’

A group of voices accompanies me in the exhibition. They are singing words I cannot comprehend, yet the warm tunes are familiar: folk songs, love songs, songs of longing. There are letters, too. They speak of the quotidian details of a soldier's life: the hardness of the war, sending money to the family, and longing for familiar landscapes, food,...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Shanghai

China

Current Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Richard Long, Richard Long at Lisson Gallery, Shanghai
20 September–26 October 2019 Richard Long Richard Long Lisson Gallery, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Chen Wei, Goodbye at ShanghART, Shanghai
7 September–20 October 2019 Chen Wei Goodbye ShanghART, Westbund, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Gatot Pujiarto, Beyond Image and Dreams 境梦之外 at Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
7 September–1 November 2019 Gatot Pujiarto Beyond Image and Dreams 境梦之外 Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Liu Yue, Volume 体积 at ShanghART, Shanghai
6 September–20 October 2019 Liu Yue Volume 体积 ShanghART, M50, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Hans Hartung, Solo Exhibition at Perrotin, Shanghai
30 August–20 October 2019 Hans Hartung Solo Exhibition Perrotin, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, NI Youyu, The Last Sunset 余晖 at Perrotin, Shanghai
30 August–20 October 2019 NI Youyu The Last Sunset 余晖 Perrotin, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Chen Ying, Solo Exhibition at MadeIn Gallery, Shanghai
28 August–19 October 2019 Chen Ying Solo Exhibition MadeIn Gallery, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Cai Dongdong, Photography Reforged at Leo Gallery, Shanghai
25 August–19 October 2019 Cai Dongdong Photography Reforged Leo Gallery, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Sun Yuan + Peng Yu, Free Biographies 列传 at ARARIO GALLERY, Shanghai
25 October 2019–10 January 2020 Sun Yuan + Peng Yu Free Biographies 列传 ARARIO GALLERY, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Yan Heng, Absinthe 苦艾酒 at ARARIO GALLERY, Shanghai
25 October 2019–10 January 2020 Yan Heng Absinthe 苦艾酒 ARARIO GALLERY, Shanghai

Galleries In Shanghai

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Institutions

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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Matthew Day Jackson Ocula Conversation Matthew Day Jackson

A charred and reflective post-apocalyptic scene looms large in the entrance to Qiao Space in Shanghai. On a sheet of mirror, a cone-shaped architectural structure is etched on the surface, referencing Pieter Bruegel the Elder's The Tower of Babel (1563), rising like a utopian Brigadoon out of the ashes of a scorched recomposed landscape. Pieced...

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Cuauhtémoc Medina Ocula Conversation Cuauhtémoc Medina Curator, 12th Shanghai Biennale

Launched in 1996 and now in its twelfth edition, the Shanghai Biennale is the longest-running biennial in China, presented at the Power Station of Art, China's only government-funded art space in a landscape dominated by private museums. This year's edition (10 November 2018–10 March 2019), curated by Mexican-born Cuauhtémoc Medina, brings together...

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Simon Wang Ocula Conversation Simon Wang Gallerist

In 2013, Simon Wang founded Antenna Space in Shanghai's M50 art district in response to a growing interest in contemporary art in his city. The diverse artists on the gallery's roster include Guan Xiao (known for her conceptual videos and installations), conceptual artist Nadim Abbas, and painters Allison Katz, Xinyi Cheng, and Cui Jie, among...

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Shanghai's West Bund and Art021 fairs overlap in 2018 Ocula Report Shanghai's West Bund and Art021 fairs overlap in 2018 17 Nov 2018 : Diana d’Arenberg for Ocula

The last time I visited West Bund Art & Design was four years ago, when the fair was in its first year of operation: a small, boutique offering held in a cavernous hangar that seemed too big for it. Much has changed since then. Mirroring the rapid development of the city itself, West Bund has grown from 25 galleries in 2014 to a fair that...

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Shanghai Art Exhibitions to See: The Lowdown Ocula Report Shanghai Art Exhibitions to See: The Lowdown 2 Nov 2018 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

There is no official Shanghai Art Week, but the term has nevertheless entered the lexicon of the city's contemporary art community. It's especially apt this year, with the firmly established West Bund Art Fair (8–11 November 2018) and Art021 (9–11 November 2018) taking place the same week that the 12th Shanghai Biennale opens at the Power Station...

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PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2018 Ocula Report PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2018 15 Oct 2018 : Georgina Adam for Ocula

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai held its fifth edition between 21 and 23 September 2018. As in previous years, the event was held in the Shanghai Exhibition Center—a neoclassical construction dating from 1955, built in the form of a central hall with two curved wings, topped with an ornate and unmissable 110-metre spire. The building is surprisingly...

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Lorraine Kiang Malingue Ocula Conversation Lorraine Kiang Malingue Co-founder, Edouard Malingue Gallery

Condo Shanghai (7 July–26 August 2018) is the first Shanghai edition of the Condo project, which was initiated in London in 2016 by gallerist Vanessa Carlos, of Carlos/Ishikawa. Since its inception, Condo has toured to cities like São Paulo (2018), Mexico City (2018), and New York (2017 and 2018). It connects local and international galleries by...

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Tobias Rehberger ‘If You Don’t Use Your Eyes To See  You Will Use Them To Cry’ RAM Shanghai Related Press Tobias Rehberger ‘If You Don’t Use Your Eyes To See You Will Use Them To Cry’ RAM Shanghai Ran Dian : 2 May 2019

Have a butchers. It's Cockney Rhyming slang: 'butcher's hook' = have a look. Hung on RAM's façade is a neon sign melding the Chinese and English words for butcher. Inside is the butchery, a tiled black and white jagged-stripy Delicatessen counter with a generous array of cold cuts and jellied offal (Blackbird's Rockbund Art Museum Butcher Shop,...

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SCRIPTS, TRACES, AND THE UNPREDICTABLE Related Press SCRIPTS, TRACES, AND THE UNPREDICTABLE Art Asia Pacific : 1 March 2019

Alone on an islet of sand, cut off by the incoming tide, a small girl looks out to sea, her back to the viewer. This photograph by Tang Nannan, Unknown Beach No. 40 (2017), evokes the Chinese idiom wàngyáng xīngtàn. Literally meaning 'to sigh as one watches the ocean,' the phrase suggests that all ambitions and achievements are brought down to...

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TAKASHI MURAKAMI IN WONDERLAND Related Press TAKASHI MURAKAMI IN WONDERLAND ArtAsiaPacific : 29 January 2019

Takashi Murakami in Wonderland was Murakami's first solo show in mainland China and Perrotin's second exhibition in its posh 1,200-square-meter Shanghai space. According to Perrotin's press release, it was also the artist's largest gallery show in Asia to date, featuring recent and new works specially created for the occasion.At the gallery's...

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How Louise Bourgeois Investigated the Power of Materials Related Press How Louise Bourgeois Investigated the Power of Materials Frieze : 26 November 2018

I have always liked that Louise Bourgeois was born on Christmas Day. Something about this feels exactly right. And, while the artist's birthday might seem a trivial detail, infrequently cited in scholarly discussions on her complex life, The Eternal Thread, her first large-scale museum exhibition in China, is nothing less than a gift – and a...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Timoribus at Shanghart, Singapore Related Press Melati Suryodarmo: Timoribus at Shanghart, Singapore ArtReview Asia : 4 July 2018

Melati Suryodarmo's greatest asset is her Javanese dance- and butoh-trained body, the limits of which she explores in durational performances. The latter range from full-sprint displays of power (as in her best-known work, Exegie - Butter Dance, 2000, in which she dances and skids on blocks of butter), to periods of deep meditative surrender (in...

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I LOVE YOU: MELATI SURYODARMO Related Press I LOVE YOU: MELATI SURYODARMO ArtAsiaPacific : 4 July 2018

For acclaimed Indonesian performance artist Melati Suryodarmo’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in China, hosted at ShanghArt Beijing, she offered a group of works that represent her two-pronged practice, which comprises photography and durational performance art—the latter being her key pursuit, and the main focus of the show.The exhibition...

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LIVING ROOM: LIN SHAN Related Press LIVING ROOM: LIN SHAN ArtAsiaPacific : 4 July 2018

ShanghART's gallery at M50 is an awkward shape, on a mezzanine with a high celling, accessed via concrete stairs—there is nothing remotely homely about it. Under subdued lighting, Lin Shan's Living Room represented less a place than an uneasy atmosphere.

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Zhang Enli. Colourful Tower, The Bridge 8, Shanghai, 2017 Related Video & Audio Zhang Enli. Colourful Tower, The Bridge 8, Shanghai, 2017 Hauser & Wirth : 15 January 2018

Zhang Enli talks about his three-dimensional painting Colourful Tower, at Bridge 8, Shanghai, in November 2017. Influenced traditional Chinese brush painting, Zhang’s unique approach to abstraction explores the deceptively poetic aspects of everyday contemporary life.

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Recent Events

Contemporary art exhibition, ART021 2018 at Ocula Editions, Auckland
8–11 Nov 2018 ART021 2018
Contemporary art exhibition, Westbund 2017 at Ocula Editions, Auckland
10–12 Nov 2017 Westbund 2017
Contemporary art exhibition, Art021 Shanghai 2017 at Ocula Editions, Auckland
9–12 Nov 2017 Art021 Shanghai 2017
Contemporary art exhibition, Art021 2016 at Ocula Editions, Auckland
10–13 Nov 2016 Art021 2016
Contemporary art exhibition, PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai at Ocula Editions, Auckland
9–11 Sep 2016 PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Art021 at Ocula Editions, Auckland
19–22 Nov 2015 Art021
Contemporary art exhibition, Art021 at Ocula Editions, Auckland
14–16 Nov 2014 Art021
Contemporary art exhibition, West Bund Art & Design    at Ocula Editions, Auckland
25–29 Sep 2014 West Bund Art & Design

About Shanghai

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.

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