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Exploring Shanghai’s Best Contemporary Art Spaces

In recent years as China has opened its economy to the world, the country’s many talented artists have also risen to the forefront of the Art World. Chinese contemporary artists like Ai Weiwei, Zhang Xiaogang, Zheng Fanzhi, Yue Minjun, Fang Lijun and others are well-known names in the modern day Contemporary Arts arena. Their works also feature in various museum as well as private collections around the globe. It's hardly surprising then that major Chinese cities like Shanghai and Beijing have vibrant art hubs, which play host to numerous art galleries and museums.

Mongshan Road near Suzhou Creek is the arts central in Shanghai. The area hosts some of the best contemporary art galleries and studios of top Chinese artists, which are, in fact, accessible to the public. However, such has been the explosive growth of art in Shanghai that the city's galleries and art spaces have now extended beyond the limits of Mongshan Road. Art precincts now dot various neighborhoods of the city including the Bund and the French Concession.

ShanghArt Gallery
ShanghArt Gallery is Shanghai’s oldest art space. The gallery was founded in the corridor of the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel in 1996. It relocated to the cultural hub of M50 on Mongshan Road in 2004. ShanghArt gallery specializes in showcasing the works of up and coming artists so if you want to discover the next big name on the Chinese contemporary art scene, a visit to ShanghArt Gallery is a must. The gallery occupies two spots at 50 Mongshan Road or M50, the Main Space and H-Space. The latter spot is a platform for large-scale works. Aside from these spots, the gallery also has a warehouse space in the Taopu area, an emerging art hub situated in the northwest of Shanghai.

The Power Station of Art
This state-run contemporary art museum dates back to 2012 and occupies a former power station on the banks of the Huangpu River. The Power Station of Art featured as the home of the Pavilion of the Future during the Expo of 2010. The museum now serves as the home of the Shanghai Biennial and also hosts several international touring exhibits.

The Rockbund Art Museum
The Rockbund Art Museum is housed in a landmark building on the northern end of the Bund Boulevard. The stunning art deco home of the museum once housed the Royal Asiatic Society and then the Shanghai Museum before its present avatar. This five-story tall building features a central atrium that allows much light into the premises. The museum has hosted exhibits of spectacular artworks of renowned Chinese artists such as Zheng Fanzi and Cai Guo Ciang. In addition to exhibitions, the RAM also functions as a cultural hub for it has a regular roster of art events, which take the form of workshops, seminars and performances and screenings.

Museum of Contemporary Art
Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art occupies a space near the city’s iconic green lung People’s Park in the Huangpu district. The museum was established in 2005 by the Samuel Kung Foundation, and today is vibrant arts nerve center in Shanghai city. The museum hosts a wide range of diverse exhibits as it displays works of both established and emerging artists as well as retrospectives of famed international artists, luxury brands, and personalities. The museum seeks to promote art by way of hosting its own biennale, MoCa Envisage and holding art classes for children.

Shanghai Gallery of Art
The Shanghai Gallery of Art is an eclectic gallery located within the Bund Complex. The gallery was launched in 2004 and provides a platform for exhibiting works of renowned local and international artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, British sculptor Anish Kapoor, Richard Wilson amongst others.

The Mingsheng Art Museum
Located within Shanghai’s Red Town Arts Precinct, the Minsheng Art Museum is housed in an old steel factory. This prominent contemporary art museum promotes and showcases the works of local Shanghai artists as well as offering displays of innovative and cutting-edge works.

The Long Museum (West Bund)
Opened in October 2014The Long Museum is housed in a stunning waterfront building in the burgeoning West Bund arts district. The Chinese billionaire couple, Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei who develop property and collect art are the promoters of the Long Museum (West Bund. The couple had established the first Long Museum in Pudong in 2012. For their showpiece venture in the West Bund complex, the couple commissioned Liu Yichun of Atelier Deshaus to create an awe-inspiring space. The museum showcases the couple’s huge private collection of Chinese contemporary art along with ancient masterpieces and rotating exhibitions.

Yuz Museum
Another newcomer on Shanghai’s art arena is the Yuz Museum. This gallery is also located in the West Bund cultural corridor and opened to the public in May 2014. The wealthy Indonesian-Chinese businessman Budi Tek is the brain behind this venture, which is housed in a disused military aircraft hangar. The museum’s exhibits feature works of established, emerging and avant-garde artists and take the form of paintings, sculptures, and large-scale multi-media art installations.

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