If you love to view the world through brush strokes, sculpted clay and the canny eye of a spectacular photographer, Shanghai holds some true treasure troves for you. From galleries that features up-and-coming Chinese artists to exhibitions showcasing an international smattering of renowned creators, the city's art escapes are as varied as the buildings that house them. Here are a few to take notice of.
This is a surprising spot on Huaihai Lu for some relaxation in the midst of a very creative zone. Comprising of a large green park, where one can see families picnicking on weekends, art galleries, coffee shops, bar + restaurants, and lots of sculptures, exhibitions, Red Town is a must see! One can find themselves immersed in the art that this place has to offer for hours on end.
The park has some weirdly amazing free standing works of art such as a giant abacus-laptop, a larger-than-life horse, a brick-stone life size car model, a giant head of Mr. Einstein, a distinctive set of giant legs, and much more, for you to gaze at in amazement. The art galleries are quite huge in their spread, and invite you to view the latest exhibition. We were lucky to see a mesmerizing photography exhibit. If thirsty, you can pop into their quaint coffee shops or grab a beer at the one of the bars. You can also shop for souvenirs at the cute boutique stores.
As it's name suggests, this museum is housed in a renovated power station on the banks of the Huangpu River. Noticeable by its 541 foot chimney which doubles as a digital thermometer for the city, the Power Station of Art is China's first state-run contemporary art museum. Opened in 2012, the repurposed Nanshi Power Station is the current home of the Shanghai Biennale and has hosted notable exhibitions from local artists to international icons such as Andy Warhol. They have enough open space for kids to run around and even boast a decent cup of coffee in their ground-floor cafe. Come for the view, the building or the coffee and stay for the art.
You might also want to check out the iconic China Art Palace for another expo-generated art experience.
A Milan institution, 10 Corso Como has set up shop--literally--in Wheelock Square. This four-story 2,500 sqm showroom is pure eye candy from the moment you step through the door. The interiors themselves are the handiwork of graphic genius Kris Ruhs and the gallery (a feature in all of 10 Corso Como's locations) is as carefully curated as the finest exhibitions in the world thanks to the sharp eye and exceptional taste of mastermind Carla Sozzani. But don't forget, this is a boutique shop after all, so be sure to browse through the dresses, tailored menswear, home goods, books and other curios. And if you're tuckered out after all of that beauty, you can grab a shot of espresso and a flaky croissant in the pasticceria to refuel.
Tucked down a typical Shanghai lane, you'll find FQ Projects, a gallery dedicated to showcasing China's rising talent. With a focus on not only highlighting young and mid-career artists, the five-floor gallery also has a wider aim: to make art more accessible. Along with holding a number of events and participating in a variety of international art festivals, they've recently expanded their reach by opening FQ Art Room, a small cafe and showroom near Xintiandi where you can grab a glass of wine while gazing on a collection of bold, fresh prints--which, incidentally, are all available for purchase.
For more up-and-coming artists, head over to M50, a thriving community of talented creators who have reclaimed a number of old warehouses to showcase their work.
Steeped in cultural heritage, the building (once home to the Royal Asiatic Society) that houses the Rockbund Art Museum dates back to 1932 when it's East-meets-West Art Deco facade was designed by British architect George L. Wilson. More than just a carefully curated gallery of contemporary Chinese art, this museum aims to extend it's influence into the community by offering an impressive lineup of events, educational exhibits and interactive tours. Possibly the most engaging art space in town, if you want to gain a better insight into contemporary Chinese art, this is a great place to start. Be sure to check out their guided tours for the best way to experience the museum and finish off your trip with a nibble or sip at their cafe on the top floor.
For another fantastic art museum housed in a historical landmark, drop by the Shanghai Art Museum tucked into People's Park.
Hardly a nod at the extensive list of outstanding galleries, art halls and collections, these few listings are the tip of the iceberg: Shanghai holds some incredible works of art. If you'd like to add any of these incredible art escapes to your itinerary or for more art-related recommendations, contact us today and let us tailor a trip just for you or check out some of our best tours for other themed vacations. Whether it's art galleries or hiking, we can help you experience the country in a way that excites you.