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The Weekend in Art: There's Good News and Bad News... R.I.P. BANK

By Jun 17, 2016 Arts


Sad news on the Shanghai gallery front this week: BANK is being booted out of its lovely Xianggang Lu spot. It’s nothing to do with content or any of the other curveballs that come with pioneering contemporary art in the city; rather, local government is making moves to vacate all state-owned property from outside renters, apparently as part of a wider anti-corruption crusade.

In a statement released by the gallery, the BANK team said:

For two and half years we were frequently threatened with eviction but like all government policies in China we figured they’d change with the wind. The wind was good to us up till now. Sadly we have been ordered to leave. We have less than a week to vacate and are too panicked to be heartbroken… but we’re still heartbroken.

Your weekend in Shanghai galleries after the jump...


Marina Abramovic in front of BANK, 2015

Heartbroken -- so are we, guys, so are we. When BANK opened its lovely turn-of-the-century doors back in July 2013 in what was once home to the Shanghai Chinese Banking Association, it was something fresh, youthful, and bold. Alongside spots like Rockbound Art Museum, nearby Art+ Shanghai, Around Space, and Shanghai Gallery of Art (BANK founder Mathieu Borysevicz’s alma mater, no less), it was the heart of an energetic art corridor picking up where the likes of M50 left off.

Chen Tianzhuo, Picnic Paradi$e Bitch installation view, Photo: BANK 2014

The gallery fast carved a reputation for showcasing emerging talents and acting as a kind of incubator for awesomeness. From the cutting edge -- Chen Tianzhou, Geng Yini, and Zheng Haozhong, for example -- to the established -- Hito Steyerl, Paul McCarthy, and Xu Bing -- few have done so much in such a short period of time. Ever a buoyant bunch, BANK’s bound to return. Watch this space for more on that. In the meantime, here’s what they had to say:

"BANK will continue writing its story after moving to its new space. We'd like to offer a very sincere and heartfelt THANKS to all the artists, curators, collectors, employees, interns, visitors, media, friends, family, ayi’s and uncles that have made our run a great success! We will not disappoint you in our new digs and ask for your continued support and LOVE!"

BANK’s hiatus aside, there’s still lots of great stuff to see around town this weekend.

If ink’s your thing, head over to Around Space Saturday afternoon from 4pm for the grand opening of group show, The Promise of the Past.

The Promise of the Past @ Around Space

The exhibition sees seven contemporary artists reinterpret traditional Chinese ink painting across a bunch of media -- much like Chen Shaoxiong’s current solo at Power Station of Art, in fact. Called Prepared, that one opened last week and comes highly recommended. It’s totally free and peppered with genuinely funny artworks: the downright bonkers Xijing Olympics, complete with sleeping competitions, supermarket fish releases, and non-pedaling cycling will make you smile.

There’s more goodness at Zhou Xiaohu’s Chimera, which also opened last week at Minsheng Art Museum. That sees the artist working closely with Taishun Puppet Theater on a series of interpretations of the 4th century BCE Zhuangzi allegories. To that end, you’ve got life-sized puppets, some of them shuffling around, some of them static, plus shadow play, weird animations, and more.

Zhou Xiaohu at Minsheng Art Museum

For all of that and more, check our Shanghai Art Calendar.



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