Hey arty people. New zine launch, if you're touch-starved for physical media. PLUSMINUS — a small ad/design company slash creative collective — has launched its own publishing label called UNION PRESS. The first edition, titled ALL MY IDOLS, is launching this weekend. Limited run of 600 copies, 80 pages collecting the works of 30 Shanghai-based artists, photographers, designers, cartoonist and general creative types. "Stuff that we like from the people that we rate," says editor-in-chief Maurice.
The plan is to release these annually (or biannually, if they can manage it), on top of their other projects, like a graphic novel based on Chinese folklore planned for later this year, and their ongoing Cosmonaut series. There's a launch event for Vol I on Saturday, August 1, if you want to check out the work. We've got some of it after the jump.
Fashion house Dior is opening an exhibition at Long Museum West Bund on July 28. It's the "Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams," same as the one in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris back in 2017-2018, and it's the buzziest thing at West Bund since COVID-19. The construction outside of Long has been going on for at least two months. The exhibition will display 275 pieces of haute couture and some of the designer’s original sketches, as well as an art installation from eight Chinese contemporary artists intended to line up with the narrative of the brand’s 70-year history. Even as big luxury brand exhibitions go (there was a Tiffany exhibition last year), this one's highly anticipated. The exhibition will be on until October 4, and is probably going to be rammed. You'll want to book in advance through the exhibition’s WeChat mini program "克里斯汀迪奥 梦之设计师" (yes it’s that long) and prepare to show your suishenma at the entrance.
The 18th Shanghai International Literary Festival hosted by M on the Bund has been cancelled due to the epidemic. The annual cultural event that brings in local and international authors is held along the Bund at Glam, which is opening again this Thursday. Originally scheduled for early March, the festival may come back with a mini lineup happening in the fall according to an announcement.
Art fans! Good news. At least three museums are currently open. With amended hours, health-related restrictions in place, and reservation required prior to purchase. Power Station of Art, which is state-owned, requires you to make a reservation by finding them on WeChat under 上海当代艺术博物馆 (shanghai dangdai yishu bowuguan). Powerlong Museum, which hosted an art-viewing livestream during the break, is also open to people who reserve (scan the QR code at the bottom of this very whimsical article). Long Museum (West Bund), meanwhile, reopened yesterday with adjusted opening hours (last entry 3.30). You also need to reserve for that by long-pressing the QR half-way down this article. They've got exhibitions on Altered Carbon 2020 and paintings from Rui Xue. Most other museums we tried to get in touch with are still up in the air. teamLab Borderless and Tank Shanghai, for example, remain closed for the time being. Update: As Maio points out in the comments, teamLab has since announced they will be opening on March 27. Hooray!
It’s been rainy and cold. The Chinese New Year mass exodus has already begun. So what better way to spend January in Shanghai than to watch a movie. The Farewell is an indie comedy-drama film about a Chinese-American family returning to Changchun to visit their terminally ill matriarch for the last time. Known in China as 别告诉她 ("Don't Tell Her"), the movie opened in cinemas on January 10. It goes out of theaters this week. You should go see it!
Art news! The Rockbund Art Museum, which is in its 10th year, closed earlier this week for what sounds like a massive renovation project. Expansions, upgrades, improvements, redesigns, the whole deal. We're talking Rockbund Art Museum v2.020 by time it reopens in September, if everything goes according to plan. Bali-based German architect Alexis Dornier, who designed this impressive beast and also one of the % Arabica shops in Shenzhen, is leading the redesign, and Swiss performance artist, painter and sculptor John Armleder is slated for the first exhibition when it reopens.
Here is a special treat for you art aficionados! A joint art exhibition of Salvador Dalí and his contemporary successor Sir Daniel Winn is taking place at the Shanghai Art Museum (not to be confused with the Museum of the Contemporary Art Shanghai or Former Shanghai Art Museum relocated and rebranded as China Art Museum. The art world is confusing.) Entry costs 120rmb, but the price includes free access to the museum's permanent, private, and precious collection of jadeites.
What can you make out of little plastic blocks? Beautiful things. Extraordinary things. Things beyond your wildest imagination. The Art of the Brick exhibition opened in Tank Shanghai No.5 last week, an exhibition entirely composed of Lego bricks. Created by the New-York-based artist Nathan Sawaya, this show has toured internationally, with stops in New York, Paris, Melbourne and Singapore, drawing five million visitors. You don’t have to be a die-hard Lego enthusiast to appreciate these pieces of art made out of the teeny tiny plastic things.
Here's something for the denizens of Lujiazui's steel forest. The annual Green Bank Art Festival starts today at the North Riverbank Corridor of Modern Art Museum, ending December 15. This year's festival theme Is "Lu Garden," inspired by the old garden residence of Lu Shen (陆深), an important Ming Dynasty scholar and, interesting fact, the man who gave Lujiazui its name.
20+ international artists are displaying artwork playing with natural elements and turning the 1km Riverbank Corridor into a curious city garden open to the public, free of charge. There's also an outdoor marketplace this weekend (December 6-8) from 11am-8pm. Next weekend (December 14-15) sees performances from Shanghai-based multimedia artists like *LLND, Yu Su from EATING MUSIC and Ban Lei (班磊) in the afternoon. The official schedule is a little hard to follow but there's a ton of stuff going on in case you need a break from the Christmas markets.
This one is for the serious art enthusiast. From November 25 to December 1, the West Bund Art Center hosts the 2019 Art and Design Education: FutureLab, a seven-day expo with an eclectic mix of art researchers, theorists and instructors from 30 of the first-rate art schools and universities from China and beyond. All are big names in the field: Royal College of Art (London), China Academy of Art, Berlin University of Art, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and more. The expo will show pieces by students and teachers from 17 institutions, plus host 10 educational forums and nearly 70 on-site workshops focusing on current art theory, research methods and practices. These art masterclasses don’t come cheap: registration fees range from 180rmb to 700rmb. Still, just visiting is cheap, with tickets 40rmb and under depending on when you visit. Art!
This is an art show worth highlighting. Fiu Gallery is running a show now that they say is a loose metaphor for the autistic children it benefits. Since November 9, the gallery has been showing test-prints from 30+ artists. Originally meant as prototypes or stepping stones in the process of creating the final artworks, the artists have recovered these prints and added to them, reimagining them to create something beautiful. Kind of what we all hope for in this ongoing human project, no? To start out as a flawed test-print and end up something new and wonderful?
Where there's art, there's life. And life is back at the section of Moganshan Lu where, historically, street artists have been covering (legally and freely) a brick wall with layers of murals. They had to stop about a year ago when the wall was torn down for the construction of Heatherwick Studio's 1000 Trees building. But now it's back!
Sometimes, art gives you goosebumps. That's the case with Li Qing's solo exhibition, Rear Windows, at Prada Rong Zhai, which was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's film, Rear Window. With a subject matter that lies somewhere between fiction and reality, the show gives you that eerie feeling of being observed while observing.
It's getting harder to tell these days. Pale concrete boxes with minimal furniture and industrial décor, typically on the street or inside residential complexes, featuring something thought-provoking, like a giant plushy bear or a rack of fake meat. An espresso machine lurks on the back counter, probably also made of concrete. 100% certainty that the menu will have a Flat White, but it's a coin-toss if single origins make an appearance. Two such ambiguous spots have gotten hot and trendy recently. Camus, which opened on October 1 and manages to throw a guesthouse into the equation, and Picnic Gallery, which also opened over the National Holidays. Have a dose of art with your morning joe.
Thank the Jiushi International Art Center. They are now showing a solo exhibition by Qi Baishi, an ink-and-brush artist who died in 1957 but has been breaking art auction records in recent years, with one piece going for 100 million usd in 2017. He is a beloved Chinese painter. If you’ve ever seen an ink painting of shrimp, frogs, or crabs — spare and elegant — it’s probably by Qi, or a follower of his style. Jiushi has gathered a number of his paintings that have toured abroad but never been seen in China for this show. You should go!
Godsend for anime and manga lovers; Polar Bear Gallery in M50 is hosting its annual Japanese animation and Studio Ghibli manuscript exhibition, gathering around 350 hand-drawn manuscripts from over 20 classic Japanese anime series from the 1970s and 80s: Doraemon, Sailor Moon, Slam Dunk, Pokémon, Crayon Shin-chan, and beloved Studio Ghibli films such as Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Nausicaä of The Valley of the Wind. We went to check it out. In summary? A lot of animation cels!
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