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Free Culture: What to See on International Museum Day

May 15, 2019 | 09:25 Wed
The theme of this year's International Museum Day (May 18) is "Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition". What does it mean? Well, for the little people, it means free or half-priced exhibitions at 126 museums in Shanghai on both May 18 and 19. Plus over two hundred special activities. Click through for the highlights!


The 10-year-old Shanghai Mingsheng Art Museum, which moved from the Red Town to the Expo Center then back to Jing'an, finally returns after a few month hiatus. It brings Japanese sculptor and installation artist Tatsuo Miyajima's largest exhibition to date to its new location in Xinyefang (新业坊), a newly converted creative zone designed by Benjamin T. Wood (the architect behind Xintiandi). "Being Coming”, or "Tathāgata", will survey Miyajima's 30 year career and present two artworks specially produced for this show: a giant LED installation "Time Waterfall" and performance art "Counter Skin Face".


Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life), Tatsuo Miyajima

You can also catch a few new exhibitions at the West Bund (also visit Tank Shanghai if you haven't already): Long Museum's Xue Song: Phoenix Art from the Ashes will showcase large-scale artworks from the Shanghai-based artist, known for his mixed-media collages that capture the meaning of "rebirth" in Chinese culture; ShanghART Gallery will present Li Shan's artistic expressions of the genome; and the grey brick-covered Pond Society is going to host the '85 New Wave' painter Song Ling's new solo show "Catch the Muddle". On May 19, Edouard Malingue Gallery will also kick off their new group exhibition, featuring three reputed mid-career artists from China.

Four seasons - spring summer autumn winter, Xue Song

Meanwhile, the Erwin Olaf solo show at Shanghai Center of Photography will be free on May 18, with a special guided tour by art director Karen Smith (2-2.30pm, RSVP required on their WeChat: ScoP_sh).

Last but not least, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Shanghai Natural History Museum, Shanghai Film Museum, and the Jewish Refugee Museum will charge half price for entry on both May 18 and 19. For more International Museum Day options, we have guides to the big ones that opened in the past two months here and here, as well as an art calendar for upcoming events. Alas, the paradox of choice!


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