Shanghai is flourishing with contemporary art galleries and museums, a major part of its evolving culture and urban environment. Here are Culture Trip’s favourite places in Shanghai that entertain, illuminate and provoke through the power of art.
Although it’s not one of Shanghai’s best-known venues, the Ming Contemporary Art Museum (better known as McaM) ignites the imagination with its interactive activities rooted in visual performance – whether that means sound, sculpture, experimental theatre, dance or poetry. Push your brain’s boundaries at this private museum, which has been transformed from its days as the Shanghai Paper Machine Factory into a two-level tour de force. People are welcome to interact with and add to the exhibitions, contributing to the creative process themselves. Tip: Look out for academic talks and lectures by renowned artists and authors.
To fully immerse yourself in Shanghai’s community of contemporary artists, head to the M50 art complex (named for its address at 50 Moganshan Road) near the banks of Suzhou Creek. A warren of studios, galleries, cafés and boutiques have emerged in the Chunming Slub Mill’s defunct warehouses, where textiles were once the industry of the day. That gritty edge remains, with graffiti adding colour to the battered buildings. Watch artists paint or weave bamboo into modern light fixtures, ponder the purpose of confounding art installations and buy handmade Shanghai crafts (think leather bags and ceramic jewellery) to bring home. Tip: Island6 Art Collective is a must-see venue with amazing LED art.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Marian Shek.