From 8 to 12 November, the art world was enjoying the beauty of the well-named “Paris of the East”, also known as the “Hollywood of the East”, in other words Shanghai, today a symbol of artistic and economic might.
In the control of David Chau (a thirty-something financial expert), the fifth edition of the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair (called Art021) was the setting for the world’s leading lights of contemporary art: it hosted 102 galleries, including the famous Perrotin and Gagosian galleries. Special mention should be made of the presentation. The main section dedicated its salon to the art of the 20th century, while the “Beyond” programme grouped a series of art projects devoted to public spaces. Co-founder of the Lehmann Maupin galleries in New York and Hong Kong, Rachel Lehmann described Art021 as “a young fair that attracts new collectors, particularly from China and Korea”.
The event benefits from a booming city to which collectors flock, especially to the new West Bund district that will host the West Bund Art & Design fair from 10 to 12 November, at which 70 galleries will be present in the main salon. In the surrounding area, there is an abundance of private museums opened by collectors, for example, the Yuz Museum opened by Budi Tek, Indonesia’s chicken king, and the Long Museum created by Liu Yiqian, a former taxi driver made good, which, with 33,000 m2 of space, is the largest museum in China. One of the first private museums was opened by Dai Zhikang, the patron of the Zendai Group; this famous collector bought Modigliani’s Nu couché at Christie’s New York in 2015 for the record sum of $170.4 million.
Another unmissable address opened in a former factory that was transformed into the Pavilion of the Future for Shanghai’s World’s Fair of 2010. Today it is the Power Station of Art and will host the Shanghai Biennial in September 2018.
One place, the Rockbund Art Museum, is at variance with the others on account of its iconoclastic status (like its guest artist this summer, Philippe Parreno), its size (2500 m2 on six floors), and its architecture (a 1930s Art Deco building). This autumn the Rockbund is presenting the works by the four artists selected for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Prize.
In addition to these addresses, the Moganshan Road district is another bustling area where many galleries are located.
In this dynamic setting, the Art021 fair is right at home, attempting to match the huge figures of the art market to the drive of the Young Turks.