CONTEMPORARY ART INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
Of course, people travel for a variety of reasons, both for work and for pleasure, but regardless of what, where and why they travel, they are likely to come across art in every destination, from the canvases that greet them in airport arrival lounges to public sculptures in parks.
Below we take a look at the top travel tips for those that find themselves in Beijing, China, compiled by Jérôme Sans, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, for publication in ARTINFO, and then offer up some of our own holiday helpers for the less explored but endlessly fascinating Asian art cities of Abu Dhabi, New Delhi and Singapore.
Beijing: Top travel tips
Jérôme Sans moved to Beijing in 2008 when he took up the position of Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. While his day job requires him to explore and represent the contemporary art scene in China, outside of work he spends his time seeking out the sights, tastes and sounds of his adopted home.
As is to be expected, one of the first items on Sans’ list is a visit to one of the most controversial galleries this side of the Atlantic, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. It houses 1500 works by contemporary artists from China and beyond, including film and music installations.
Beijing: Eat, drink, stay
According to Sans, the Commune by the Great Wall is a must-see and a must-stay. Once checked in, head to Lord of Salt, an authentic Sichuan-style restaurant located in the Chaoyang District or take a bite of the famous Peking Duck at Da Dong Roast Duck in the Dongchen District. Complete the evening with a nightcap at the best wine bar in town, Cambulac, designed by Ma Yansong.
Art Radar‘s art holiday helpers
We have asked around the Art Radar team and put together a few holiday helpers for those readers travelling to Abu Dhabi, New Delhi and Singapore in 2011.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi, once a barren desert, is today the epitome of glitz and glamour: no other city can boast about revamps of such magnitude. The Louvre and the Guggenheim have pitched their tents in town and hope to stand alongside the rich cultural heritage of the region, but even without these international art institutions to explore, there is still much to keep you occupied, art and otherwise.
See: Abu Dhabi Art, to be held early in November 2011, will be home to 28 international and local art galleries for four days.
Eat: Local fare in the UAE is strongly influenced by both Persian and Lebanese food. Sample it at the Diwan L’Auberge or Anar Restaurant, both located in the Emirates Palace.
Stay: Unpack your bags at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort for your very own Lawrence of Arabia moment in one of the largest untouched expanses of desert in the world.
New Delhi, India
New Delhi is a bustling cultural centre steeped in history. The best way to experience the city is simply to meander its storied streets, stopping in at the galleries and eateries that take your fancy along the way. Be sure, however, to leave the beaten track for the following places and spaces.
See: Gallery Espace, one of Delhi’s leading galleries, often features work by the younger generation of contemporary artists in India.
See: For those interested in Indian antiquities, the National Museum, New Delhi, one of the largest museums in the country, is a treat for the eyes and the brain.
Famed for its retail stretches, Singapore also has a lot to offer in the way of art and food.
See: Head to the Ritz Carlton for an incredible collection of art, colourful Warhols and monochromatic Moores included, that was curated to fill the public spaces of this top hotel.
See: Art Plural Gallery is a recently inaugurated space that represents artists from all over Asia; the gallery is currently showcasing the work of fourteen artists from China, India and Korea. The show, called “Regards Croisés: a selection of Asian Contemporary Art”, runs until 10 December 2011.
Eat: Dine at White Rabbit, a chic European-style dining establishment that is located off the Dempsey area and housed in a refurbished British army barracks that was built in the 1950s. Even the restaurant’s website is beautifully crafted.
What about your city?
We are certain that you can add to this list. Tell us and your fellow readers what the most sublime art spaces, eateries and places to stay are in your city by leaving a comment below.
- Can’t buy North Korean art outside DPRK? Mansudae branch in Beijing – Leap Magazine – May 2011 – Mansudae Art Studio Museum is critiqued in an article by China-based Leap
- Modern Mumbai art spaces show up New Delhi “house conversions” – CNNGo – April 2011 – find out why Mumbai spaces are hipper, more modern and more unique
- Paradox opens in Singapore with diverse Indian contemporary artworks – picture feast – April 2011 – seven artists from India show a diverse range of works
- Ou Ning on Get it Louder – new voice in China’s visual art scene – December 2010 – an in-depth discussion with Ning, the brainchild and chief curator of the event
- Gallerist Salwa Zeidan explains mission of inaugural Abu Dhabi Sculpture Symposium – interview – March 2010 – about the mission of ADISS, government sponsorship of the arts and Zeidan’s favourite Emirati sculptor
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