Shanghai’s SH Contemporary announces new Chinese state partner and 2014 return

Shanghai’s SH Contemporary will take place in 2014, say organisers, following a period of uncertainty over the art fair’s future.

Organisers of the SH Contemporary fair, which was mysteriously “cancelled or postponed” in 2013, have announced that the Chinese event will now go ahead in September 2014 with a new name and a new official partner.

SH Contemporary art fair as it looked in 2012. From 2014 the fair will have a new name and a new Chinese state partner. Image courtesy BolognaFiere SH Contemporary.

SH Contemporary art fair in 2012. From 2014 the fair will have a new name and a new Chinese state partner. Image courtesy BolognaFiere and SH Contemporary.

SH Contemporary, mainland China’s first international art fair at its launch in 2007, will go ahead as planned in September 2014, according to an official press release from fair organisers BolognaFiere. The announcement of the fair’s return comes after confusion over the fate of the 2013 event earlier in the year: the event website claimed outright cancellation, but BolognaFiere asserted that the fair was merely postponed due to logistical hiccups.

Art fair of international standards?

Those hiccups may have been ironed out with the help of the fair’s newly announced partner, the China’s Centre of International Cultural Exchange, a state institution under the Ministry of Culture’s aegis. The fair will now go by the name of ‘BolognaFiere Shanghai International Contemporary Art Exhibition’ to mark this “new era” in the event’s history, as the press release has it. Organisers hope to move the fair in a “much more international-standard and industry-frontier oriented” direction.

The main hall of SH Contemporary art fair 2012. Image courtesy Creative Commons

The main hall of SH Contemporary art fair 2012. Image courtesy Creative Commons.

The fate of the 2013 fair led some media commentators to speculate that SH Contemporary had fallen foul of the financial and legal wrangles which had shadowed the event in previous years. However, in BolognaFiere’s latest press release Duccio Campagnoli, President of BolognaFiere Group, and Oriana Ouyang, General Manager of BolognaFiere China (BFC), subsidiary of BolognaFiere Group, tackled speculation head-on.

We haven’t [sic] continued ‘SH Contemporary’ this year because we were exploring new directions. Since entering China, ‘SH Contemporary’ has established a leading position among those art fairs in Asia, and [has been] awarded an international reputation with its great dynamism. For various reasons, we couldn’t go on with the former partner. As for the new partner, we are very pleased to ally with such an authoritative and powerful organisation to re-launch SH Contemporary together.

Details of the BolognaFiere SH Contemporary, as the fair will now be known, have yet to be released.

 Cassandra Naji

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Related Topics: art fairsart events in Shanghaiart market watchbusiness of art

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