With two major fairs happening concurrently in Shanghai, drawing major galleries from across the globe, Shanghai continues to build its reputation as a hub for the visual arts in East Asia.
Art Radar rounds up Art021 and West Bund Art and Design, in their fifth and fourth edition respectively.
With heavy hitters such as Hauser & Wirth, Perrotin, ShangART and TKG+ included in their line up, this year’s West Bund Art and Design turned the main river stretch of Shanghai into a buzzing destination for art lovers. 12 new galleries were added to the roster this year, and artists showcased at the fair included Josef Albers (David Zwirner), Matt Mullican (Mai 36 Galerie), Tai Xiangzhou (Ink Studio) as well as Huang Yuanqing (Pearl Lam Galleries). Slightly further inland, Art021 had also began a few days earlier. Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, Hive Centre for Contemporary Art, boasted booths in both fairs. With 102 galleries housed in the fair, Art021 brought an international mix of galleries and artists to the capital city.
Shanghai has now gained a reputation for being one of the largest visual arts hubs in Asia, with vibrant sales figures to match. The draw of the burgeoning Shanghai art district, centred around the West Bund, with its state-of-the-art museums, such as Long Museum, Power Station of Art and Shanghai Natural History Museum, has also gone a long way in establishing Shanghai as a venue to visit. The fairs certainly benefit from the choice location; strong sales figures were reported across both fairs. Gallerists such as Tina Keng of Tina Keng Gallery noted that their fair participation in Art021 was a success in terms of deals and opportunities for networking. International gallerists such as Hauser & Wirth also reported selling work by Paul McCarthy, with David Zwirner reportedly placing works by Brazilian painter Lucas Arruda, Lisa Yuskavage and Raymond Pettibon.
With the fairs being anchor events for what is called Shanghai art week, the two fairs place Shanghai’s art scene firmly on the radar. Art021 touts itself as a fair connecting “local resources with a global perspective”, with an emphasis on contemporary art from the 21st century. The fair boasts three sections: Main Galleries, Approach and Beyond Public Projects. The main gallery section takes centre stage, with 82 galleries being represented. Approach features solo presentations with a curatorial approach, with 20 galleries in its line up. Beyond features public installations and sculptures in and around fair grounds.
Presentations at Art021 this year included Tina Keng Gallery, which focused on modern and contemporary Chinese artists. Pieces at their booth included an oil on canvas piece by seminal painter Zao Wou-Ki, alongside contemporary works by Su Xiaobai and Peng Wei.
Kukje Gallery unveiled sculptures by Swiss-born, New York-based artist Ugo Rondinone. At Taka Ishii Gallery, a mixed bag of artists were on show, including Nobuyoshi Araki, Tomoo Gokita and Sterling Ruby. Hive Centre for Contemporary Art showcased an impressive line up of contemporary Chinese artists, including Gong Chenyu, Guan Yu, Kong Qian, Xu Lei, Yu Linhan and others.
Whilst West Bund Art and Design features a slimmer spread of 70 international galleries, the lineup was no less impressive participation. The fair prides itself with taking a collaborative approach to museums and art institutions, including The Long Museum and the Yuz Museum.
Booths included prominent Shanghai galleries, such as homegrown gallery ShanghART, featuring Chinese American artist David Diao, whose painting is known for its experiments in Colour Field, abstraction and associations with Pop Art.
Other presentations from the fair included international Pearl Lam Galleries, which focused on Chinese artists Huang Yuanqing, Qin Yufen and Qiu Deshu, amongst others. Ink Studio brought an equally stunning range of ink and sculpture works by Li Jin, Yang Jiechang, Zheng Chongbin, Tai Xiangzhou and Huang Zhiyang.
Even more interesting is the Xian Chang section, curated in partnership with ArtReview Asia. Loosely translated into “on the scene”, Xian Chang features solo projects by artists. Meant to explore how artworks generate different contexts, and the relationship between art and places, Xian Chang features an impressive line up of artists, with Damien Hirst, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Olafur Eliasson and Wang Wei amongst those included. The works can be found on the plaza in front of West Bund Art Centre, or at Camp 3399, a public park opposite the Long Art Museum, as well as the riverside on Longteng Road.
Happening concurently with both fairs were other arts and cultural events through the West Bund. The Rockbund Art Museum showcased works by four emerging artists for this year’s edition of the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award, while K11 held an exhibition of Chinese-American artist Adrian Wong, and Long Museum held a show of British contemporary sculpture master Antony Gormley’s works.
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