Two huge state-run museums open in Shanghai
Expo 2010 buildings become China Art Palace and Power Station of Art
By Lisa Movius. Museums, Issue 239, October 2012
Published online: 01 October 2012
Two vast public museums in Shanghai on the site of the 2010 World Expo were due to open as we went to press. On 1 October, the city is marking China’s National Holiday by unveiling the China Art Palace in the mammoth red building that was formerly the China Pavilion in the Expo. On the opposite bank of the Huangpu River, the Power Station of Art was due to open in a converted factory, which during the Expo was the Urban Best Practices Area.
The China Art Palace is one of China’s largest and most ambitious art museums. It has 64,000 sq. m of exhibition space divided into 27 halls. The curators plan to collect and exhibit classic works that show the origins and development of Chinese modern art, acquired from the collections of government-owned art companies and museums.
Its opening exhibition has five parts, which do not yet have official English translations. The 600 pieces in “Shanghai Brightness” trace the origins of China’s modern art. “Congratulations from the World” features 100 pieces from seven countries. “Splendid China” features 250 works of 21st-century Chinese art, while “Historical Shanghai Contexts” includes 64 pieces.
The “Masters’ Hall” features 460 works from artists including Lin Fengmian, Guan Liang and Wu Guanzhong. The multimedia recreation of the classic scroll “Ascending the River at Qingming Festival” that was the China Pavilion’s star attraction during the Expo will be on permanent display. “Miller, Courbet and Naturalism in France”, featuring loans from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, is due to open in November.
The Power Station of Art is the first state-owned museum on the mainland dedicated to contemporary art. The 41,200 sq. m building includes more than 9,000 sq. m of exhibition space, according to a press release. It will host the 2012 Shanghai Biennale (2 October 2012-31 March 2013). After the biennial an Andy Warhol retrospective is planned.
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