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Shanghai art fairs join forces for art week

But city's first international fair, SH Contemporary, isn’t back this year

Three Shanghai contemporary art fairs are combining forces with local museums and galleries to host the inaugural Shanghai Art Week this month.

The World Photography Organisation’s Photo Shanghai (10-13 September), the West Bund Art; Design Fair (8-13 September) and the local gallery showcase at Art in the City (11-14 September), all in their second editions, have co-ordinated their schedules and arranged a series of tours and forums.

Meanwhile, absent from the busy fair season in the city this September is SH Contemporary, run by the Italian organiser BolognaFiere (BF). A spokesman for BF said that organising art market exhibitions in China was “not easy” compared with other industries, but that the team was optimistic that the fair would return in 2016. He added that the Italian embassy was in discussion with the Chinese government to find a solution.

SH Contemporary was the city’s first international art fair when it opened in 2007. The 2013 edition was cancelled after a split with its original Chinese partner, but the fair returned in 2014. But a failure to secure proper permits caused customs delays and empty booths, and meant that some international dealers were unable to make sales.

Separately, Guido Mologni, the art director of the 2014 edition of SH Contemporary, has left the organisation. He said: “I have started a lawsuit against BolognaFiere. Due to confidentiality reasons, I need to wait until the judge’s sentence before releasing further information.”

BF did not want to comment on Mologni’s legal proceedings.