Shanghai has just played host to an international array of art enthusiasts with two art fairs West Bund Art & Design and ART021, as well as the the return of the Shanghai Biennale. Reaching its 11th programme the Biennale comprises a five-month-long exhibition and programme of performances and lectures.
With a huge level of interest and investment across the city and the transformation of the West Bund with the opening of two landmark contemporary-art museums, The Long Museum and the Yuz Museum the city is very committed to becoming China’s cultural capital. Next year, two new museums will open in the district.
It is certainly experiencing a cultural transformation, but at what cost? According to the Economist (24 November) ‘it risks threatening the kind of complex, nuanced and sustainable engagement that a lively arts sector needs’. What is really needed the article suggests is for ‘affordable spaces for young artists and help promote a climate in which artists and art professionals can thrive’. This really could then help it become a truly global culture capital.