Shanghai’s contemporary art is experiencing an exciting time of growth, experimentation and self-realization: ranging from the hip, graffiti-covered district of Moganshan Road to world-class museums and small art spaces. While Shanghai trails behind the more avant-garde Beijing, galleries are popping up everywhere and the works shown are of an increasingly high, international standard.
This spring K11 Art Foundation in Shanghai held an exhibition including artworks by more than 50 Chinese contemporary artists who were assembled into a group called “WE”. Featuring a wide range of art forms such as painting, sculpture, installation, performance art and theatre performance, the exhibition aimed to express the diverse individualistic thoughts of Chinese artists, exploring more personal and more inclusive art.
Chinese modern art has been on the rise during the last decade. Art collectors are ready to invest big money in these works. There is a fantastic new generation of artists in China whose creativity and originality demands to be seen. Jean Marc Decrop, a long-time collector of Chinese contemporary art, admitted: “While the first generation of Chinese artists took some time to digest Western influences, the game is completely different now”. Chinese artists mix Western techniques with Chinese subjects, traditions and skill. Furthermore, Chinese artists have developed new and specific Chinese modern art movements.
Adrian Cheng, the founder of K11 Art Gallery, an entrepreneur and art collector, said: “I think the new contemporary Chinese art is reinventing Chinese cultural identity and building up a new Chinese culture.”