A cultural guide to shanghai west bund

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Once a neglected former industrial area, Shanghai West Bund is now a vibrant arts and culture hub that has evolved into the city’s most dynamic, creative destination. Perched on the Xuhui waterfront, overlooking the Huangpu River, the collection of galleries, show spaces and restaurants has revolutionised this riverside corner of Shanghai. Join us for a cultural exploration along the West Bund.

West Bund Art Center

A vast, converted aircraft hangar, fronted by gleaming glass windows, West Bund Art Center is a cavernous space, home to galleries, event halls and meeting rooms. It’s here you’ll find the annual West Bund Art & Design fair, a prestigious expo showcasing works from 90 leading galleries from across Asia, Europe and USA. The West Bund Art Center also plays host to fashion events and thought-provoking lectures.

Shanghai Center of Photography

Founded by Pulitzer-prize winning photographer, Liu Heung Shing, Shanghai Center of Photography is a temple to the captured image. Inside the sleek, white minimalist building you’ll find a maze of interconnected galleries presenting international and Chinese photography. From socio-documentation works by Magnum masters to cutting-edge, avant-garde shots, the gallery’s ever-changing exhibitions span the length and breadth of the medium.

Yuz Museum

Another gargantuan hangar space, Yuz Museum is a contemporary art lover’s dream. The light, bright, airy gallery was founded by collector and philanthropist Budi Tek, and bristles with paintings, sculpture and installations by upcoming artists such as Melike Kara and Joshua Nathanson. Yuz Museum frequently hosts immersive retrospectives too, delving into the archives of diverse artists like Alberto Giacometti and Charlie Chaplin.

Long Museum

A dazzling repository of works from art collectors Wang Wei and Liu Yiqian’s personal collection, Long Museum is a treasure trove of traditional Chinese art and modern pieces. In partnership with architect Atelier Deshaus, the husband-and-wife duo created the incredible four-storey, multipurpose space. Two floors are devoted to contemporary art with new media, paintings and installations, while the basement houses a permanent collection of precious ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks. With a river-view restaurant, concert hall, café and children’s exhibition centre, Long Museum makes a fantastic family day out.

Shanghai West Bund: The Future

Ever-evolving, the West Bund is set to welcome an art powerhouse on the banks of the Huangpu as well as expand its presence as Shanghai’s art epicentre.

In 2019, a Chinese outpost of France’s legendary Centre Georges Pompidou will be bringing a slice of Parisian glamour to Shanghai. Occupying the David Chipperfield-designed West Bund Art Museum, Centre Pompidou Shanghai will showcase pieces from its French sister gallery’s collections as well as contemporary Chinese works.

A disused oil station is currently being transformed into gigantic arts centre Tank Shanghai. With exhibition spaces, plazas, gardens, a bookstore, education centre and restaurants, Tank Shanghai will affirm itself as one of the West Bund’s most exciting destinations.

Image Credit:

Andy Warhol Shadows © Yuz Museum
Installation View image series, all © West Bund Art & Design .jpg
West Bund Art Centre © By Fayhoo [CC BY-SA 3.0 creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0)] from Wikimedia Commons