Shanghai’s Most Enthralling Art Galleries

October 11, 2017

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Art Labor Gallery. Image courtesy of the venue.

The art scene in Shanghai is booming. It seems there are museums and galleries in every neighborhood, featuring art of every media, which means that no matter where you find yourself, you have the opportunity to take in a bit of art. So, break up eating, drinking and shopping with stops at Shanghai’s most compelling galleries and museums.

M97 Gallery. Image courtesy of the venue.

Ming Ming Chen and Jeff Zhou’s immaculate Around Space Gallery lives in a gorgeous, if slightly crumbling, 1930s Art Deco building near the Bund. The gallery represents and displays the works of 40 artists; the pieces that have struck The HUNT Shanghai writer Sophie Friedman’s fancy most come from multi-disciplinary Shanghainese artist Maleonn, who travels with his mobile studio and photographs people dressed in whimsical costumes.

When you’re in the French Concession, pop by Martin Kemble’s Art Labor Gallery where half of the artists whose work is shown are a mixed bag of foreigners, including Generation X author Douglas Coupland, whose solo show of paintings was held here. The other half are Chinese, like Lu Xinjian, whose City DNA series I dream of hanging in my future home.

JR exposition Shanghai 2014 courtesy galerie Magda Danysz credit photo Stephane Bisseuil(1)

At Magda Danysz Gallery the eponymous owner’s massive pull in the art world brings in the work of big names like street artists JR, Miss Van and JonOne, Liu Bolin’s Hiding in the City series and works by French photographer Alain Delorme, known for his colorful photos of huge loads being carted by bicycle around Shanghai.

Photography is the name of the game at M97 Gallery, much of it in black and white. The gallery does represent photographers who work in striking color, though, such as Michael Wolf, whose moody snaps of major metropolises, as seen in his series Tokyo Compression and Architecture of Density, are mesmerizing.

Housed in a 1930s former bank building on Suzhou Creek, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), is a non-profit contemporary art organization. Most solo shows are from Chinese artists, but past major shows have included an exhibition by esteemed cinematographer/photographer Yang Fudong and group animation show The Garden of Forking Paths.

About The HUNT Shanghai WriterSophie Friedman moved from New York to Shanghai with two suitcases, no plan and speaking not a word of Mandarin. Years later, she’s traversed Asia, learned to love squat toilets and has written extensively about her adopted city.

For more great insider recommendations, pick up The HUNT Shanghai on

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