Sunday, August 26, 2007

M50 vs. 800 Wujiaochang

Shanghai's hot new hub for artists
2007-03-07 Shanghai Daily

The booming art market needs more space. The newest art center
is Wujiaochang 800 Art Space in the emerging northeastern Wujiaochang
area. Planners aim to attract high-end international galleries, writes
Yao Minji.

Artists and creative people are ceaselessly searching for fresh
new art space. When one trendy center becomes established, they tire of
it and move on.

Meanwhile, the booming art market also seeks more well-planned
space to attract artists, studios, collectors and high-end
international galleries.

To provide more space, art centers have opened in Moganshan
Road, Yangshupu area, Damuqiao area, Taikang Road and elsewhere.

The newest one is the the Wujiaochang 800 Art Space - the only
one planned from the very beginning.

The Wujiaochang 800 Art Space, which was opened in late
January, is in the center of northeastern Shanghai's Wujiaochang
business area in Yangpu District - away from the downtown in an
emerging area. Developers hope it will become a new Xujiahui, with an
artistic atmosphere.

"Among the art centers, Moganshan Road is the only sizable and
established one, but it was not well planned and managed from the
beginning," says Hong Pingtao, president and CEO of Wujiaochang 800 Art
Space Management Co.

Many artists moved their studios to Moganshan Road and
gradually the area has become a gathering spot for artists and hub for
artistic events,'' says Hong.

Unlike Moganshan Road, Wujiaochang 800 has been planned from
the start as a gallery center.

The Yangpu District government hired architect Zhong Song from
Chenyifei Studio to convert the former warehouse.

Hence, compared with Moganshan Road, where galleries and
artists' studios are scattered in former factories, the Wujiaochang 800
Art Space is an enclosed five-story building featuring galleries and

It occupies 21,460 square meters.

The ceilings are 4.5 meters high, so that large art sculpture,
installations and paintings can be displayed.

The center is rectangular from the outside, with well-planned
areas for galleries on each floor and one three-story multi-function
room in the center.

Zhong did not remove the stone transport system alongside the
interior stairwell. It will be converted to a dramatic aquarium with
gold fish, from the roof to the ground floor.

Wujiaochang 800 is planned and managed by art collectors, not

Hong, president and CEO of the management company, has worked
in the art market for nearly 30 years.

He started Caves Art Center in Taiwan and was general director
of the Taiwan Art Galleries Association.

He moved to Shanghai in the 1990s and was general manager of
Poly Auction House.

"An international metropolis like Shanghai needs an art center,
centrally located with easy transport. Moreover, this art center needs
organized management from the very beginning to attract high-end
international galleries," says Hong.

Currently, only Dunhuang Gallery on the ground floor, owned and
run by Hong himself, has completed renovation and started having
regular exhibitions.

In the following week, a second group of galleries will move
into the art center.

"Our goal is to make Wujiaochang 800 the art center in
Shanghai," concludes Hong.

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