Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Joon Nam
Week 4
M50 Shanghai

The visit to M50 last week on September 30, 2010 took me by surprise since I was expecting to visit a temple instead. Located little to the north west of Shanghai, M50 is an art community that perhaps symbolizes the rapid growth of China’s (and the East Asia’s as a whole) contemporary art scene together with 798 of Beijing. The visit to Shanghai Contemporary fair earlier in September gave me a good outlook of the today’s art scene in China, and I was able to spot some familiar works that I saw at SH Contemporary when we were walking around in M50.

The first gallery we walked into was Aike Gallery, which was holding an exhibition called “There is nothing you can measure anymore”. It was a short stop before the main gallery we went to, but “Retired Pillar” by Jin Shan proved to be a quite interesting piece. It was a deflated rubber sculpture in the shape of a pillar, which represented the Western culture that is present in Shanghai but heavily modified to be localized.

The main exhibition that we visited, “Useful Life 2010” at ShanghART, proved to be a bit of a disappointment, however. Most of the works that I saw was uninspiring, especially “Iternational Hotel” by Yang Fudong, which to me was just a series of photographs of pretty Chinese girls with no artistic meanings. His other exhibition, a film work called “The Fifth Night” was a bit more interesting, yet I did not see any direction in the film and came to be disappointed as well.

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