Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Taylor Williams
M50 Visit
3/24/2011 Blog Entry
This past saturday, March 19th, I visited the "M50"( 50 Moganshan Lu)
art district in Shanghai. There are tens of art galleries, enough to
easily spend the afternoon exploring all of them. For a saturday
afternoon the galleries were emptier than expected as I had most
galleries to myself. One of the most abstract exhibits at M50 is on
display The Clown's Revolution by Sun Xun on display at the Vanguard
Gallery. After walking through a black curtain I entered a pitch dark
room save for a projector displaying a video of abstract stills and
video clips onto the far wall. Mysterious, tense noises that were not
quite integrated enough to be considered music, added to the eerie
atmosphere. I was not able to pick up on a constant narrative
throughout the 10 minute video. Not all of the art at M50 is as
abstract as the Vanguard, in a small gallery called Red Art there were
multiple paintings that seemed to reference the style of the
propaganda posters used by Mao and the early Communist party. Like the
propaganda posters these paintings depicted unnaturally happy
citizens. However unlike the propaganda posters, these pictures
featured decrepit urban backgrounds. The paintings were largely drawn
in a grey-scale and featured husband and wife occasionally with one
child. Many of the other galleries centered around two themes; the
detrimental effect rapid urban development is having on the Chinese
people and Chairman Mao's legacy. Walking eastbound from M50 one will
find creative and often times hilarious street art on the building and
concrete walls.

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