m50 shanghai ~ from history comes art.
In Shanghai, China, the work of established and aspiring artists is displayed in the alleys and buildings of an old textile mill, surrounded on all sides by new-construction highrise towers. The nearly 100 year old Chunning Slub Mill was closed in 1999; but it immediately began a new life as the art space m50, when local artists were attracted to the low rent space.
The mill owners, who once knew little about art, are now seeing it as a magic weapon to save the once abandoned buildings from rapacious developers, while preserving just a taste of ‘old Shanghai’.
It is almost a decade since the first artists moved in, and by now it is really a happening place, well on its way to becoming one of the hippest places in Shanghai. The contemporary Chinese art we saw in the industrial and loft-style galleries has a freedom and daring that is both refreshing and intense. Art in the process of moving from communist-era controls to capitalist-ethos freedoms……(plenty of good discussion fodder there…!) The formerly ramshackle, but now refurbished spaces themselves, are a perfect backdrop for this explosive new art scene. One building doubled as a museum showcasing the antique electrical power systems for the once high-tech mill. For half a day we indulged ourselves to capacity on a vast collection of 2D, 3D, and digital art.
We’re hoping our next design client in China (or even in the West) will task us with creating a collection of contemporary art featuring a selection of m50 artists. What an exciting opportunity that would be! Find more at: www.m50.cn
CASUDI, in Shanghai, 10 November