Cultural corridor takes shape at the West Bund

2018-05-05

Frequent visits to the West Bund, 11.4 kilometers long, have left me with reasons to return. The area in Xuhui District, like many other parts of Shanghai, is undergoing rapid development, which includes the vision of a West Bund cultural corridor.


Constructions along Longteng Avenue promise to make it a major attraction in the near future. It is already a popular stop for art enthusiasts ahead of its completion, thanks to existing partners who chose to house themselves there as pioneers of the vision.


Vehicles and bicycles stream along the avenue every minute, but only few stop by the art mine. Youngsters make up the bulk of visitors, with some in full sports attire, due to the facilities by the river banks.


Modeled on Paris’ Left Bank and London’s South Bank, the West Bund area along the Huangpu River stretches 9.4 square kilometers and used to be the cradle of many leading national industries, such as Shanghai Cement Plant, and a hub of modern transportation.


The West Bund area along the Huangpu River stretches 9.4 square kilometers.


The former Shanghai Aircraft Factory (1950-2009), now Art West Bund, alongside the Yuz Museum hosts temporary but large-scale events like the latest IKEA Tech Festival.


Many quality showcases of the local and foreign art scenes are contained within the industrial landscape of the zone. The stone-paved exterior of the Qiao Space houses a range of contemporary artworks sourced worldwide.


The ShanghART Gallery offers a two-story display and a resource center for visitors to browse and purchase artists’ work.


Longteng Avenue is probably the only riverside driveway devoted to avid museum visitors. I found cycling a great alternative to walking or driving to make sure I didn't miss out from the dispersion of galleries along the stretch.


The coastal breeze makes it an enjoyable journey. I came to a halt at a low-profile building at the other side of the road. I hesitated on entering as I sensed its desolation, but the exhibition lights that peeked through one of the glass doors along with the row of minimalistic signboards channeled my curiosity.


Galleries here are free of charge, and I found myself going from corner to corner, going through the art pieces from start to finish. It was unsurprisingly void of visitors on a weekday afternoon.


SHINE

ShanghART Gallery at West Bund


Ong Jing Yi / SHINE

ShanghART serves as a resource center for visitors to browse artists’ works.


Ong Jing Yi / SHINE

Visitors to the Arario Gallery can find themselves in a reading area depicted like a cafe.


Source: SHINE Editor: Liu Qi


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