While in Shanghai we saw another new addition to the city's expanding art infrastucture. Devised by Massimo Torrigiani (former director of ShContemporary), Davide Quadrio (founder and director of the not-for-profit space BizArt and ArtHub Asia), and Donna Chan (also ex-ShContemporary), Art in the City combines an exhibition platform with a series of events to be held throughout the year where Art in the City maintains contact with galleries, bringing prospective clients to their spaces for tours and talks. It is also supported by a mobile app and website, which are constantly updated with the latest information on galleries and institutions in Shanghai.
Staged in the K11 Art Mall, the inaugural edition of the annual event, featured presentations by 15 leading local galleries, including Arario Shanghai, FQ Projects, Hakgojae Shanghai, Mao Space, Pearl Lam and ShanghART. Timed to coincide with ShContemporary (which was dogged this year by potentially fatal problems) the exhibition offers a viable platform for local galleries on the lookout for new ways to expand the art market – and the K11/Art in the City mix of art and high-end commerce fits the bill.
K11 is the brainchild of Chinese billionaire and art patron Adrian Cheng. It's a mall, with a dedicated art space, where art meets luxury shopping and with an in-house team that programmes the gallery space and the placement of art throughout the building. Cheng has another K11 in Hong Kong and plans to open others across China in Beijing, Guangzhou and rapidly developing cities like Shenyang, Tianjin, Haikou, Ningbo and Guiyan.
Image: the entrance to the K11 art space