Friday, October 17, 2014

Shanghai's must-see museums: Rockbund Art Museum

Near Shanghai's fabled Bund, you can find Thomas Ou's Rockbund Art Museum housed in a beautifully restored 1933 Art Deco building that was at one time home to the Royal Asiatic Society. The Rockbund is a comparatively small, but innovative space with a impressive record of shows with artists and curators such as Cai Guo-Qiang, Zheng Fanshi, Paola Pivi, Hou Hanru and Fumio Nanjo among others.

The Rockbund is currently showing Ugo Rondinone's Breathe, Walk, Die, an installation staged over five of the gallery's floors. The walls are painted floor to ceiling with colours that move from cool to warm in tandem with the coloured filters on the windows. Each floor has circular canvases of blurred concentric colours, all combining to form a backdrop for 40 impassive clowns doing nothing. It's a beautiful, but disturbing piece -  the best show in town, in the smallest museum space, and proof (in a ciiy known for its massive museums) that bigger isn't always better.
Images: Ugo Rondinone's Breathe, Walk, Die at Shanghai's Rockbund Art Museum