May's theme of the month is... immersive! Some of the largest art venues in town have been busy during the May holiday. The Silo of 80,000 Tons hosted Conor Doyle x Zhao Liang's exhibition / dance performance across all seven floors of the building (tickets were long gone); Powerlong Museum in Minhang transported 3,000 square meters of sand and plants to mimic the Dunhuang scenery; and fashion house Chanel installed multiple "boutique showrooms" at the West Bund Art Center to elicit multiple sensory impressions... Power Station Art, on the other hand, unites large pieces of abstract art from France, Korea, and China. It's also immersive. Of course it is.
Don’t wear white shoes for this one. For their new Dunhuang exhibition, the Powerlong Museum brought sand, dry plants, and straws to the basement. With support from the Dunhuang Research Academy, more than 200 Dunhuang murals, sculptures, and artifacts were put on display, showcasing the essence of the 1,650-year-old Dunhuang culture through multimedia projections. It's a big budget show: one Tang Dynasty Mogao cave was restored to actual size; rare pieces of “Dunhuang Donors” are presented systematically, and there are also Tibetan Buddhist scriptures that recorded the daily life of the Dunhuang locals.
For those who are already familiar with Mogao caves (there have been quite a lot of Dunhuang exhibitions in the past few years), Dunhuang 1650 probably won't provide too much jaw-dropping information. The 160rmb entry fee (230rmb for two) is pretty steep. But this large-scale exhibition covers construction history, religious meaning, social life, and so many other aspects of Dunhuang culture. And as the original murals have been weathered already, it's not hard to imagine these replicas hold significant value.
Powerlong has a couple more things to see, including the 500 Years of Western Paintings: Collection of Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and Chen Zhiguan: Crawling Ants. You’ll have to buy tickets separately to enter these two shows.
Power Station of Art’s new exhibition brings three abstract art heavyweights to Galleries 4 and 5 (60rmb). The show is led by French artist Yves Klein, the main creator of the “International Klein Blue”. The exhibition greets the audience with swimming pool-sized “Dry Blue Pigment” and blue and white stones that you can step on. Biography, documentary, old publications, and manuscripts showcase the various roles this versatile artist played in his life: a judo enthusiast, a monotone symphony composer, and a believer of spirituality.
Klein’s works are accompanied by abstract paintings and art installations from Korean minimalist Lee Ufan, as well as Dingyi, one of China’s most collectible contemporary artists known for his distinctive crosses and grids. Simple shapes, minimal strokes on large canvases that leave lots of room for interpretation. This one is for the avant-garde.
French-Swiss photographer Hélène Binet has captured historical and contemporary architecture from across the world. On the third floor of PSA (free entry), 141 photographs offer the audience highlights from her 30-year career: from the architecture of John Hejduk, Le Corbusier and Zaha Hadid, to the famous Suzhou gardens (we also did a gallery about them recently). Most of them are close-ups, hand-printed black and white silver gelatin prints, revealing the fine details of how the architects and Binet herself treat light and composition.
There's not much of it (compared to the size of the venue), but fans of high fashion will dig the Chanel exhibition (free, RSVP is required for faster entry). Three individual “houses” are dedicated to perfume, haute couture, and high jewelry, with exteriors that resemble the iconic Chanel boutiques: 18 Place Vendôme and 31 Rue Cambon.
On the ground floor, visitors will be tempted to join the embroidery workshop (changes its theme throughout the exhibition). Upstairs, marvel at the immersive, multimedia display of hundreds of bottles of N°5 and animated paper flowers. In addition, there are the luxurious creations of Mademoiselle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld —— haute couture and high jewelry that took thousands of hours to make. Plenty of places to sit down and stacks of heavy art books are available on the bookshelves. Don’t be surprised when you see many overdressed girls queue up at this former airport hangar. As the name of the exhibition entails, the show is “for the ladies”.
Dong, a small exhibition that documents the modern life and music of the Dong ethnic group in Guizhou, is coming to an end in a week.
Meanwhile, May 26 will be the last day to see German sculptor Tobias Rehberger’s solo show at the Rockbund Art Musuem. Rehberger’s good friend, Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf’s solo exhibition ends four days after that.
Just shortlisted for the 2019 Turner Prize for his exhibition at K11, Oscar Murillo | Zhang Enli, runs until the end of the May. For more ongoing exhibitions worth checking out, see our coverage on them from April here and stay tuned for future art shows on our art calendar.
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