2015.09.11 Fri, by
2015 West Bund Art and Design

The 2nd West Bund Art and Design Fair opened on September 8 and will continue until September 13. Founded by the West Bund Development Corporation and Zhou Tiehai (the artist and the former director of Minsheng Museum) last year, the fair is a comfortably sized and located in the West Bund area (to the southwest of Shanghai and not at all near the historic Bund). The fair has 34 galleries participating this year (up from 25 last year), including some major blue-chip galleries like Hauser & Wirth, PACE, White Cube, and Victoria Miro.

With autumn bringing fresh air and blue skies to Shanghai, it appears a bigger crowd has come to the fair, located on the shores of the Huangpu River. According to some gallerists, quite a few of those attending the preview are new collectors.

The major international galleries on the first floor brought quite a few works by major artists—Sarah Lucas, Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst, Maya Lin, as well as Tracey Emin and Anthony Gormley. ShanghART presented Lu Lei’s installation “Humane Prescription”, while Magician Space from Beijing seems to have repeated their Timur Si-Qin solo exhibition. The Shanghai-based artist Gao Mingyan laid out some artificial grass behind the exhibition center with reclining chairs and an umbrella, organizing a sunset event around the preview closing (the barbecue and the clouds were very memorable). Guo Xi and Zhang Jianling (Imagokinetics) presented “Grand Voyage”, while CASS Sculptural Foundation from the UK presented a preview of their 2016 group exhibition “A Beautiful Disorder”—both were impressive.

Zhou Tiehai, the director of the fair (and an artist in his own right), stated that sales were up from last year, with quite a few works sold during the VIP preview. Compared to large international fairs like Art Basel or Frieze, West Bund Art and Design Fair is certainly small, but beautiful. Indeed, each booth is relatively spacious, while the strategy of presenting art and design together practically makes all the accoutrements pleasant to the eyes.

In terms of the design sector, this year, there is a marked focus on furniture and décor, with many of this centered around the Turn the Page Art Shop. Aside from the gallery booths, the various sectors all added variety—the VIP zone, café, public events, video display, leisure, and Shi Yong’s collection. In particular, the artist Shi Yong’s exhibition of his collection caught the eye, especially the works by the Double Fly Art Center—the entire collective of Double Fly actually turned up for the opening.

In terms of the details, gallerists have noticed quite a few improvements. The inclusion of a small lockable space allows staff members to securely store items or converse discreetly, while the booths on the second floor are much improved, more effectively using the space with two corridors.

Around the West Bund Art Fair is the West Bund Arts and Culture District, where many art institutions and museums have opened up in recent years thanks to the push by the government agencies in charge of the area. This includes Long Museum West Bund (founded by Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei) and Yuz Museum (founded by Budi Tek). And just this year, other spaces have opened: Scôp (Shanghai Center of Photography), whose director is the photographer Liu Heung-shing (their second exhibition now on is “Grain to Pixel: A Story of Photography in China”; ShanghART’s West Bund space (Geng Jianyi solo exhibition, “2015 Summer”); Qiao Space, opened by the noted collector and art patron Qiao Zhibing (now showing a Wilhelm Sasnal solo exhibition). The studios of artists like Ding Yi, Zhou Tiehai, and Liu Yichun were also open to the public on the same day.

Surveying the entire West Bund area, one sees the formation of an entire art production assembly line—from art studios to galleries, art fairs, private museums, and the West Bund FreePort (for the tax-free storage of artworks). The West Bund Art and Design Fair, meanwhile, is due to return next year and will certainly attract more participating galleries. Of course, with opportunities come challenges, and the competitive landscape of art fairs in Shanghai can only intensify—from Art021, now in its third year, due to open in November (it is currently the largest art fair with nearly 80 participating galleries), to Photo Shanghai, which attracted a lot of attention last year with its inaugural edition. Certainly, the West Bund Art and Design Fair, now in its second year, still has a lot of room to grow.

Gallery List:

Aike-Dellarco, Antenna Space, Arario Gallery, BANK, Beijing Art Now, Boers-Li Gallery, Ben Brown Fine Arts, CASS Sculpture Foundation, Chambers Fine Art, James Cohan Gallery, Sadies Coles HQ, Massimo de Carlo, Don Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, ImagoKinetics, Ink Studio, Leo Gallery, Leo Xu Projects, Lin & Lin, Magician Space, Galerie Urs Meile, Victoria Miro, Ota Gallery, PACE, Pearl Lam Galleries, Platform China, Shanghai Gallery of Art, ShanghART, Star Space, Vanguard Gallery, White Cube, White Space.

Art West Bund opening night西岸开幕之夜

Art West Bund opening night

Work by Cheng Ran, Galerie Urs Meile, Second floor二楼麦勒画廊展位程然作品

Work by Cheng Ran, Galerie Urs Meile, Second floor

Second floor二楼

Second floor

Exhibition View展览现场

Exhibition View

Exhibition View展览现场

Exhibition View

Second floor二楼宫岛达南作品

Second floor

ground floor Magician Space booth磨金石艺展位铁尔木斯琴作品

ground floor Magician Space booth

Work by Sara Lucas莎拉.卢卡斯作品

Work by Sara Lucas

Crowds flood in Pearl Lam Gallery booth艺术门画廊展位人头攒动

Crowds flood in Pearl Lam Gallery booth

Work by Jenny Holzer珍妮.霍尔泽作品

Work by Jenny Holzer

Exhibition View展览现场

Exhibition View

openair dinner set in front of ShanghArt Gallery香格纳画廊门口摆了露天晚宴

openair dinner set in front of ShanghArt Gallery