“I waste hours here every week. It’s where I let go and let the art soothe away the day.” – Brian, a British expat patron of M50
If you are looking for an easy way to enter the local art scene in China, there is one stop that brings together the works of more than 130 leading Chinese artists: the M50 Creative Park in Shanghai. M50 inhabits what was once an industrial area dating back to the 1930s that has been turned into dozens of creative galleries and studios. The diverse selection of contemporary Chinese art produced and displayed in M50 has led it to be nicknamed “Shanghai’s Soho.” Located downtown in the Putuo district at 50 Moganshan Rd., M50 is a neat hideaway spanning over 6 acres of rough brick buildings, winding alleys adorned with graffiti art, quiet coffee shop nooks, and 43,000m2 of floor space bursting with inspiration. Boasting artists like Zhou Tiehai, Ding Yi, and Yelan just to name a few, the M50 Creative Park is where some of the best-known modern artists in China create much of their work.
The works exhibited in M50 range from traditional-themed paintings and sculptures to strong social commentaries and abstract, staggering concept pieces. The majority of artists work in studios at the back of their personal galleries, so directly engaging with the creators about their works is rather easy for visitors to do – though you might want to bring along a local friend to help you interpret if you don’t speak Chinese. If you are staying in Shanghai long-term, seeking out art to buy, or simply touring through the city, the M50 Creative Park is definitely a cultural epicenter that will change your idea of what Chinese art is all about.
Address: 50 Moganshan Rd. Putuo District, Shanghai, China