Shanghai looks to have got its own contemporary art fair at last. Opening this evening with a flurry of VIP passes, harassed suits, and large numbers of teenagers employed to hold signs, SH Contemporary will be on until September 9 at the Shanghai International Exhibition Center.
Pierre Huber, the organizer, ran through a few of the artists that will be on show- there will be an unknown old Indian lady who he discovered in Bombay, large works by some of China’s more established artists like Fan Li Jun, installations that “every museum of the world would be proud to host,” a guy who builds holes, another chap who runs over apples, and much more. The center is a huge space, and each hall is full with shows put on by more than 130 galleries, all of which were selected and curated by the organizers.
“The whole committee of Art Basel is here, it is important, we need to change our ideas, what people are doing here with their culture and how they are changing themselves. The best of discovery (one of the sections of the show) will be a fantastic adventure,” Huber said.
“There is what looks like an empty booth by Han Jing from Korea, you will need to take a magnifying glass to see what he has done,” Huber told assembled world press at a meeting prior to the event opening.
According to Huber the SH Contemporary has signed a five year contract with Chinese authorities. “We have a long term contract with Shanghai, and a five year plan. Country by country our job is to discover artists and bring them to the market. This is not the job of the auction house, that is the end of the process.”
A wide range of events will be held across town, including a mini rock festival, several large parties, a boat rave and other things.
And if all this is not enough Shanghai has its own art fair in November.