Even just a few short years ago, the art district down on Moganshan Lu consisted of a handful of independent and quirkily ramshackle galleries quietly plying their trade. Today, the area has not only been considerably spruced up, but has also grown to include a number of upmarket cafes and shops. This development has inevitably created winners and losers, with numerous galleries falling by the wayside.
Now, Island6 — housed in an old flour mill in the field behind the m50 complex — looks set to close. Sources at the gallery have told Shanghaiist that the owners have spent the past month battling with local officials just to keep the access road that leads to the building open, but that they will now be moving out altogether as a result of redevelopment plans for the area.
Quite what will become of the site remains unclear but, having been saved from demolition in 2003 following a long campaign from local activists, the old mill itself is now protected as a cultural heritage site and thus will not be branded with the character “拆” (chai, indicating imminent destruction). Island6, on the other hand, will most likely leave the premises at the end of next month, making the forthcoming Clouds of Crowds exhibition your last chance to wade into the long grass behind Moganshan Lu and experience Island6 in its current setting.
Clouds of Crowds will run from 28th March until 29th April and will feature a series of Western and Chinese artists. From Island6’s blurb:
In “Clouds of Crowds” the spectator is invited to dive into melting existences and get lost and blurred into whispers, reflects, ghosts and unconsciousness. The merging of living bodies, just like the one of clouds in the sky, obeys random rules, which we try to decode through the new range of artworks presented in the exhibition.
The non-profit organisation that runs the gallery has promised a newer, larger space elsewhere in the city in addition to its smaller site on Taikang Lu, however no details of where it will relocate to have yet been released.
Island6: Building 6, 120 Moganshan Lu; 莫干山路120号6号楼