An intimate inauguration launched Shanghai’s Yuz Museum on January 7 and will be followed by a formal opening to the public in May with a contemporary art show curated by University of Chicago professor Wu Hung, The Art Newspaper reports.
“The challenge is still ahead,” Chinese-Indonesian collector Budi Tek was quoted as saying about the space that he has privately financed. “The building is not important: the exhibition, the software, the people who still need to be trained, are the challenges we face in the years and months ahead”.
The museum’s main hall is a 2,000 square-meter room that was converted from old aircraft hangars and was designed by Japanese Architect Sou Fujimoto. The building will accommodate mostly large-scale contemporary pieces, “mega works” that many private buyers steer away from because of their size.
Tek said that the museum’s grand opening “will bring hundred of international gusts in.”
“We are very careful to collect and exhibit the best works considered historical to Chinese contemporary art,” he added.
In the same way the Yuz Jakarta incorporates Chinese contemporary art, Tek has anticipated that the Yuz Shanghai will include a good deal of Indonesian art, but said “I am not the curator, and I cannot force them to include works based on nationality. Contemporary art is contemporary art, only in this region do they want to differentiate.”
According to The Art Newspaper:
The terrain, though, is changing fast. “There is a movement of museums that is taking place [in Shanghai], changing everyone, and it has changed me,” Tek says. “China now is different, it is really friendly to cultural set ups, and they know museums are important for soft power.” While state museums focus on antiquities, private museums are developing contemporary art, which, “the government sees as a lifestyle thing as well, the art of contemporary society. It is good for people as a whole, and can easily communicate with the outside world.”
Shanghai’s Yuz is located in the Xuhui District and will be formally inaugurated in May of this year. Tek plans to charge a small entrance fee around 50 to 100 yuan, and said that the building will include design and furniture stores, restaurants and bookstores.
It has been named by the Economist as one of the five most anticipated institutions opening in 2014.
[Image Credit: The Art Newspaper]