The Shanghai branch of the Yuz Museum, owned by Indonesian-Chinese businessman Budi Tek, opened its doorsto the public on May 18 in the West Bund “Cultural Corridor”, marking one of the most important openings in the global art world for 2014. The museum had a soft opening in January this year, which boosted the expectations for the venue itself and the exhibitions it will showcase in the future.
Shanghai’s local Government plans to develop the West Bund waterfront into a real cultural attraction of the city by supporting individuals or companies ready to invest in the district. The Xuhui Riverside Development Area also hosts the Long Museum West Bund, inaugurated at the end of March by billionaire couple Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei. It will house the DreamWorks Animation culture and entertainment complex “Dream Center” in 2017.
The Yuz Museum in Shanghai is one of the biggest privately-owned contemporary art museums in China, showcasing part of Budi Tek’s art collection, the rest being on view in his art museum in Jakarta. Tek calls the opening of the museum “a milestone” in his life and a way to express his affection to both China and the city of Shanghai, where he currently resides. He was named among the 100 most powerful people in the art world by Art Review magazine after having spent more than a decade of his life and quite a lot of his fortune collecting works signed by Chinese and Western contemporary artists.
The museum boasts a total area of 9,000 square meters, with a 9,000-meter main area inside an old aircraft hangar that’s part of the formerly army-owned Longhua Airport. The space was designed by famed Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who had the complex mission of restoring the old hangar while incorporating new design elements. As you can see, he did a bang-up job.
“Myth/History” is the museum’s opening exhibition, organized by curator Wu Hung, who is a professor at the University of Chicago. The exhibition fills the museum’s main hall with 12 massive installation works, including Xu Bing’s “Tobacco Project”, Huang Yongping’s “Tower Snake”, and Adel Abdessemed’s “Telle mere, tel fils” as a centerpiece. The main hall is surrounded by smaller galleries presenting paintings, sculptures, photography and installations signed by Chinese artists.
“Myth/History” runs from May 18 to November 18.
Tickets: 60 RMB; students / elderly: 30 RMB // Opening hours: 10.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. – last admission at 5.00 p.m. (closed on Mondays) // Yuz Museum – 35 Fenggu Road, near LongTeng Avenue, West Bund, Xuhui District | 丰谷路35号,近龙腾大道
By Andreea Dragut
[Photographs by Andreea Dragut]