1 kilometer of art at the Shanghai 2010 Expo

1 kilometer of art at the Shanghai 2010 Expo

The 2010 Expo is not all about impressive pavilions and long queues; at the 1,045m Expo Boulevard there's a whole world of great art to see as well
Art 2010 Expo
The 1,045-meter Expo Boulevard is home to some of the most innovative artwork from Chinese and international contemporary artists.

You could come to Shanghai to only check out the 2010 Expo and the pavilions, but you’d be missing out on one pretty important detail: the massive art show the Expo provides.

The 2010 Expo “Art for the World” project was unveiled this week along the Expo Boulevard in Pudong as was the project's website www.artforworldexpo.com. According to the press release, the art represents “a series of symbolic and metaphoric signs, paving the way and aiming to provide us with information on our current day needs, desires and dreams.”

Okay, so that doesn’t mean all that much but what you do need to know is that the Expo Boulevard is the heart of the Pudong Expo site. Running 1,045 meters, it’s a three-floor structure that hosts art pieces definitely worth checking out while you’re there. 

The artists on show, major names from both the Chinese and the international art scene, offer up 20 “monumental sculptures” at the Expo Boulevard. Don’t miss Chen Changwei’s “The Pillar of The Twelve Symbolic Animals,” Xiang Jing's, eerily life-like “Infinite Polar” and Zhang Huan’s “Hehe, Xiexie” two cuddly stainless steel pandas representing “harmonious society, harmonious world, harmonious Expo” -- and a good photo op.

Shanghai artists off the 2010 Expo site: 696 Weihai Lu

For those who are looking for something a little less “Expo,” Shanghai Eye just posted about 696 Weihai Lu’s open studio day (actually an open studio weekend, May 8-9 although most events will be on May 8) where the public gets to peek in at what this collective, set up in a former opium den and factory, are up to.

Not a whole lot of details yet but if you’re in town this is an event you don't want to miss.

Chris Gill of Shanghai Eye writes, “Various things planned such as a performance by a Spanish sound artist in the Office 339 space from 4pm. Audience and artists encouraged to wear pajamas. Some refreshments will be available.”

For those who think this is just another art open house, think again. SmartShanghai has picked up the story and gives a good background of the space: “If you are unfamiliar with Weihai Lu, it's a little enclave of gallery spaces and artists' studios in a group of converted industrial spaces. At the risk of being overly general, it exists as a reaction to the more commercial orientation of contemporary art in Shanghai, and is home to several Shanghai and international artists working at odds to the prevailing economic trends in the modern arts in this city.”

If that doesn’t get the anti-establishment art lover in you going, we don’t know what will. We’ll post more about the event as details come up.

Want to check out 696 Weihai Lu before you go? Here's our behind the scenes piece on the collective as well as a profile on Kenta Torimoto one of the city's leading Japanese curators who calls the space home.

A borough-bred Manhattanite, editor and writer Jessica Beaton lived in Shanghai for five years and has now moved to Hong Kong.

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