China’s very own SoHo-esque artist’s neighborhood inhabits a former industrial area known as Moganshan Road and while the old warehouses and factory buildings are now exclusively the haunt of artists, the land is still firmly in the hands of the textile manufacturers.
Shanghai’s contemporary art quarter situated by Suzhou Creek showcases avant-garde, innovative, and challenging art work in a number of warehouses and factories which have been converted into galleries and design spaces for a number of up-and-coming Chinese artists.
The name M50 refers to the actual address – 50 Moganshan Road – which was originally a textile mill called the Chunming Slub Mill. When the mill discontinued production, the art scene was founded there in 2000 by local artist Xue Song and soon thereafter prominent Shanghai artists including Ding Yi, Qu Fengguo, and Wang Xingwei followed. The galleries now thrive with a mix of established talent and up-and-coming contemporary artists, and almost all of the space is open to the visiting public.
M50 hosts over 120 galleries and art studios but the public spaces are increasingly being taken over by private graphic design firms, so be sure to take in Shanghai’s answer to the booming Chinese art scene before it has to go deeper underground.
Know Before You Go
Nearest metro Changshou Road but it is advisable to take a taxi to 50 Moganshan Lu, near Suzhou Xi Lu 莫干山路50号，近苏州河