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An idyllic exhibition space

By Yang Feiyue | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-08-12 07:47
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A dusk view of the Ke Art Museum that has popularized art and boosted rural tourism in Liantang town, Qingpu district, Shanghai. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A rural art museum is becoming a popular weekend getaway for city dwellers. Several two-story buildings featuring gray tiles and white walls are scattered across a green rice paddy at Liantang town, Qingpu district, about one hour's drive from downtown Shanghai.

Visitors come and go, strolling along the footpaths that crisscross the farm, while workers toil in the field nearby.

The idea is to expose visitors to the "art in the dirt's fragrance", according to Li Xiaoshan, curator of the Ke Art Museum.

"Previously, it was just a deserted factory, with desolate farmlands on the perimeter," says Li. "Factories are no longer allowed to operate here, because it's a water source preservation area."

Local government has been trying for some time to introduce culture and tourism programs, as the town has attempted to adjust the structure of its local industry. It wasn't until 2017, when a few artists came and soon reached a deal with local authorities, that it was decided to remodel the unused land into an art museum.

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