A piece of France at the West Bund

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-15 07:47
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Pablo Picasso's Reclining Nude Woman from 1936.[Photo provided to China Daily]

New museum promotes Sino-French cultural ties and brings works by renowned Western artists to Shanghai's vibrant art scene, Zhang Kun reports.

The West Bund Museum, the latest addition to Shanghai's stretch of museums along the Huangpu River in Xuhui district, officially opened on Nov 8.

Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the West Bund Museum measures 25,000 square meters and took three years to build.

On Nov 5, French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron attended the opening of the Centre Pompidoux West Bund Museum Project, a high-level cultural exchange between China and France that goes on from this year to 2024.

In the five years, Centre Pompidou will host three semi-permanent exhibitions, each lasting at least 18 months, at the West Bund Museum. There will also be about 10 feature exhibitions taking place. Meanwhile, Centre Pompidou in Paris will host three exhibitions on China's contemporary art.

Centre Pompidou is recognized as one of the most prominent museums of modern and contemporary art in the world. In the past years, the museum has expanded its exhibitions to Malaga, Spain, and Brussels, Belgium. Shanghai represents the museum's first project in Asia.

Serge Lasvignes, chairman of Centre Pompidou, says the French museum had for years been searching for a partner to bring its exhibitions to China. It eventually settled on the West Bund Museum as both establishments shared the same objectives.

Xuhui district authorities had in 2012 started developing the West Bund area, which was previously home to a shipyard, airport and industrial facilities. The plan was to transform the waterfront area into a "cultural port" and a center for high-tech industries such as artificial intelligence. A series of museums and art spaces, such as the Long Museum, Yuz Museum and Tank Shanghai, have since sprouted up. Next year, four new theaters will also be launched in the West Bund region.

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