Rockbund Art Museum
Updated: 2015-05-22


From May 30 to Oct 7, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) will celebrate its 5th anniversary with the exhibition "Chen Zhen: Without going to New York and Paris, life could be internationalized".

Organized by RAM, curated by international curator Hou Hanru, with Xu Min, the long-term life and work partner of Chen Zhen, as artistic consultant, the show will feature large-scale installations, as well as sketches and notes by Shanghai-born conceptual artist Chen Zhen.

Chen Zhen was born in Shanghai in 1955 and died in Paris in 2000. In his home city he attended the Fine Arts and Craft School and the Drama Institute, specializing in set design. After moving to Paris, he studied art at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Arts Plastiques.

Chen received various international awards, and showed his work in about a hundred solo and group exhibitions around the world, becoming a prominent figure on the international art scene.

As one of the most important Chinese artists over the past two decades, Chen Zhen’s work derives from his personal experience of migrating and working across different continents and cultures. Chen traveled between his native city Shanghai and Paris of France, engaging with contemporary social issues across different cultures.

The new exhibition will focus on the artist’s travels in and out of Shanghai during the 1990s, reflecting on the rapid changes of the society. Chen frequently returned to Shanghai during this period and developed a series of works responding to the changing social landscape of Shanghai.

Large-scale installations in the exhibition, such as Le Bureau de change and Daily Incantations, reveal the artist’s interest in Shanghai’s urban and socio-economic developments.


The exhibition will be displayed in RAM’s exquisite heritage Art Deco building on the Shanghai Bund district, which blends a western architectural style with Chinese decorative elements within Shanghai’s diverse cityscape. This blend reflects Chen Zhen’s own work, aiming to generate a powerful resonance and dynamic dialogue within the context of Shanghai as both a Chinese and global city.

The Rockbund Art Museum is the first contemporary art museum in China that is fully devoted to supporting contemporary art production. The museum was founded as an important part of the Rockbund urban renaissance project which aims to renovate heritage buildings and revitalize the cultural milieu for the north end of the Bund through arts, fashion, business and leisure programs.

The museum building was completed in 1932, originally designed by British architect George L. Wilson. Its exquisite Art Deco exterior combines both western and Chinese elements and the interior – the lecture hall on the first floor, the library on the second floor and the museum exhibition halls on the third and fourth floors – are done in different architectural styles.

In 2007, world-renowned British architect David Chipperfield was commissioned to renovate the Museum interior. The architect reshaped the interior with simplicity, grace, and functionality, infusing the historical architecture with the spirit and character of modern art.

Rockbund Art Museum 外滩美术馆
20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu district 黄浦区虎丘路20号
10 am to 6 pm, from May 30 to Oct 7

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