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Lisa Movius
Lisa Movius
Lisa Movius has been based in Shanghai since 1998 and covers avant-garde art and culture around Asia. She is the China Bureau Chief and Asia Correspondent for The Art Newspaper, a London-based art industry publication.

‘We need to leave. Now,’ a gallerist friend said as I walked around a Shanghai art fair, a day after Covid had shut another fair. Minutes later, it too was locked down.

Chinese artist Alice Chen’s ‘Terrace Project’ in Shanghai provided a haven for artists during Covid-19 lockdowns when the local art scene was in desperate need of positivity.

Shanghai and Beijing are bustling to resume art exhibitions suspended by China’s spring Covid-19 lockdowns, but some gallerists see recovery as still some way off.

Shanghai may be known as China’s cultural capital, but Hangzhou’s expanding art infrastructure and laid-back ethos have created a vibrant scene.

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Galleries, art fairs and museums in Shanghai are showing a range of Chinese and international talent that includes Nathalie Djurberg, Chen Wei and Nabuqi, but the shadow of censorship looms.

The inaugural exhibition at Beijing contemporary art centre’s Shanghai branch pays homage to an explosive era for art in China at the turn of the millennium.

Rather than making a big splash, the delayed show’s main exhibition, Bodies of Water, at Power Station of Art in the Chinese seaboard city, is curiously diffuse.

Old people, old buildings, urban panoramas, and apartment-bound children reminiscent of caged animals – these are the contrasting subjects of four women photographers whose work is on show in Shanghai at the residence of the US consul general.

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