For a little dose of culture to go with your eating, drinking and shopping across Shanghai, pay a visit to one of these five art exhibitions on display this month.
“Absurdistan,” OV Gallery, through April 4
This show has no relation to the Gary Shteyngart novel of the same name, but just as in the book, 10 artists explore the absurd. Look for Melissa Thompson’s porcelain finger puppets struggling to survive and Ang Sookoon’s crystal-growing bread.
“Waiting for an Artist,” Goethe Institute, through March 30
Lu Pingyuan’s solo show is the fifth installment in the ongoing series “Alternatives to Ritual.” The exhibit examines the demands that Lu believes the art system places on artists, with the work addressing the question of how artists can continue to make themselves “valuable.” Goethe Institute is the cultural arm of the German Consulate in Shanghai.
“Beyond the Canvas,” Pearl Lam Galleries, through March 18
This is Li Xiaojing’s first show in Shanghai. Hailing from Shandong Province, she studied oil painting and printmaking in Sichuan. Her 20 paintings featured in this show are monochromatic — blue, black or brown backgrounds and lines, with subtle geometric shapes. “In my paintings,” Li says, “various forms, blank space and what lies beyond the canvas are all encompassed.”
“Electric Fields: Surrealism and Beyond,” Power Station of Art, through March 15
Visiting from Paris’ Centre Pompidou, this show takes its name from surrealist authors André Breton and Philippe Soupault’s The Magnetic Fields (from which the indie pop group of the same name has drawn its moniker). Hurry to catch it — it’s a proper world-class exhibit, with work from Duchamp, Gursky and more as well as Chinese artists.
“Shanghai Biennale,” Power Station of Art, through March 31
On the lower levels of the Power Station of Art is the annual Shanghai Biennale, back for its ninth turn. Spread out over several floors, it runs the gamut from enormous sculptures to interactive installations. It’s a big, beautiful and unapologetically brash show.
Photos courtesy of Andreas Gursky and Pearl Lam Galleries