For the edgier side of the Shanghai contemporary art scene, you won’t want to miss the Moganshan Lu area of the Putuo District.
Start at the far end of Moganshan Lu near Changua Lu and Suzhou creak and take a stroll past the colorful walls of graffiti. It’s still one of the only spaces where graffiti is allowed in Shanghai even though there’s been talk for several years that the wall would be demolished.
Continue walking until you hit 97 Moganshan Lu. Here pop up to the second floor fine art and contemporary photo gallery M97. Once inside you’ll meet Mercedes Valle-Harris and her husband Steve, M97 owners, and see a host of rotating works from both local and international photographers.
Valle-Harris is also the mother of two young boys and shares suggestions for making the most of the walk along Moganshan Lu. As a rule, she prefers taking her kids to bigger art spaces like MOCA, but recommends a few gallery spaces in the area that families might enjoy.
One tip she offers for making gallery hopping fun is to find the exhibit catalogue or information sheet that usually contains pictures of the work at each gallery space and have the kids find the matching work on the walls.
Further down the road, you’ll find M50; the former warehouse space now filled many galleries, studio spaces, a few cafes and retail shops. Inside the complex you’ll find several noteworthy galleries recommended by Valle-Harris.
Island6 features LED art, which has a more stimulating effect than most traditional artwork. Led projections on the floor will keep little ones entranced with the changing shapes, while the bright neon lights make the work feel interactive, keeping your interest for longer than usual. A word of caution, some of the works have subtle mature themes.
Chronos has a dizzying 3D experience that allows you to place yourself in scenes from around the world. Entering the space, you are given 3D glasses and using projection and an iPad, you are able to pick a scene and go inside. You feel as if you are traveling through time and space.
The Espace Pebeo shop is also a great stop for picking up art supplies. The store carries all varieties of Pebeo’s quality paint, as well as a number of DIY projects. The shop also regularly host workshops.
Many of the galleries in the M50 space come and go and exhibits will vary. If you have time to explore more, the area is labyrinth of creative spaces that will make for a fun morning or afternoon of art exploration.
// M97, Open 10am-6pm Tues-Sun, 2Fl, 97 Moganshan Lu陀区莫干山路97号2 (6266 1597)
// Chronus Art Centre, 11am-6pm Tue-Sun, Bldg 18, 50 Moganshan Lu, 莫干山路50号18号楼 (5271 5789)
// Island6, 10am-7pm daily, 2fl, Building 6, 50 Moganshan Lu 普陀区莫干山路50号6号楼2楼, 近悉苏州路 (6227 7856)
// Espace Pebeo, 9.30am-5.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat-Sun, 1/F, Bldg. 0, 50 Moganshan Lu by Nan Suzhouhe Lu 莫干山路50号0号楼1楼 近南苏州河路(6266-2101 www.pebeo.com.cn, email: email@example.com)