Image courtesy of The Telegraph
An ancient city, now more well-known for its panda reserves, Chengdu has long been a base for artists in China. Despite this long history and tradition of art-making within the city, Chengdu has only in recent decades seen its art scene burgeoning with the openings of contemporary art galleries and public museums. With a very different atmosphere from the bustling cities of Beijing and Shanghai, Chengdu presents a more local and relaxed view of Chinese contemporary art.
Getting around Chengdu can be done by catching a cab, which can be found throughout most of the city. Your life will be a lot simpler if you speak Mandarin, but if not, make sure you download a translation app before you go!
The best time to go is in the spring or autumn. Avoid the hot summer months and cold winters, they’re both unbearable without central air conditioning and/or heating.
With a recent influx of investment into the city’s infrastructure, many international five-star hotel chains have opened up, such as the Shangri-La, Four Seasons and more, so you’ll have no shortage of choices on where to stay.
A Thousand Plateaus Art Space
Shengbang St South Square, Tiexiang Temple Riverfront, High-tech Development Zone
Founded in 2007, A Thousand Plateaus Art Space focuses on Chinese contemporary art, with an exhibition hall for artworks and collection, and a screening room for video works. The gallery researches, presents and promotes outstanding works and experimental projects of China’s contemporary art and culture.
87-3 Fangqin St, Hi-Tech District
works with over 200 contemporary artists, focusing on cross-cultural communication to promote the healthy development of art. The gallery organizes exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art, as well as earlier works from the modern era.
C1 Tianfu Software Park, Tianfu Ave
L-Art Gallery is a contemporary art space located next to Chengdu’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Tianfu Software Park. Committed to discovering and cultivating new artists, L-Art Gallery promotes emerging artists through exhibitions, academic seminars and various other educational activities.
Conceived as an ‘art supermarket’, Xi Cun Art Space (No. 5 North 18 F, Bei Sen Rd) offers affordable artworks to a larger audience. Like other ‘art supermarkets’ in China, the arts space helps support young artists, and increases their exposure to the public.
Image courtesy of Yiiie Gallery
Initiated in 2015, Yiiie is a multifunctional space that is part gallery, part work space, and part cafe. It dedicates itself to sharing information and community building, exposing individuals about art and lifestyle. Yiiie organises exhibitions and interactive workshops, and also has a group of Chengdu-based designers that offer integrated architecture, design, planning and consulting services.
Blue Roof Museum of Chengdu
New Blue Roof Art Village, Xinxing Town, Tianfu New District
Named after the unique hue of its roof, Blue Roof Museum of Chengdu was established as a non-profit organization in 2009. It contains an impressive collection of multimedia artworks by Chinese and international artists and is dedicated to public arts education and outreach.
Chengdu Wuhouci Art Gallery
No. 231 Wuhouci St, Western Area of Wuhou Shrine, Wuhou District
Chengdu Wuhouci Art Gallery is located within the garden section of the historic Wuhou Shrine. Established in 2013, the gallery is committed to preserving and promoting arts and culture within the region.
Luxelakes · A4 Art Museum (formerly the A4 Contemporary Arts Center)
Art Exhibition Ctr, Luxelakes, Tianfu New Area
Image courtesy of He Zhenhuan for LUXELAKES · A4 Art Museum
Luxelakes · A4 Art Museum (formerly the A4 Contemporary Arts Center) is a non-profit contemporary arts institution, established in 2008 with the financial support of Chengdu Wide Horizon Investment Co., Ltd. Recently relocated to Chengdu’s Luxelakes Eco-City, the new building will house 1,500 sq. m. of exhibition space across three floors.
Sichuan Art Museum
6 West Renmin Rd
Sichuan Art Museum is the largest professional art gallery in southwest China, with six exhibition halls that feature the works of both ancient and contemporary Chinese artists, and house a collection of almost 8,000 print-making works.
Zhi Art Museum
No.1 Junshan Rd, Xinjin District
Designed by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the Zhi Art Gallery (No.1 Junshan Rd, Xinjin District) is located at the foot of Laojun Mountain and presents exhibitions of art and design.
Fang Suo Commune
M68-70, No.8 Zhongshamao, St Jinjiang District
Image courtesy of Fang Suo Commune
‘Fang Suo’ directly translates into ‘place and direction’, and has its origins from an excerpt by Xiao Tong, a Tang Dynasty author. This bookstore draws together the creative literati from Greater China, and is a great place for you to find out more about art and design. An initiative that draws from the dynamic style of urban life, this location is additionally presented as a public culture space that embraces both bookstore and lifestyle.
Mintown Studio Community
55 Kuixinglou St Qingyang District
Image courtesy of MiNTOWN
A growing artist community, MiNTOWN, started out as a coffee shop and co-working place with a focus on art and resides in an area of Chengdu renowned for its cultural vibrancy. In 2016, they evolved into a second venue (down the street) with offices, bookstore and a greater focus on live music, bringing in and hosting acclaimed performers from across China and the globe.
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