What does the future hold for Shanghai's contemporary art scene?

MD Gallery owner Magda Danysz shares her insights

After moving back Bund-side, MD Gallery owner Magda Danysz speaks about the future of contemporary art in Shanghai.

On the recent move downtown

‘For our first three years in Shanghai we were based at Bund18, before opening our own space [in Yangpu]. We now have a large fan base here and it’s great to be in a more convenient place, so everyone can see our shows.

‘The Bund area is a place rich in architecture and it is always really inspiring. The focus was to have a bright and open space, where the art would really be in its best possible setting. Naço Architectures designed the space in order to be a lively location with a terrace that people can enjoy when it’s warm. I love the idea of a place people would like to stay in for a while.’

md gallery

MD Gallery

On current show

‘It made sense to have Liu Bolin as the first show at our new space, because we have worked with him for almost seven years and progressively shown very important and innovative ideas through his body of work. Each time I tell Liu about a new show he takes it as a challenge and makes a new installation – always surprising and unique.

‘In this show, he unveiled for us his new installation “When you see me, I see you”. It’s an interactive installation where at first you see objects that are like old jade masks, but as you approach you realise they are made of electronic components. It’s a very playful piece, for a playful new space.’


Old jade mask made of electronic components

On Paris vs Shanghai

‘Our historical and main gallery location is in Paris, where we’ve been for 26 years. I started there at such a young age, I was 17. And since then it has only been amazing project after amazing project. But to be honest, I find the Shanghai audience super curious and I love it. People are always keen on seeing new things and

getting to know what’s up-and-coming. The public in Shanghai always have lot of questions, and I like to insist on the fact that it is our goal to not only share the art, but to talk about it, and tell visitors about the artists. We want the public to feel free to ask questions. That is the whole point.’


On China’s contemporary art scene

‘The great thing about coming to China is that we are right now at an extraordinary moment in time, with a lot of art emerging. In all different fields, what is being created paves the way for new things and new ways of talking about the world that surrounds us. There are various fields where China is building up its own personality: in video, in photography and many more. I am very curious to see how it will evolve. My advice to young art lovers would be now is the time to follow art in China – there are still so many new talents emerging.’

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