Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum was established by the China Minsheng Bank for the purpose of promoting contemporary art and culture. Building a world-class museum is part of the corporate responsibility platform of the China Minsheng Bank in a mission of "bringing art to the public, bringing people into the realm of art".
“Minsheng bringing art to the public ,Minsheng bringing people into the realm of art .”
The museum is committed to a model which includes international exchange, and a broad range of public education activities to open up a viable space for art. In the interest of fostering an understanding of art within the general public and creating a pluralistic landscape of art and culture,the museum is creating a dialogue between pure art and applied art; traditional art and the avant-garde art, to break down the barriers and close the gap between art and the general public.
The future collections of the museum, our exhibitions, our research and publishing and our critical sensibility will impact the creation of contemporary culture and express the cultural landscape of a new era.
The Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum was established in 2008 by the China Minsheng Bank, in a spirit of ‘pioneering boldness’ - it was the first art museum dedicated to public welfare to be founded by a Chinese financial institution.
A partner museum, the Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, also opened to the public in 2014. Situated at the former French Pavilion of the World Expo site, the second museum marked the beginning of a cooperation based on the ideal of “one city, two institutions: enriching and uplifting one another.”
In 2017, changes were made to the strategies of both museums, along with the decision to integrate the two museums into one entity, thereby starting a new chapter for the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum.
Since its establishment, the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum has been dedicated to the comprehensive display of art, to international and intercultural dialogue, and to a public education that is most expansive. The museum team has also engaged tirelessly in the research of museum operations and management, efforts which have evolved into a procedural museum operations and management system. From its opening to the present day, the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum has hosted more than a hundred exhibitions and almost tenfold that number of public education events, having touched the lives of an estimated one million individuals.
In 2019, the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum was officially relocated to Jing’an Xinyefang.
With the support of the China Minsheng Bank,the museum is trying to stimulate cross-disciplinary multi-cultural creation, not only to help create a renaissance in the Expo area, but also to become a symbol of art and culture—a hub of exchange and creativity between China and the rest of the world.
International Art Platform
Through various exchanges between artists and art organizations, we will provide an interactive platform between artists and the public, which will eventually form an international network.
A Practice Space for Experimental Art
The museum will foster new forms, host multifaceted large exhibitions, theater, cultural workshops, avant-garde cultural movements and experimental art projects bringing the force of creativity into the lives of the average people.
As part of the CSR ethic of the China Minsheng Banking Corporation, using a core of creative exchange and the strategic advantages of the future development of the Expo site, we will carry out a wide range of public education activities to host exchanges between design, art, science and technology and music, creating an immersive creative environment for the public.
Media and Urban Research
With smart creative, user-friendly design, sound and light elements, the museum reflects on the idea of a modern city, the built environment and living conditions to explore the possibilities of bringing art into urban life and hopes to explore other future directions of urban development.
The Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum is located in the complex of Jing’an Xinyefang - the former location of the Shanghai Metallurgical and Mining Machinery Factory. The museum building occupies a total surface area of approximately 7,000 square metres, with 2,800 square metres of exhibition space. The museum’s largest exhibition space, the Atrium Exhibition Hall, spans a surface area of 600 square metres and a storey height of 8 metres.
The factory building was redesigned by China Academy of Art Professor Xie Tian and his team, based on the design philosophy: “To have a vast yet silent understanding, to know emptiness and substance.” The first phrase “to have a vast yet silent understanding” comes from Laozi’s Dao De Jing, and in this context carries multiple meanings: visually, it is the usage of a simple colour scheme to contrast with the rich meaning of the artwork; physically, it is the incorporation of new and old materials to embody our appreciation of history; with regard to the mood of a space, it is the adoption of silence in order to better internalize our inner emotions. The second phrase, “to know emptiness and substance,” has its roots in Buddhism, and is a statement regarding the art museum space. “Emptiness” is that which is invisible or formless, whereas “substance” is that which is visible or has form. In the context of art, the museum space represents “emptiness”, while the artwork represents “substance” - the “emptiness” of the museum space can only exist because of the “substance” of the artwork, and vice versa. “Emptiness” and “substance” thus depend on each other for existence. If the museum space is designed in a way that it becomes an ‘invisible stage,’ then it will be better able to fully display an artist’s creation and to more accurately convey its meanings and messages. This is the same fundamental attitude taken by the museum staff in regards to the museum space.