Sotheby's Museum Network

Five Exhibitions to See in China

  • 2 Aug 2017
Jan Lievens’s Boy in a Cape and Turban (Portrait of Prince Rupert of the Palatinate), circa 1631, from The Leiden Collection

Jan Lievens’s Boy in a Cape and Turban (Portrait of Prince Rupert of the Palatinate), circa 1631, from The Leiden Collection

A Golden Age in Shanghai

Architecture alone is sufficient reason to visit the Atelier Deshaus-designed Long Museum West Bund: its twin buildings arch elegantly over a 1950s coal hopper, pitting Modernism against utilitarianism. In September, the Shanghai museum plays host to the touring exhibition of The Leiden Collection after its run at Beijing's National Museum of China. An extraordinary trove of Dutch Golden Age paintings, The Leiden Collection was assembled by US entrepreneur Thomas Kaplan and his wife, Daphne Recanati Kaplan, who have built a kind of lending library for Old Masters. In addition to eleven Rembrandts, works by Vermeer, Carel Fabritius, Frans Hals, Gerrit Dou and Rembrandt’s teacher, Pieter Lastman, are on show. Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes, from 1634, vies for attention with an exquisite self-portrait by another Lastman pupil, Jan Lievens. Thomas Kaplan has talked of the transformative effects of contacts between China and the Netherlands during the Golden Age of painting. For him, this exhibition is “nothing short of the return of this embrace centuries later.” HARRIET SALISBURY

Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals in the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden Collection, National Museum of China, Beijing, through 3 September; Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai, 23 September–25 February.

Bas Meeuws’s Mughal Botanical Number 02, at Photofairs Shanghai; Zhao Bandi and his stuffed panda.

Panda-Monium in Beijing

The Beijing-based Zhao Bandi is seldom without his stuffed panda. With photographs featuring the two of them often seen on city billboards, he’s turned China’s national symbol into a satirist whose speech bubbles offer subversive commentary on everything from pollution and personal hygiene to drug abuse and unemployment. Having shown in Asia, Europe and America, Zhao is only now having his first major solo show in China, featuring work from 1987 to the present, including painting, design, fashion, film and performance. The artist sees China’s social and political changes as a “fantastic party” of joy and sorrow, qualities he combines in his deadpan work. BELINDA BAKER

Zhao Bandi: China Party, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 5 August–22 October.

Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel Exhibition, Shanghai World Financial Centre


Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

See Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes from the Sistine Chapel reproduced and displayed in their original size, but not
so high up and far away. After opening in Montreal to rave reviews and drawing record-breaking crowds in Vienna, Munich, Dallas and New
York, this show is the next best thing to seeing the real thing.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition On Tour, Shanghai World Financial Centre, through 7 October.


Wang Chienyang's Fantastic Colour Bar

Inspired by Japanese anime and manga, gaming, toys and social media, the Taiwanese artist’s dazzlingly coloured basement room explores and embodies his preoccupations while also attracting the selfie-taking crowd.

Wang Chienyang's Fantastic Colour Bar, Ying Art Centre, Shanghai, through 7 November.


Philippe Parreno: Synchronicity

The French artist takes over four of the Rockbund Art Museum’s six floors as well as its glass rooftop, re-sequencing the architecture of the Art Deco building using light wells, screens, time-sequenced blinds, vertical partitions and 3D film.

Philippe Parreno: Synchronicity, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, through 17 September.

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