Rockbund Art Museum temporarily closes for renovations. See you in the fall of 2020!

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Jan 05, 2020

 (January 5th, 2020) Beginning on January 6, 2020, Rockbund Art Museum will be temporarily closed for extensive renovations of the entire building. Renovation plans include expanding the museum’s public spaces, upgrading the exhibition facilities and equipment, improving preservation of the museum’s historic building, redesigning exhibition viewing routes and enhancing the overall functionality of the museum, so as to provide visitors with richer art exhibition experiences. After completion of renovations, the museum will reopen to the public in September 2020, to usher in the museum’s 10th anniversary with newly refurbished facilities. RAM’s first exhibition after reopening will be a solo exhibition by renowned Swiss artist John Armleder. During the renovation period, the museum team will continue its curatorial and research work, while also collaborating with local communities and organizations to develop RAM’s educational and public programs.

Rockbund Art Museum is housed in the former Royal Asiatic Society building, which once housed one of China's first modern museums -- the previously Shanghai Museum, established in 1932. This exquisite Art Deco building incorporates both western and eastern elements. The building has been renovated by the world-renowned architect David Chipperfield before the Museum’s inauguration in 2010. Ever since, the Museum has always been respecting and protecting the building’s cultural heritage, as well as constantly stimulating its new potentials and possibilities.

As Larys Frogier, the Director of Rockbund Art Museum elaborates, “It is now 10 years the Rockund Art Museum has been curating brilliant tailor made projects with contemporary artists from China, Asia and international. Each time they visit the Museum, artists are overwhelmed by the stunning features of its heritage Art Deco building as well as by the elegant, subtle renovation achieved by Chipperfield. The dynamic vertical elevation of the Museum, its unique human scale dimension, the ever changing play with natural light coming from windows and rooftop glass ceiling, the unexpected change of volumes from one floor to another, allow infinite possibilities and experiences for artists and visitors.

“But because RAM is always looking forward to reach the best professional standards for exhibition making, because at RAM we wish to support new formats of artists projects that go beyond mere exhibition or display, because we plan to welcome and to engage the visitors in more fluid, connected and contributive ways, the renovation of the Museum is now necessary. In the future, this renovation will allow much better service to our audience and will enhance the experience of the visitor to appropriate the Museum, not only as a place to visit, but as a living platform to meet with each other, to read, to think, to relax/drink/eat, and to explore different formats of art projects. We are thus closing temporarily our doors to make these doors always opened, welcoming for the benefit of cultural differences, social and human values.”

Renowned architect Alexis Dornier will be the lead designer in remodeling the museum this time. Respecting and preserving the building’s historical elements, Dornier will redesign the museum’s first floor public areas, to satisfy spatial and functionality requirements for the reception area, reading area, public education area and the museum store. He will also draft new exhibition viewing routes within the museum, providing more diverse viewing possibilities for visitors.

A main highlight of the 2020 renovations is the relocation of the museum entrance from its previously inconvenient position on the west side of the building, to the east side, coming out onto a museum square connecting the Rockbund area. The square bridges directly to Yuanmingyuan Road Block, with easy access to the Peninsula Hotel and other commercials and art venues. RAM also plans to organize various public projects in the square and surrounding areas. Another highlight to look forward to is the opening of the museum rooftop to the public for the first time! Combined with the six floors of the museum, the rooftop will be transformed into a unique two-story dining lounge area, creating even more possibilities for opening up the museum space. Here visitors will be able to mix and mingle, participate in museum events, or simply dine while taking in gorgeous views of the Huangpu River.

Regarding museum facilities, Rockbund Art Museum’s lighting system, temperature and humidity control system, and walls and flooring will be renovated and refurbished, allowing for higher-quality exhibitions and groundbreaking curatorial work in the future. Repairs and replacements will also be carried out in the heating system, electrical power system as well as water supply and sewage, so as to increase the overall functionality of the museum. With improving exhibition experience as the main objective behind renovations, the museum’s elevators, luggage lockers, restrooms, and accessibility facilities will all undergo redesign, expansion or refurbishing.

Over the past nine years, Rockbund Art Museum has presented more than thirty exhibitions, and held different types of public events. The newly renovated Rockbund Art Museum will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a brand new appearance and refurbished facilities. Stay tuned for more exciting art projects, and see you in the fall of 2020!

About Rockbund Art Museum

Inaugurated in 2010, Rockbund Art Museum is a contemporary art museum located on the Bund in Shanghai. The museum is housed in a heritage Art Deco building that originally was one of the first modern museums to be established in China. In 2019, Rockbund Art Museum has become an officially registered non-profit arts organization in Shanghai.

Distinguishing itself from the entrenched conditions of continental or nationality based organizations, Rockbund Art Museum is developing an oceanic vision of contemporary art. We aim to explore the importance of seas and archipelagos across Asia in order to unfold richer perspectives into today’s challenges, practices and networks within the art world. We wish to build constructive paradoxes within multiple localities in Asia and different cultures globally, opening spaces to enable free expression for artists, researchers and curators, and to dive into subtle and dense layers of new experiences with our audience.

With a strong reputation for our innovative curatorial approach, we look to conceive different art projects from research to alternative learning programs, from exhibition-making to unexpected para-performative formats. By supporting bold contemporary art practices, we aim to continually remake local histories, whilst also responding to global art challenges and social mutations.

We regard the role of exchange as an essential process required for a wider transformation to occur by building up a network of multi-regional, international and cross-disciplinary partnerships. Through this process, we aim to cultivate a diverse and deep-rooted connection to our audiences, communities, and also different social and cultural organizations. With powerful support from our board, patrons and Advisory Committee, we strive to observe, learn, and search for breakthroughs and opportunities to develop art projects in pursuit of a unique vision of life.

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