TRAVEL FRAGMENTS - SHANGHAI Rockbund district, China
This neighbourhood, at the far North Eastern end of the famous Bund, is undergoing significant transformation, whilst managing to retain (for now) its down-to-earth and gritty atmosphere. It centres around the Rockbund Art Museum and is peppered with Art Deco heritage buildings, also offering glimpse of the Bund and the famous Pudong skyline.
We have visited Rockbund Art Museum multiple times, and on this last visit, the entire venue had been taken over by Chinese contemporary art superstar Song Dong. The multimedia exhibition 'I don't Know the Mandate of Heaven' occupies every single nook and cranny of the old Art Deco building, with paintings, photographs, installations, ceramic sculptures, and videos. Even the lifts and outdoor space are featuring some artworks. This is an ambitious and immersive project that weaves together famous artworks and specially commissioned pieces, and is a great introduction to Song Dong's body of work. The kids loved it, even though we had to work hard to wrangle them around and repeating on a loop NOT TO TOUCH THE ARTWORKS. Thankfully, the museum staff are as friendly and patient as ever at R.A.M. !
We had a good wander around the neighbourhood afterwards before stopping for coffee and cakes at the latest outpost of Farine, the ever-reliable Frenchie 'Baker meets Barista" emporium in Shanghai.