With a population of over 16 million, the world's busiest cargo port and an economy growing at 12% plus a year, a serious cadre of art collectors has begun to emerge in Shanghai, leading to the creating of a new generation gallerists, curators and artists.
M50, Shanghai's best-known art community to date, located amidst a complex of converted factory buildings on the southern bank of the Suzhou River. Once the Xinhe Spinning Mill, an enterprise of the Zhou-family, which supplied merchants from Huizhou, Anhui province, the complex was renamed Xinhe Cotton Mill, Shanghai No.12 Woolen Mill (1962), and Shanghai Chunming Woolen Mill (1994).
More than twenty industrial workshops has collected to stand erect in this Park, which were build in succession from 1938 to 1994 and covers a construction area of more than 300,00 square meter. In 1999, the industrial park reorganized its assets and began leasing out the former factory spaces. Today this area has become a hot spot for contemporary art, and boasts over 100 galleries, design studios, architectural firms, and artists workshop.
(extract from the writing of Vivi He Ying & Tony Fu)