The new Shanghai space of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art will be housed in an 86-story tower currently being built along K’s Suzhou Creek Image courtesy of K. Wah Group
The UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing confirmed plans to open a new center in Shanghai at the beginning of 2021.
The institution is partnering with the K property conglomerate headquartered in Hong Kong. Wah International Holdings Ltd is opening UCCA Shanghai on the second to fourth floors of a mixed-use 86-story tower currently being built along the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai, at the southeast corner of the Qufu Lu and Xizang Bei Lu intersection in northern Jing’an District.
“We’re super excited,” says Philip Tinari, director and CEO of the UCCA, to The Art Newspaper.”I’ve always been a fan of and in somehow a participant in what’s going on in Shanghai, from early collaborations such as with artists [there] like MadeIn and Yang Fudong and others, so to finally put down some roots there is really exciting.” “Obviously, Shanghai is part of China, beyond the perennial question of Beijing versus Shanghai, and it is an interesting opportunity to start thinking about ourselves as an institution that does not work on a local scale but on a national scale.”
The public announcement came during UCCA’s annual fundraising gala in Beijing, and comes just before one-year anniversary of the opening of UCCA Dune, a satellite museum in Hebei Province.
Tinari is talking about the 500 sq. M exhibition space in Dune, managed from the Beijing Museum, provided a “pilot” to expand the organization. “We thought of it as the start of UCCA being bigger than one space in Beijing.”
“The connection to UCCA will make a distinction between UCCA Shanghai and other things in Shanghai on one level. We don’t see it as a separate entity, but as a another phase,” says Tinari.
Shanghai “must certainly be different” relative to the Beijing-managed Dune.
He states: “We foresee having a team of about 20 people in Shanghai, all linked back to Beijing, and all parts of their larger departments back here. We’re going to think holistically about the project, some of which will mean exhibits that will pass between Beijing and Shanghai in some cases.”
The space in Shanghai will include an extension of the latest UCCA Labs initiative, which Tinari describes as “a commercial division doing crossover with brands” to create “integrated art and design collaborations.”
Above all, it will expand the core programming directions of UCCA to “make sense of Chinese contemporary art history, incorporate and present relevant international positions and developments and shine a spotlight on new voices around us.”


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