New exhibitions reopen across China amid virus mitigation
By Wu Yan

Art and other exhibitions have been reopening at venues across China after being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Preventive measures, such as physical distancing, are put in place as the country mitigates against the virus.

In Shanghai, art institutions have opened their doors since March 13, with some resuming and extending previously suspended exhibitions. Among the first batch of institutions holding new exhibitions, Ota Fine Arts Shanghai introduced works by Chen Wei, Yayoi Kusama, Masanori Handa and other artists in the form of a private viewing room on April 11.

ShanghART Shanghai presented the exhibition "CACHE form B to Z" on April 11, featuring the works by 38 artists, which provoke people thinking about what strategies and mindsets we should take to deal with the unexpected in life, echoing the situation of the ongoing pandemic.

A poster for the exhibition "WHO AM I." /Tang Contemporary Art

A poster for the exhibition "WHO AM I." /Tang Contemporary Art

Although Beijing's museums have remained closed, galleries have taken the first step toward resuming operations. Tang Contemporary Art in Beijing was considered one of the first galleries in first-tier cities to present a new show on March 14. Joining hands with Berlin-based KÖNIG GALERIE, the group's show "WHO AM I" presents works by acclaimed artists such as Kathryn Andrews, Norbert Bisky and Peter Dreher.

In the capital's renowned 798 Art Zone, galleries have offered solo exhibitions of contemporary artists from Tu Xi to Li Jikai with their latest works.

Many museums and art galleries in other parts of China have also introduced new exhibitions, including Cui Jianjun's solo exhibition in Qingdao.

"The Call" exhibition is taking place at the China Art Museum, Shanghai. /Sina Weibo

"The Call" exhibition is taking place at the China Art Museum, Shanghai. /Sina Weibo

Exhibitions featuring coronavirus combat become a hit

The coronavirus epidemic leaves a legacy for art. On April 8, Shanghai held its first special exhibition on coronavirus "The Call" in China Art Museum.

Selected from over 13,000 works of art and photography, over 800 exhibits show how medical workers, hospital construction workers, deliverymen, community volunteers and others work on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus. The medical team Shanghai dispatched to Hubei Province was invited to watch the exhibition.

Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, rolled out China's first offline exhibition about coronavirus "Our Appreciation to Ordinary Heroes" on March 20. Dozens of artists in Nanjing created more than 60 paintings and calligraphic works to ode to the responsibility and greatness of ordinary people on the frontline.

Exhibitions of similar themes have been held in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, Shenzhen of Guangdong Province, Fuzhou of Fujian Province and other parts of the country, as well as online.

An art exhibition on coronavirus combat held in Fuzhou, Fujian Province. /

An art exhibition on coronavirus combat held in Fuzhou, Fujian Province. /

Measures taken to prevent virus

To prevent crowd gathering, museums and galleries have taken measures to help visitors keep social distancing.

According to a guideline issued by the Shanghai government in March, museums and galleries are required to carry out online reservations, cut the number of visitors by half of maximum capacity, and usher in visitors in batches and at phased times.

Guangdong Museum, which opened on March 19, caps the daily maximum number of visitors to 2,400 and the maximum instantaneous reception to 600 people, and asks visitors to keep at least a 1.5-meter distance from other visitors.

(Cover image designed by Gao Hongmei)