M50 - Moganshan Road Art Space in Shanghai

Introduction to Moganshan 50 or M50, Shanghai's Original Art Space

M50 is the name of the complex that has become the Moganshan Road Art District in Shanghai. Formerly a set of dilapidated warehouses, the complex, just south of Shanghai's Suzhou Creek, has been turned into one of Shanghai's premier locations for showcasing the city's contemporary art movement.

What's at M50

There are some very interesting galleries as well as a lot of galleries that won't be there by the time you read this article and get yourself down to M50.

Let's just say it's a transient space. The last time I visited, aside from galleries, there are a few coffee shops, a very expensive Art Deco furniture shop,  an art supply shop and a few other random stores selling curios, knickknacks and clothing.

At the galleries themselves, you'll find everything from what has become much-copied black and white photography of Shanghai's urban development to bizarre statuary made from scrap metal. There are some bargains to be had, many of our visitors to Shanghai have left the district with a reasonably-priced piece of art tucked under an arm.

How to Visit M50

I wouldn't say M50 has the most interesting art galleries but it certainly has the most clustered together in one location. If you're in Shanghai to view contemporary art, you'll need to go farther afield than M50. If you happen to coincide with Sheila Greenspan, a visiting art educator who comes to Shanghai annually to lecture and give tours, then sign up for one of her gallery visits.

She always hosts one or two in M50. (Contact Eastlink Gallery for Ms. Greenspan's schedule. Contact details for the gallery are here.)

Put These Galleries on Your List

Wandering around M50 is sort of the point. But it's good to have a list of a few galleries to search for so you're not just wandering aimlessly.

Here are a few that typically have interesting shows and exhibitions going on:

  • Eastlink Gallery - this gallery is located on the 5th floor of a warehouse. It's slightly difficult to locate but the large, open gallery is worth a visit.
  • shanghART H-Space Gallery - one of the oldest contemporary art galleries in Shanghai, this Swiss-owned gallery showcases some of China's most famous artists.

  • M97 Photography gallery - while technically not inside the M50 compound, you should make a stop at this photography gallery just outside compound.

Details for Getting There

  • Address: 50 Moganshan Road near Suzhou Creek.
  • Chinese address: 莫干山路50号(近苏州河)
  • Say it in Chinese: "moh gahn shan loo, woo shih how"
  • Getting there: it's best to take a taxi, right now there are no subway stops nearby.