Shanghai has enjoyed a flourishing art scene this past decade, comfortably level with its more established Beijing counterpart. In recent years, not one but four new art fairs have met with success, while the burgeoning arts district, West Bund, opened two large-scale private museums in 2014 alone.
Cutting through the density of downtown Shanghai, the Huangpu River simultaneously unites and divides what can best be described as a city of two halves. To the east lies the glitzy, jagged silhouette of the iconic Lujiazui skyline. West of the river is Puxi, the historic center of Shanghai where, tucked between tree-lined boulevards and traditional low-level housing, some of the city’s best-known rituals play out: games of Mahjong amidst clouds of cigarette smoke and the din of caged crickets, surrounded by enticing smells from shared kitchens.