China has been experiencing a museum boom, with a 60% increase in the number of museums country-wide between 2009 and 2014, alone. In June 2018, Museum 2050, a Shanghai-based platform for investigating key issues about cultural institutions in China, convened a team of global cultural experts to discuss this phenomenon and its implications for the future. In this article, Dominic Ngai sits down with Museum 2050 co-founders Nicole Ching and Leigh Tanner to learn more about the convening and discuss China’s cultural development.
One of the most interesting things happening in China’s museum scene is that the very definition of museum is being redefined.
Over the past decade, Beijing's 798 Art Zone or M50 and the West Bund Culture Corridor in Shanghai are true testaments to China's growing appetite for arts. Each weekend, hordes of youngsters can be seen hanging out in these neighborhoods with their friends over cups of coffee, lining up to see the latest big-name exhibitions in town, and of course, snapping plenty of selfies for their WeChat Moments and Instagram posts.