In 2016, 363 new museums were opened in China, or nearly one new opening every single day. It seems impossible to record every new opening, but here is a selection of some well-publicised (or funny) ones during the first half of 2018, in chronological order, as spotted on my Scoop.it.
- Liangzhu Museum, an archaeology museum in Hangzhou, reopens after 10-month’s refurbishing and a new museography.
- Guangfulin Cultural Relics Park began its trial opening in suburban Shanghai. A museum will be built on the exacavation site in 2019.
- Eight new museums have just opened in Chongqing, founded by Fan Jianchuan, teacher-mayor-turned-billionnaire, who owns the Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Sichuan. His dream is to build 100 museums.
- Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, the landmark venue in Hong Kong’s former Central Police Station compound, opened partially in May and will give local artists a world-class exhibition space.
- Chinese movie star Jackie Chan donated four Hui-style historic residences to a new museum in east China’s Anhui province.
- China Nanhai Museum (or South China Sea Museum) was opened on the island of Hainan in April, right after the province’s 30th anniversary.
- The China Art Academy in Hangzhou opened an international design museum with an inaugural exhibition on Bauhaus.
- The International Table Tennis Federation opened a Pingpong Museum in Shanghai (quiz: do you know who invented pingpong?)
- Also in Shanghai, an ink art museum opens and China Securities Museum opened in June at the art deco Astor Hotel near the Bund.
Other projects announced recently and to look forward to in the near future:
- Construction work will soon begin on a huge arts city near Beijing. “China is spending 18 billion yuan (US$2.8 billion) to build a 988 acre (four million square metre) new city dedicated to the arts that will include performance venues, a museum, exhibition space for artist residencies and offices.”
- K11 MUSEA in Hong Kong, a museum-retail complex described as “doubling as a new ultra high-end experiential retail, art, cultural, and dining destination” situated in the heart of Hong Kong’s US$2.6 billion Victoria Dockside development, to be expected in 2019. In 2018, K11 has opened new malls in Guangzhou and Shenyang with dedicated art space added to the shopping experience. If you don’t know about the concept of “art malls” yet, there is a series of articles about Adrien Cheng and his K11.
- The Red Dot Design Museum Essen in Germany intends to expand its reach in Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui province.
- The Shanghai-based Atelier Deshaus has completed the structural renovation of an industrial building in China that will form the Taizhou Contemporary Art Museum.
- Shanghai, home to numerous famous writers whose houses have been turned into house-museums, will finally open a new literature museum in 2021.
- Shanghai aspires to become an “international cultural metropolis” by 2020 and the East Bund (the name of the government-backed developer) is on the rise as museums building boom continues.
- Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius in east China’s Shandong Province, plans to build China’s first teacher museum in the next two to three years.
- Covering an area of 61,800 square meters, Mangrove museum will be built in Shenzhen by the State Forestry Administration and the municipal government of Shenzhen. It is expected to receive about 2 million visitors annually.
- In Luoyang, the capital of 13 dynasties, an archaeology site museum is being built on the ruins from the Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BC). It will be called the Erlitou Relic Museum and is expected to be completed in October 2019. The museum will cover about 14 hectares and cost a total of 630 million yuan (US$96 million) to build.
- After the successful Shanghai Natural History Museum, global architecture firm Perkins+Will will design the Suzhou Science & Technology Museum.
And… bientôt a Rodin Museum in China?
The Parisian Rodin Museum plans to open an outpost in China: Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Xiongnan (Hebei Province, just outside Beijing) are the candidate cities. The museum will loan 100+ pieces from its collection to its Chinese branch. According to French media, Shenzhen seems to be the strongest contender because several venues were visited by the French delegation.
Earlier this year, during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit in China, it was announced that the Centre Pompidou will open a branch in Shanghai. At that time, the agreement with the Chinese partner was said to be expected to be signed in the first semester of 2018 and so far no more news about the project.