Pandemic inspires the art world to migrate online

Wang Jie
Art Plus Shanghai joined hands with M50, one of the most famous art hubs in the city, to hold an online art fair, featuring more than 100 galleries housed in M50.
Wang Jie

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people in the art community now realize the importance of online displays and merchandising for future development.

On May 19, Art Plus Shanghai, a local art fair launched last year, joined hands with M50 to hold an online art fair (www.artshanghaifair.com). The one-month show features more than 100 galleries housed in M50, one of the most famous art hubs in the city, which includes ShanghART, CoSpace and Vanguard.

According to Gu Zhihua, founder of the fair, Art Plus Shanghai aims to create an art platform featuring commerce, social media, art news and art appreciation.

“We adopted a strategic plan of 4+365,” said Gu. “Four stands for the period of the real art fair offline, while 365 indicates the platform’s daily online display and trading function.”

Last October, the first Art Plus Shanghai International Fair was held at the city’s World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. The four-day event attracted 101 domestic and foreign galleries and 25,000 visitors.

It recently initiated an online payment system, enabling Art Plus Shanghai to become a year-round online event.

In order to better support local galleries hit hard by the recent lockdown, Art Plus Shanghai is waiving the online service fee for participating galleries and art institutions for two years.

“The global health crisis is accelerating the demand for the online expo industry,” Gu said. “We recently conducted a survey and discovered those born in the 1990s, when the Internet became widely used, are on track to become the largest block of consumers later this year.

“They have different news-consumption habits, lifestyles and social lives but are prime art consumers,” Gu added. “And we believe the online art platform will be a good complement for offline businesses with more flexibility that encourages submissions from artists regardless of where they live.”

Pandemic inspires the art world to migrate online
Ti Gong

Art Plus Shanghai is a local art fair launched last year.

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