MAP: transforming Shanghai's cultural landscape
Architecture is seen as frozen music, an epic of stone and a cultural monument. An art museum epitomizes this.
Aiming to level up with the world's top museums such as the Pompidou Center in Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Tate in London, museums in Shanghai have been "blossoming" in the past decade.
Visiting museums has become a lifestyle, a kind of social activity or recreation. As well as the exhibitions inside, what else can visitors enjoy on a cozy weekend afternoon at a museum?
In this series "Art Unfrozen: A Journey through Shanghai's Cultural Landmarks," we will guide you through an immersive experience, varying from each museum's architectural style, gift shops to its cafeteria or coffee shops in its neighborhood.
Now get ready for a museum trip!
The Museum of Art Pudong (MAP) with a stunning view of the Huangpu River and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, is destined to become one of Shanghai's top art venues.
Invested and managed by Lujiazui Group, the marble-and-glass rectangle-shaped structure is the latest work of the well-known architect Ateliers Jean Nouvel.
MAP's primary goal is to deliver world-class exhibitions and showcase the works of domestic artists.
On June 11, 2019, Shanghai Lujiazui (Group) Co Ltd and the Tate Gallery's Board of Trustees signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership. Under the agreement, Tate will provide training and expertise to the MAP initiative for three years.
The three inaugural exhibits in the summer of 2021 demonstrated the museum's aspiration.
"Odyssey and Homecoming" by Chinese fireworks artist Cai Guoqiang complements the other two shows on loan from the Tate Museum in the United Kingdom and the Fundacio Joan Mir in Spain.
The 13,000-square-meter museum in the heart of Pudong's Lujiazui area has become a new icon in Shanghai's cultural landscape.
A 53-meter-long bridge connects the museum to the beachfront platform on the Huangpu River's east bank from the second floor.
There are two "glass halls," one with a height of 6 meters and the other at 11 meters.
The glass on one side allows people to enjoy spectacular views of the Bund across the river, while the high-reflective LEDs on the other side mirror the Bund vista. For most visitors, this is a perfect angle for the breathtaking Bund view.
The design echoes the river and creates a subtle blend of light, art and image.
According to Nouvel, the design aims to blur the line between the building and the environment.
"I hope the museum can naturally, seamlessly integrate into its surroundings, like a serene sculpture rather than an individual building," he said. "I'm playing a game with the Huangpu River and the surrounding spaces."
In his eyes, MAP is a domain. It is a medium consisting of 4 hectares of warm white granite stones placed in a way that conjures up the irregular pattern of "crackled glass."
The Huangpu River, which is a body of water, borders the domain in the west. The domain literally drops right down to the water, where the stone whitens.
The café on the first floor serves soft drinks and coffee. The café and gift shop are actually housed together. Before waiting for the staff to prepare and serve the drinks, you can linger around the gift shop. Some of the items in the shop are art derivatives from the exhibitions.
ROOF PM is an excellent place to unwind after a museum visit. The 270-degree floor glass offers a panoramic view of the Bund. At dusk, the attractiveness of the museum and the city clearly triumphs.
However, the view changes when the lights are turned on at the Bund at 6pm. One can then truly comprehend what "a city without darkness" is.
Best-sellers at Gift Shop
The top three popular items at the gift shop are the MAP eco-friendly bag, the MAP rechargeable battery, and the MAP black-and-white hand-painted stainless steel vacuum flask.
MAP and LOQI, a popular eco-friendly maker of products, have collaborated to create an environmentally friendly bag with a splash of color. The bright striped pattern with the large MAP logo is lightweight and eye-catching.
The No. 2777 rechargeable battery is a hand-drawn line depiction of Pudong's Lujiazui and its surrounding landmark skyscrapers. The number is derived from the museum's address. The rechargeable battery, inspired by the art museum's insignia, is small and portable, with a 10,000mAh battery life.
The MAP stainless steel vacuum flask is hand-painted to reflect the architectural splendor of the museum while also echoing the surrounding skyline. It is made of double-layered 304 stainless steel with a pure white ceramic liner and can hold both hot and cold beverages. The mug is available in black and white with a gold foil rim and a label highlighting the museum's address.
If you go:
Address: 2777 Binjiang Ave, Pudong New Area
How to get there: Metro Line 2 or 14, Lujiazui Station