Stellar shows: We look at Shanghai's best exhibitions

Wang Jie
Whether looking for dragon imagery, classic European artistry, or Chinese artworks, our “Exhibitions of the Month” series will guide you to some of the best in the city.
Wang Jie

To hook into the vibrant art scene of Shanghai, you need only follow our "Exhibitions of the Month" series.

Here, we will guide you to the most visit-worthy exhibitions open at museums throughout the city. Whether featuring ancient or contemporary, modern or classical, realist or abstract, Western or Oriental, these exhibition options provide a glimpse of the city's art scene.

The subject highlight of the month is dragons, as 2024 marks the Chinese Year of Dragon.

Dragons, mythical creatures in legendary tales for thousands of years, are also a totem of the Chinese with spiritual power.

Ancient Chinese texts record that dragons are capable of changing their size and visibility at will, flying among the clouds in the middle of spring and hiding in water on the autumn equinox. Their potent and mysterious powers — particularly control over rain — encompassed matters essential to an agricultural society.

For those wanting to view dragon exhibitions, the Shanghai Museum and the Shanghai Library East are two options. We also look at other stellar shows now on.

Stellar shows: We look at Shanghai's best exhibitions

Silver Chain with Gilded Bronze Dragon Heads (618-907)

"Longing for Spring"

To celebrate the coming Year of the Dragon, "Longing for Spring" is showing at the Shanghai Museum. The exhibition invites visitors to appreciate eight dragon-shaped cultural relics from different periods that are on loan from the collection of the Shanghai Museum, the Liaoning Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, and the Xi'an Museum. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the "Silver Chain with Gilded Bronze Dragon Heads." The piece of Tang Dynasty (618-907) art was unearthed at Yaodian in Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, in 1980.

Date: 9am-5pm (closed on Mondays)

Address: 201 People's Avenue 人民大道201号

* Please make online reservation through

Stellar shows: We look at Shanghai's best exhibitions

"2024 Dragon – Zodiac Art Exhibition"

Using the dragon as a constant theme, professional and amateur artists have created many dragons in a variety of media on canvas, rice paper, in sculpture, graphic design, animation, and even CG and AIGC. There are dragons all over the library, including in the main entrance, exhibition halls, and passageways. The Shanghai Artists Association, Shanghai Animation Industry Association, and Shanghai Library organized the exhibition, and received 5,346 works (groups) from professionals and 1,716 works from children over the last two months.

Date: Through March 2, 1pm-8:30pm (Mondays), 9am-8:30pm (other days),

Address: 300 Hehuan Rd 合欢路300号

Admission: Free

Stellar shows: We look at Shanghai's best exhibitions

"Boy with Basket of Fruit," Caravaggio, 1595, oil on canvas

©Galleria Borghese, Rome

"Caravaggio. Wonders of the Italian Baroque"

The first Caravaggio-themed exhibition in China is showing at the Museum of Art Pudong through April.

Produced by the Shanghai Lujiazui Development (Group) Co Ltd, the exhibition also marks the first collaboration between MAP and Galleria Borghese in Rome, which boasts the largest collection of Caravaggio's works in a single collection.

With over 60 authentic works on view, among which six are iconic masterpieces by Caravaggio and others by more than 40 other Baroque artists, the exhibition presents a holistic picture of Baroque art. Merely the name of Caravaggio (1571-1610) stirs the senses of local art lovers.

Date: Through April 14, 10am-9pm

Venue: Museum of Art Pudong

Address: 2777 Binjiang Ave 滨江大道2777号

Stellar shows: We look at Shanghai's best exhibitions

"Scapiliata," Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), white lead with iron and cinnabar pigments on walnut board

"Who is Leonardo da Vinci?"

This exhibition is one of the series of "A Dialogue with the World Exhibition Series of Arts and Cultural Relics" at the museum. It is the first time the Shanghai Museum has presented an original exhibition of the dialogue between Eastern and Western art, as well as the most vivid representation of Leonardo da Vinci's (1452-1519) original works ever shown in China.

The exhibition features 18 works of Renaissance art from the collections of Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, and Casa Buonarroti, as well as 18 masterpieces of ancient Chinese painting from the Shanghai Museum.

Date: Through April 14 (closed on Mondays), 9am-5pm

Address: 201 People's Avenue 人民大道201号

Admission: 100 yuan (US$14.08), 80 yuan through the museum's WeChat mini-program (上海博物馆)

Stellar shows: We look at Shanghai's best exhibitions

"Sisters," Chang Shuhong, oil on canvas, 1936


The exhibition features more than 300 selected portraits created by 200 Chinese and international artists from the late 19th century to the present day.

Portraiture as an art form is a critical subject that includes both depiction of individuals and groups of people. Portraits usually show highly realistic skills as well as the inner world of the subject. They are not only a reproduction of a specific individual's face, but also a summary of that person's identity, which is presented through the observation and techniques of the artists of their times.

Date: Through April 21 (closed on Mondays), 10am-6pm

Venue: Long Museum West Bund

Address: 3398 Longteng Ave 龙腾大道3398号

Stellar shows: We look at Shanghai's best exhibitions

"Park Hotel No.10" by Yang Fudong, black-and-white ink-jet print

"In Shanghai"

This exhibition features 60 artworks by 20 artists and designers who are living or have lived in Shanghai for long periods.

Among them are three generations of artists including major names from Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), Liu Haisu (1896-1994), Yan Wenliang (1893-1988), to Chen Yifei (1946-2005), Ding Yi, Liu Jianhua, and Yang Fudong.

Since the opening of Shanghai as a port in the middle of the 19th century, the city has relied on the advantages of its geographical location and developed a solid economic foundation with a profound humanistic background.

There emerged a large group of prominent artists who have strongly influenced the history of modern Chinese culture and art. At this exhibition, visitors can find art forms created by representatives from the three different generations of artists who have close ties with Shanghai.

Date: Through February 26 (closed on Mondays), 10am-6pm

Venue: Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum

Address: 6/F, 27 Zhongshan Rd E1 中山东一路27号6楼

Admission: 38 yuan

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