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MB News | Opening of the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project

Posted on Nov 8, 2019 in MB News

On November 8th the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project officially opened its doors in Shanghai, in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, with two exceptional exhibitions, The Shape of Time and Observations, and a rich program of indoor and outdoor performances, children activities, workshops, and talks, kicking-off a 5-year collaboration between the Centre Pompidou and the West Bund Development Group, the largest ever artistic cooperation between China and France. MB Projects was happy to advise and accompany the Centre Pompidou and the West Bund Group in their collaboration.

From 2019 to 2024, the Centre Pompidou and the West Bund Group will be collaborating to offer the public, both in China and in France, new and diverse insights on French, Chinese and international modern and contemporary art. In China, the collaboration takes the form a brand new museum operated by the West Bund Group, the West Bund Museum, which, for 5 years, will be exclusively filled with extraordinary masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou collections and will propose a multidisciplinary cultural program entirely built with the help of the Centre Pompidou’s team and expertise. During the same period, in Paris, the Centre Pompidou will present several exhibitions and projects by Chinese artists.

Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the West Bund Museum is a 25,000sqm building located on the banks of the Huangpu River, in the Xuhui Waterfront district. Built over three floors, it is organized around a central atrium from which the three wings of the building spread out. Located on the top floor, the three main galleries host the permanent and temporary exhibitions. Large windows at their ends offer panoramic views over the park, the river and the city.

The first floor welcomes the public from the riverside, with ticketing services, a museum shop and Gallery 0, a space dedicated to prospective projects commissioned to emerging Chinese and international artists. The lower level of the museum, which can be accessed from a set of stairs descending into a sunken courtyard, offers an 800sqm public education hall; a state-of-the-art auditorium; and a “black-box” showcasing audiovisual installations. A museum shop, a restaurant, a café, a bar and a terrace with breathtaking views of the Huangpu waterfront complete the museum spaces and offer a nice array of relaxing options for the visitor.

Over the course of the partnership, three 18-months long “permanent exhibitions” will be on view, as well as two “temporary exhibitions” per year, offering the public a consistent program of top-end, carefully curated, well documented shows covering the main movements that shaped the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project opened with two major exhibitions: The Shape of Time – Highlights from the collections of the Centre Pompidou (2F, Halls 2 & 3, November 8, 2019 – 9 May, 2021), and Observations, Highlights from the New Media Collection (2F, Hall 1, November 8, 2019 – 29 March, 2020).

Photo © West Bund Museum