k11 art mall. there’s art. in a mall.

The K11 Art Mall in Shanghai is an offshoot of Hong Kong’s K11 Art Mall, and though I think the Hong Kong one is more successful in its incorporation of art pieces … whatevs. It’s a mall. A MALL.

However artsy it is, the primary objective of a mall is to sell stuff (especially over-priced luxury stuff). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely knocking this art mall concept. It is great that it’s basically public art and you can wander around an he air-conditioned space and appreciate art without having to pay admission or venture way out into Pudong or the West Bund, but it’s still a mall. Perhaps it’s my prejudice against the archaic mall form (that’s led to ghost structures across America) or maybe I’m too idealistic, but I feel like the gaudy commercialism of a mall can’t help but tarnish fine art.

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Huang Kui, Boundless World (series)

Pretty, ain’t it? There is some nice art peppered throughout the floors, and it’s a bit like a treasure hunt trying to follow K11’s map and find all the pieces. Also, the mall does have a proper exhibition space in the basement, where there’s currently a Claude Monet exhibition that will close this Sunday. I haven’t gone and I doubt I will because A) the 100 RMB entrance fee is ridiculous for a single exhibition, B) I’ve seen Monet before so I’m good, and C) IT’S IN A MALL.

K11 Art Mall
shanghaik11.com
300 Middle Huaihai Road
Huangpu District, Shanghai
Daily, 10 AM – 10 PM

raffles city beijing

There are a hell of a lot of malls in China. I grew up in suburban America, so I of course have fond memories of going to the mall on the weekend. Because there’s really not much to do in suburban American on the weekend other than go shopping, eat, or watch a movie – all of which were conveniently located at the local mall. Nowadays the (American) mall has basically died out. In China, they’re alive and well … although a bit anemic.

That’s what happens when there are a million malls within spitting distance of each other, and all of them carry just about the same things, and all of them are more expensive than your average local can afford to shop at. They’re really all about the same. Basically, they’re massive, shiny, and always sorta empty. It really doesn’t make any sense why they keep getting built, because they don’t seem very profitable. It’s also really freakin’ easy to get turned around in one of them and I hate how they’re designed, although many of them are quite pretty.

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This is an interior shot of Raffles City Beijing. There’s another Raffles City in Shanghai. And … a few other cities. Because why stop at one, right? I’m not really sure what to make of the angular glass blob that kind of grew off of the floors into the open space. Probably they were just trying to add a bit of excitement into the plan of it so there could be some sort of connecting vertical element instead of just level upon level of the same, but no. Totes odd.  Oh, and without a doubt, if it’s a Chinese mall, there is either a Costa, Starbucks, or Coffee Bean. Even though a lot of Chinese people don’t drink coffee.

jing’an temple – finally

Yes, I just posted yesterday. But today was rather special, so I thought I’d go ahead and post again. This morning I received some clothes I had ordered online and was pretty happy with it all. For lunch, I went to Yang’s Fry Dumplings and had their shengjianbao. Yum. Didn’t take any pictures though because I was with a friend and I thought it would’ve been rude. Anyway … afterwards I went to the Jing’an Temple. I FINALLY WENT! The temple is right next to the metro station, the one I go to at least twice a week, and is less than ten minutes from where I live, but this is the first time I’ve stepped foot in the temple. I can’t believe it took me a year to see it. It was nice … like all the other temples in China.

Why was this day special? Because I got to cross two things off my Shanghai bucket list! The restaurant and temple had been on it for the longest time. The picture below is from the Jing’an Temple. The area around the temple is very modern, like the mall in the picture’s background. The colors didn’t come out too good because of the lighting, so I just stripped the image of color and added some sepia. Not something I’d normally do, but hey, today’s special, remember?

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