Hangzhou is home to one of China’s most important and famous fine arts universities, the China Academy of Art. Naturally, surrounding the leafy Nanshan Campus is a myriad of small art galleries. While many of these showcase traditional Chinese art or calligraphy, both beautiful art forms in their own rights, it’s often hard for the inexperienced visitor to tell the treasures from the trash. However, there has been a proliferation of small, modern art galleries around the campus downtown that are worth visiting. All the art galleries below are within walking distance of each other, so take an afternoon and educate yourself on China’s young modern art scene!
1) China Academy of Art中国美术学院
The China Academy of Art Nanshan Lu Campus is well worth a look. While it mostly houses administrative buildings, it’s still a pleasant stroll. As it is a university, there are occasional student shows or international artists’ works on display. However, be forewarned that the galleries are sometimes closed to the public; check before you go.
China Academy of ArtView In Map
Add: 218 Nanshan Lu, Hangzhou
2) Clepic Gallery清影河坊店
Clepic Gallery is especially convenient if you have out of town guests who want to do the touristy shopping on Hefang Jie. Walking on Hefang Jie towards West Lake, away from the McDonalds, will bring you to a small, but breezily open gallery. Clepic favours natural tones of green and brown, although that could change depending on which artist they are showing. At the time of writing, a South African artist’s work concerning issues of expat life in China were on display, and any foreigner owes it to him or herself to check out the work that even the most depraved philistine could understand.
Clepic Gallery View In Map
Add: 465 Hefang Jie, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 78023522
3) Direct Art Center方向艺术中心
Around the corner from Clepic is the Direct Art Center. If you head away from West Lake on Hefang Jie, away from Clepic, and take a right on Siyi lu, you’ll find this peaceful gallery. It has a more industrial/loft feel to it and seems very adaptable to a variety of exhibitions. The curator was nice enough to give me a surprisingly thorough and clear English-language tour of the current exhibition, Invisible Landscape. This exhibition featured some big-name Chinese artists, both from the local China Academy of Art and from Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, as well as other artists from France, India, and Iran.
Direct Art Center View In Map
Add: Zhongda Wuzhuang, 17 Siyi Lu, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 87830818
Down the road from the China Academy of Art is the easy-to-spot Greenhouse (which, take note, isn’t a greenhouse but a green house). The art gallery within is quiet and small. When I visited, the gallery was displaying the Academy of Art student’s glasswork, which was subtly impressive—nothing looked at all like a flower vase. According to the signs at the front, the gallery appears to be run by a rather famous artist, although there were no other visitors when I visited and there was only one woman (who was not the owner) in the small office around the corner. The sliding glass doors contrast with the wood accents to make a sleek but natural-feeling place, its charm being the natural silence that contrasts with the bustle of Nanshan Lu.
Greenhouse View In Map
Add: 182-1 Nanshan Lu, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 87024609
5) Sunshine Art/Impressions Gallery三尚当艺术馆/印象画廊
At the very southern end of Yan’an Road you’ll find, next to the Caribbean BBQ restaurant and under a China Telecom store, both Sunshine Art and Impressions Gallery. Having no delimiting walls separating them, the two galleries are essentially merged into one.. The right portion of the building sold high-end artsy furniture and house wares, as well as a few paintings, while the back was a library. The left portion was the actual gallery, with a variety of Persian rugs on display. The items exhibited are changed on a regular basis and they don’t charge to get in, so it can’t hurt to have a look!
Sunshine Art/Impressions Gallery View In Map
Add: 51-1 Yan’an Nan Lu, Hangzhou
Tel: 0571 87825611
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Keywords: art galleries Hangzhou modern art Hangzhou art galleries around China Academy of Art Hangzhou
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