Uncovering Qingdao’s Art Scene

Uncovering Qingdao’s Art Scene
By Derek McGuire , eChinacities.com

Qingdao Art Museum. Photo: qdmeishuguan.com

Qingdao’s art gallery and museum scene can seem elusive to the visiting expat or new arrival. Indeed, art exhibitions can prove a moving target, temporary by nature and often poorly promoted, while the museums are more permanent. If you’re an art lover based in Qingdao, chances are you’ve missed an exhibition or display simply by not knowing about it in time. All of which is easily remedied.

The best means of addressing this is to get talking to the community when visiting galleries and museums, build guanxi, leave your card and make it abundantly clear that you’d love to hear about their events. In short, get your email address on mailing lists.

Creative 100 at Nanjing Lu is a great starting point. Though no longer the home of the Lan Shang Art Space– with the artist looking for a new space at the time of writing– it still houses occasional exhibits and the popular expat magazine, Redstar. The editorial staff members are informed promoters of all-things-artistic in Qingdao, and organisers of an art and music showcase entitled ‘Max’. While the event sadly skipped 2010– having ran annually for several years– it should return in 2011, and should not be missed by art and music lovers alike.

RedstarView In Map
Add:Room 401, Building 3, Creative 100, Nanjing Lu 100, ShiNan District, Qingdao
地址:青岛市南京路100号 创意100产业园. 3号楼401室.
Tel: 0532 8388 2269

Another art-focussed expat magazine, Art Effect (available online at www.arteffectmag.com) keeps enthusiasts up-to-date with the transient scene. Its sister site, www.qingdaonese.com, offers the city’s best, free discussion forum, with a dedicated section on art. Both should be high on the priority list of those with an interest in art or museums.

Qingdao 1919 Gallery of Contemporary Art青岛1919当代美术馆View In Map
Onto the galleries. The biggest and best is surely Qingdao 1919 Gallery of Contemporary Art in Taidong, which not only offers a large hall exhibiting contemporary art, but which is also neighboured by numerous, smaller private galleries. In these spaces you can meet artists and– if your language and creative abilities and confidence allow– take instruction to develop your own skills.

Add: 1919 Creative Industrial Park, 39 Chang Yi Lu, Shibei District, Qingdao
地址:青岛市1919 当代美术馆, 青岛1919国际建材博览中心, 昌 邑 路  39号 ( 原  卷  烟   厂  内)

Qingdao Art Museum青岛市美术馆View In Map
Also worth a look is Qingdao Art Museum, nestled behind the Red Cross building by the original campus of Qingdao University. Offering free entry on Fridays, their cycles of exhibits are, as is often the case, variable in standard and style, but often very impressive.
Add:7 Daxue Road, Shibei District, Qingdao
地址:万字会遗址/青岛市美术馆, 大学路7号, 中国山东省青岛市市北区
Tel: 0532 8288 8886 
Opening hours: 09:00-16:30
Price: 10 RMB (Free on Friday)

Boya Art & Framing GalleryView In Map
Boya Gallery is a little treasure tucked away on Minjiang Er Lu. A small industrial unit in a parking lot off the main street, it is crammed full of beautiful photographs taken by the skilled owner. While the landscapes, portraits and detail shots on display have an international range, the show is stolen by the shots of Qingdao itself, with these also compiled into an interesting book.

Add: 52 Minjiang Er Lu, ShiNan District, Qingdao
地址:闽江二路52号
Tel: 0532 8577 5924

Museums
If museums are more to your taste, then Qingdao has several to offer. If you’re interested in the history and production techniques of China’s favourite beer export – or if the novelty of a ‘drunk room’ appeals – then the Tsingtao Brewery Museum is worth a visit. With equally self-explanatory titles, the Qingdao Naval Museum and Hai’er Science Museum are another two popular choices. The Qingdao German Prison Site Museum is another interesting addition, with its Japanese torture chambers the most haunting memory visitors will take away with them. At the time of writing, the promising Qingdao Sculpture Museum on Donghai Dong Lu remained unopened after nearing completion for over a year, but its beautiful beachside location and the investment in it thus far all suggest it may be worth the wait, if it is ever completed.

Tsingtao Brewery MuseumView In Map
Add: 56 DengZhou Road, ShiBei District, Qingdao
地址:青岛啤酒博物馆, 登州路56号, 中国山东省青岛市市北区
Tel: 0532 8383 3437
Opening hours: 08:30 - 16:30
Price: 50 RMB 

Qingdao Naval MuseumView In Map
Add:8 LaiYang Road, ShiNan District, Qingdao
地址:青岛海军博物馆, 莱阳路8号, 中国山东省青岛市市南区
Tel:  0532 8287 4786
Opening hours: 08:00 - 17:00
Price: 30 RMB 

Haier Science MuseumView In Map
Add: High-Tech Zone, 10 MiaoLing Road, LaoShan District, Qingdao
地址:海尔科级馆, 苗岭路10号, 中国山东省青岛市崂山区
Tel:  0532 8889 9855
Opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00
Price: 10 RMB 

Qingdao German Prison Site MuseumView In Map
Add:25 ChangZhou Road, ShiNan District, Qingdao
地址:德国监狱旧址博物馆, 常州路25号, 中国山东省青岛市市南区
Tel: 0532 8286 8820, 8286 9773
Opening hours: 08:30-17:30 (Summer); 09:00-17:00 (Winter) 
Price: 25 RMB

Qingdao offers a variety of options to ‘culture vultures’ looking for their fix of art and history, but you may have to test the waters a little before finding something to your tastes. 

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Keywords: Qingdao art gallery Qingdao art exhibition Qingdao art museum

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