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July 24, 2021

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Zhangyuan Garden apt venue for Bei’s solo show

PERHAPS there is no better venue than the newly opened Zhangyuan Garden for artist Bei Jiaxiang’s solo exhibition.

Surrounded by a range of skyscrapers, Zhangyuan Garden is one of the traditional shikumen (stone-gate) lanes that house historical buildings.

Once the largest public activity venue in Shanghai in the final years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Zhangyuan Garden had witnessed a variety of new things during the changes of time — the first bicycle was tried out there, photo studios, movies, hot air balloons, different sports competitions, flower fairs, trade fairs, dramas, one after another they came to the historical stage of Zhangyuan Garden.

The exhibition titled “Somewhere in Time” features a number of canvases created by Bei, a veteran artist of “imagery style” that stands between realistic and abstract art.

Born in 1953 in Shanghai, Bei graduated from the Fine Art Department at Shanghai Normal University in 1976. In 1991, he emigrated to Australia.

However, a dream about ordinary life scenes in shikumen or a fantasy about old Shanghai in its heyday always haunts Bei. Although the images that the artist depicts are quite blurred, there is a clear pleasure and romance radiated from distant scenes.

Under the brushstrokes of Bei, the shikumen buildings, gracious ladies dressed in qipao, and rich and varied living in the lanes, all seem to trace back to the best days at Zhangyuan Garden in a bygone era.


Dates: Through September 26, 10am-5pm

Venue: Zhangyuan Garden

Address: Bldg 89, 590 Weihai Rd


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