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September 23, 2011

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Creativity grows in city

SHANGHAI'S emerging cultural and creative industry has reached 9.75 percent of city GDP and is expected to reach 12 percent by 2015, the government said yesterday.

The city said the cultural and creative industry in 2010 reached a total output value of 549.9 billion yuan (US$86.2 billion), 14.2 percent higher than 2009 and a much higher rate of growth than the city's overall GDP. The industry employed 1.09 million people in Shanghai, the report said.

But many individual artists find it increasingly tough to spot an affordable creative studio amid the boom.

"We all witness how the creative industry developed in the past 10 years, and particularly rocketed in the recent two to three years, which is great and needed for a country getting increasingly richer," 32-year-old painter and installation artist Eric Xu told Shanghai Daily. "But the paradox is that the city has expanded, upgraded and opened so many creative zones, yet I find it increasingly difficult to get an affordable space for creativity."

Xu was among a group of artists who settled in the city's art hub M50 on Moganshan Road and later moved to the much cheaper 696 Weihai Road when M50 got too expensive. Last September, Xu and his neighbors were kicked out of 696 as the space was taken by Jing'an District.

The city has more than 100 cultural and creative zones, with many focusing on one field, such as the National Digital Press Foundation in Pudong, the National Music Industry Foundation in Hongkou District and the Shanghai animation hub in Yangpu District.

Rents for many spaces have hit 15,000 yuan a month for a 100-square-meter studio.


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