From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
island6 Arts Center
Established 2006
Location Shanghai
Coordinates 31°14′58″N 121°26′39″E / 31.24942°N 121.44411°E / 31.24942; 121.44411
Type Contemporary art
Director Thomas Charveriat
Public transit access Zhongtan Road 3 4
Website island6 Arts Center

island6 Arts Center (Chinese:六岛艺术中心) is an artist-run space and creative platform located in Shanghai, P.R.C.. It was established in 2006 by French curator/artist Thomas Charvériat, and aims to support "a large roster of European and Chinese artists whose work is exhibited in a series of tightly curated group shows."[1] Artists at the current Shanghai location have over 750 square meters to work with, as well as an exhibition area and production studio.

Since April 2006, island6 Arts Center has had four locations in the Moganshan Lu area, the art district in Shanghai. Currently showing its 48th exhibition, island6 has exhibited more than 500 artists from 21 different countries, sponsored 139 resident artists and helped in the creation and the production of around 2000 art projects. In 2007, island6 Arts Centre became the permanent base for the artist collective, Liu Dao, a multimedia art group composed of performance, sound, photography and video artists collaborating with engineers to create electronic art.


Origins in The Fou Foong Flour Mill[edit]

island6 & The Fou Foong Flour Mill

island6 was first established at 120 Moganshan Road, in the Fou Foong Flour Mill, a four-storey red brick building designed in 1897 by the British architectural firm of Dallas & Atkinson. The Fou Foong Flour Mill was founded by Mr. Sun Duoxin and his brother Mr. Sun Duosen (from Anhui province) who made it the largest and most advanced mill of Asia of the late nineteenth century by being the first ones to import American machinery and by offering its 2,000 employees the benefits of a hospital and two on-site schools.[2][3]

Its success attracted many other entrepreneurs, resulting in the creation of 16 additional mills and the base for China's modern milling industry.[4] Later it was purchased by Rong Yiren, Vice-President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 1998 and onetime business tycoon.

In 2002, the Fou Foong Flour Mill complex was sold to a real estate developer, most of the silos were demolished and the "small packaged flour" warehouse where island6 once stood was facing imminent demolition. The remnant of Suzhou Creek’s industry was fought by architects and university professors, and island6 became historical heritage architecture. In 2006, the warehouse was rented out to Thomas Charvériat, Margherita Salmaso, Zheng Guoyang and Kang Jingfang who together established the island6 Arts Center at its first location. In March 2006, Thomas Charvériat registered island6 Arts Center Ltd in Hong Kong and on April 1st 2006, “Invisible Layers, Electric Cities[1] became the first art exhibition to be presented at the Center (and curated by Allard van Hoorn & Margherita Salmaso). From June 2006 to June 2008 Charvériat assumed the direction of the space. For these two years, island6 Arts Center was noted for its remarkable location in a field of rubble surrounded by "high-rises creeping in from the distance", standing as a prime example of Shanghai's transformation from old to new.[5][6]

In June 2008, facing imminent eviction by real estate developers,[7] the Island6 Arts Center was relocated to a space secured at 50 Moganshan Road, a district of galleries inside old warehouses and factories, where it remains to this day.

The last exhibition held at 120 Moganshan Road was "Clouds of Crowds" [8] which featured the following artists:

Artist Nationality
Thomas Charvériat France
Zhang Deli China
Christophe Demaître Belgium
Wang Dongma China
Doraemoon France
Manels Favre France
Jean-Pierre Hurel France
Fu Liba China
Yang Longhai China
Zane Mellupe Latvia
nunu China
Tom Lee Pettersen U.S
Klara Pokrzywko Poland/Canada
Rob Smith U.K
Zou Susu China
Florent Nicolas Wendling France/US
Fabrice Amzel France
Xu Yihan 徐义涵 China
Jin Yun 金云 China

Move to M50[edit]

island6 in the heart of the m50 Art district

From its new location at M50, island6 Arts Center continues to promote emerging and prominent Chinese and international artists. The M50 district is found at the heart of the former Shanghai Chunming Roving Factory. Situated on the southern bank of the Suzhou River, M50 art district was once called the Xinhe Spinning Mill, belonging to the Zhou-family and supplied merchants from Anhui province with cotton and textile. In 1994 the enterprise was renamed Shanghai Chunming Woolen Mill.

Following a series of joint exhibitions between island6 and ifa gallery, the current space, designed by French architect Philippe Diani and dressed with furniture by Aymeric Lefort, has undergone complete renovations. On August 2008, the space was once again rehabilitated by Taiwanese architects Zheng Guoyang and Kang Jingfang. Starting January 2009, Thomas Charvériat, seconded by Zane Mellupe, took the direction of the space.[9] In October 2009, Binbin Wang joined island6's board of directors. In 2012, Yeung Sin Ching became the CEO of island6 Arts Center, island6 ShGarden and island6 Bund.

Liu Dao (六岛) Art Collective[edit]

The art collective, Liu Dao, is the most frequent and extensive presence in the island6 Arts Center. The group’s works often use video recordings of simple movements to be turned into an animated sequence of bitmaps. The results are LED representations that blink and shift in their own realities. Liu Dao’s works tend to move in the themes of sensory engagement, voyeurism, urban development, tradition versus modernity and technology, and Chinese cultural history.[9]

Fashion Meets Art[edit]

island6 would first approach the relationship between fashion and art in the 2006 exhibition "Fashion Meets Art" which looked at the correlation between two international artists. One was Huang Jing Song, a Taiwanese fashion designer who founded new label Fairilezza after a long stint working as a senior designer for label Jorya![10] the other artist featured was photographer and visual artist Christophe Demaître from Belgium.

The relationship between fashion and art would continue to deepen as the brightly coloured pixelated animations of island6's new residential artists, Liu Dao, made for ideal additions to international fashion houses. In April 2010, island6 exhibit at the Louis Vuitton Cultural Space, Taipei, Taiwan. This would be the first of two exhibitions in 2010 involving Louis Vuitton, as Island6 exhibited the Liu Dao piece "Fallen XOs" alongside other notable contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst as part of the “Raining Stars” exhibition shown at Louis Vuitton, One Central Macau.

In the Spring of 2012, island6 teamed up with designers Gemelli Turzi to showcase the works of Liu Dao for the first time in Mallorca, Spain at the conceptual designer shop of In-Sight in an exhibition of “The Rich and The Righteous” which questioned wealth in the 20th Century.[11]

island6 & Red Gate Gallery[edit]

In May 2010, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, invited the Shanghai based island6 to showcase the work of Liu Dao at the Hong Kong Art Fair 2010, this went on to Red Gate becoming the representative for island6's in house artist collective Liu Dao for the 2010 Sydney White Rabbit Collection and at the 2011 SH Contemporary Art Fair. Their partnership was fruitful, having gone on to lead to exhibitions such as the 2010 exhibition of “Garden of Autumn Vapours” 2011 “Everyday Frenzies” exhibition at Beijing’s Green T. House and in 2012 Red Gate Gallery curated an exhibition of island6’s in house artists at Swire Hotels, The Opposite House in Beijing. Island6 also put on a solo show at Red Gate Gallery in June 2013.

island6 & studio rouge[edit]

studio rouge is a platform for art from both established and emerging artists of China, established by Australia-Eurasian curator with its ethereal white space and lofty Victorian ceilings at the Bund in 2004. In September 2006 the gallery expanded with the opening of its second exhibition space studio rouge M50, joining the maze of galleries and artist studios in Shanghai’s Moganshan Road Creative Art Centre on Suzhou Creek. Since 2009, studio rouge and the island6 art collective (六岛) have maintained a close relationship of mutual respect and support. In 2011, George Michell featured one of island6's interactive pieces, "Nordic Vibe", in his show "Ruby, Roxy and the Flaming Lamborghini" which showcases Chinese and international artists working in canvas, paper, glass, LED and photography on the theme of the color red. In March 2012, George Michell’s studio rouge at the Bund presented "Ooh La La!" another solo show which captured the quintessence of modern beauty with works of sensuality and brooding sexuality. Furthermore, spring 2013 marked the beginning of an exclusive six-months cooperation between island6 and studio rouge: island6 garden at studio rouge m50. island6's first solo exhibition in April 2013 was opened parallel to the vernissage of "Body-City-Mechanism" and promises more exclusive shows to come.

Collaboration with Tally Beck[edit]

island6 team up with Tally Beck of Tally Beck Contemporary Art gallery, New York who specialize in Asian contemporary art. Their relationship brings about island6’s first show in Bangkok, Thailand, where they displayed the works of Liu Dao in “Electric Shanghai” and by January 2011 Island6 direct a new exhibition at Tally Beck Contemporary gallery named “Plugged In” which was Liu Dao’s first ever solo exhibition in North America. This exhibition was extended to feature in the SCOPE New York Art fair and by June 2011, Tally Beck went on to represent for island6 at Scope Basel Art fair in Switzerland. In January 2012, “Sin City” an exhibition directed by island6 Arts Centre opened in Tally Beck Contemporary Gallery which featured works from island6’s exhibition “God Damned Shanghai” which looked at the sex, sin and opulence of 1930s Shanghai.

"Through almost surreal vignettes, island6 invites us into a vision of Shanghai that is part real, part imagined. The bright lights of their LED medium reflect the neon soaked skyline of contemporary Shanghai, while the imagery evokes a romanticized impression of the city's colonial past, replete with discomfiting wafts of orientalist and exoticism that is inexorably linked to the collective memory of "The Paris of the East." – Tally Beck, Tally Beck Contemporary[12]

island6 in Dubai[edit]

In September 2011, island6 negotiated a deal with Etemad Gallery, Dubai, to showcase Liu Dao in the "Middle East Middle Kingdom" exhibition which featured other acclaimed Chinese artists such as the Gao Brothers and Qiu Jie. The exhibition, though controversial, was intended to give the people of Dubai a reminder of China’s past but also, how the economic growth and modernisation affected Chinese culture and society and the parallels it could have on Dubai’s future[13] in the face of rapid development. Following this initial exposure, island6 now collaborate with other notable galleries in Dubai such as Nakkash Art Gallery[14]

island6 in Hong Kong[edit]

In 2012 island6 opened an additional gallery space in Hong Kong located in the north-west of Hong Kong Island, between Central and Sai Ying Pun with Victoria Harbour in the north and Mid-Levels in the south. Sheung Wan dates back to the founding of the colony and continues into the 21st century as the center of Hong Kong's Art Scene. island6 Hong Kong is situated on No. 1 New Street, an intersection off Queens road West. island6 Hong Kong follows in the footsteps of the Shanghai galleries in showing new media art that explores contemporary issues in Asia through multimedia and interactive artworks.[15]

island6 on the Bund[edit]

In October 2013 island6 opened a third space in Shanghai, this time on the Bund. The space is located where the former Studio Rouge[16] used to be, on the corner of Fuzhou Lu and Zhongshan Lu. The gallery therefore has a view of the Pudong Skyline. The space is managed by voluntary staff and artist based in Shanghai[17] and is dedicated to the support of the island6 art collecting Liu Dao.

Artist in Residency Program[edit]

In pursuit of its original aim to help artists from around the world interact with the constantly shifting energy of Shanghai and build a relationship with its inexhaustible dynamic, island6 Arts Center established an residency program in 2006. island6 was then a member of the International Artist-in-Residence Organizations Res Artis and Trans Artists Foundation. By June 2010, the island6 Residency Program focused only on Chinese national artists and was by invitation only. The Center's original program was ceased in late 2010 due to the directors taking on a new direction. Liu Dao remains the ongoing resident artist collective at the Center and occasionally collaborates with other artists from around the world.


  1. ^ Compton, Nick (January 2007). "The Secret Elite". Wallpaper* (95): 90. ISSN 1364-4475. 
  2. ^ Earnshaw, Graham (May 1, 2008). "Chapter XIV: The Beginnings of an Industrial Revolution". Tales of Old Shanghai. China Economic Review Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-988-17-6211-5. 
  3. ^ Pott, Francis Lister Hawks (1928). A Short History of Shanghai: Being an Account of the Growth and Development of the International Settlement. Kelly & Walsh Ltd. p. 73. 
  4. ^ Meissner, Daniel J. (May 25, 2007). "Research Serendipity--Discovering Resources in Family Histories". An Official UMass Dartmouth Web Page/Publication. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  5. ^ "Zone09: Suzhou Creek". Urbanatomy Shanghai 2009. Nankai University Press. December 2008. p. 505. ISBN 978-7-900756-18-3. 
  6. ^ Gross, Matt (January 21, 2007). "FRUGAL TRAVELER - SHANGHAI; Balancing the past, the future and a budget". The New York Times, Travel Section. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  7. ^ Catching, Rebecca (April 7, 2008). "Shanghai Diary: Galleries Driven Out of Town". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Suri, Rajath (May 1, 2009). "island6 (M50 Factories)". Official island6 Web Page/Publication. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Beck, Tally. "Plugged In". Plugged In. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^


  • Andrea Neidhoefer (July 2007). "Eurasia One". Visual Production (Visual Production Co. & Timezone8 Publications) 3: 154–9. ISBN 978-988-99609-5-7. 
  • Cook, Richard; Wallpaper* (2006). Shanghai. New York: Phaidon Press Limited. p. 42. ISBN 0-7148-4696-1. 

External links[edit]