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Emergence of Special Art Exhibits in Shopping Malls in Shanghai

Thesis by Xiqian Li (2016)

This paper described and analyzed the phenomena of joint ventures between shopping malls and special art exhibits in Shanghai. Little research directly addressed this phenomenon from the museum or exhibit perspective. Over the past three years, at least 27 notable art exhibits were installed in shopping malls instead of art museums in Shanghai. Shopping malls managed by commercial real estate companies also included art mall museums and art exhibit spaces. They brought more art exhibits to the public. As an emerging phenomenon, problems were revealed. Data revealed that the public questioned the quality of exhibits and disliked the crowded spaces and high admission prices. Interviews and on-site observations were methods used to gather data.

The results of this study suggested that these joint ventures were a result of current national art museum policy in China and the less desirable locations of non-public art museums in Shanghai. Shopping malls in Shanghai did not have professional exhibit teams or qualified facilities to hold exhibits. Exhibit companies preferred to use shopping malls as exhibit venues to save costs and increase profits. Additionally, the changed consumption habits of the public and the emergence of complexes that included shopping malls with art exhibit spaces contributed to the popularity of shopping mall exhibits. Limitations to this study included a small sample size and loss of accuracy of data due to translation.


Keywords: research, international, exhibitions, shopping malls, china, exhibit company, shopping mall. special art exhibit


Li, X. (2016). Emergence of special art exhibits in shopping malls in shanghai (Order No. 10138505). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Washington WCLP; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1821260388). Retrieved from