The A4 Art Museum, a private institution founded by the real estate development firm Luxelakes, just reopened its new building about two and a half miles away from its original location in the Chinese city of Chengdu, writes Lisa Movius of the Art Newspaper. The museum’s current exhibition, “Create Spaces,” which runs through July 16, is a group effort highlighting the works of thirteen contemporary Chinese and international artists. The museum was founded in 2008 and closed in late 2015 to rebuild and relocate.
The new building is almost 38,000 square feet and overlooks a man-made lake. An events hall, library, and children’s art center are scheduled to open next year, as is a new subway line that will take visitors directly to the Tianfu New Area, the district where the A4 is located. A theater will also open at the museum in 2019.
The A4 will put together four exhibitions a year and host more than one hundred educational events, along with residencies, fellowships, and cultural exchanges. “Though we are not downtown, we do outreach and public art. It is not enough to just do a show, we have to make audiences understand it—through media, key opinion leaders, and reaching kids,” said Sunny Sun Li, the museum’s artistic director. In its previous spot, the museum brought in two hundred thousand visitors a year. Sun expects more people will come to the new space.
The museum is doing what it can to increase its cultural scope. It has partnered with the Yokohama Museum of Art and the Kyoto Art Center to bring Japanese artists into Chengdu, in order to try to soften China’s problematic relationship with Japan. Japan’s style of public arts programming is also influencing the museum, as “a lot of public education [at Chinese art institutions] is very lazy or trendy,” said Li Jie, the A4’s assistant curator.