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M50 Art District Shanghai

M50 is a jumbled artistic commune just off of 50 Moganshan Road. This contemporary art district, which is often compared to Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, houses a thriving community of more than a hundred artists who have opened their studios to the curious public. From the very beginning, M50’s growth was haphazard and organic, with local artists drawn to the cheap rent of the complex’s abandoned industrial space. Gradually, more and more artists settled down permanently in the area, and these days over a quarter of the complex’s former factories and warehouses have been refurbished and converted into artist studios, art galleries and inventive work spaces housing design studios and cultural organizations, as well as a scattering of restaurants, bars and cafes. While M50 is much smaller than Beijing’s 798, this bustling artistic commune sets itself apart with the fact that most of the artists inhabiting the complex create their work within M50. The area has evolved into a cultural attraction which cannot be ignored, and professional photographers and casual travelers alike flock to M50, passing by fluorescent graffiti and street art as they move from gallery to gallery in a state of curious fascination.

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