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A Kaleidoscopic Wonderland

沈佳昕Jane Shen 2017-01-23 14:10

Sharing Across Barriers

Since its completion in 2011, the museum has always adhered to the concept of "sharing infinite possibilities of glass", every year collecting works of glass to enrich the present sequence of contemporary works of glass art. Up to the end of last year, Shanghai Museum of Glass had held more than 1200 pieces in its collection in total, including the Chinese and Western ancient glass collections, contemporary art and designs, paper collections, glassware and other collections.

As the most direct channel to convey the glass culture and art, the exhibition is the core part of the daily business of the museum. From the exhibition of Chinese ancient glass once a year, to the "Keep It Glassy" exhibition which engaged the world's top works of glass design, Shanghai Museum of Glass gradually formed the four major themes of exhibitions: Chinese ancient glass, contemporary glass design exhibition, foreign artists’ personal exhibitions, and Chinese academic glass art. The museum breaks down the barriers of time, space, and language to share all kinds of glass designs and art collections with the public.


Creation Of Art And Space

The museum incorporates two concepts of space and exhibits, achieving balance under the visual influence of graphic and multimedia support. When visitors enter into the museum, a “kaleidoscope entrance” makes a spectacular rst impression. The main gallery of the museum is divided into two parts; old and new. While the original one displays the history of glass, scientific knowledge, and some modern works of glass art, the new one holds themed exhibitions in addition to the coffee bar, workshops, and other activities area.

The bond that closely links the two distinctive exhibition parts is a colourful Rainbow Bridge. The architectural style of the original gallery is toned in black, emphasizing the implicit immersive artistic atmosphere where visitors can browse through the Song and Tang dynasties, Chinese and Western culture along the "corridor of history". With the re ection of the glass surface, the original gallery presents a combination of history and modern arts. The new gallery is open and brightly toned as a perfect exhibition stage for art creation.


From Outsiders To Participants

From the former glass factory to today's art space, Shanghai Museum of Glass has experienced the transformation from its industrial age to the modern stage. After the renovation, the museum added the Kids Museum of Glass and the Maze in the museum park to encourage more space for activities, such as the popular hot glass performance hall which makes it possible for visitors to witness the blowing technique of making glass in person and appreciate how glass reacts to the re, and therefore the museum extends its functions from art appreciation to visitor interaction.

When it comes to what makes a museum, the founder of museum's design company, Coordination Asia, the architect Tilman Thürmer once said: "Under many circumstances, Chinese museums just involve exhibitions of accumulated collections, while the visitors simply walk through one exhibit after another, feeling like a guest. We wanted to challenge the perception of museums as very static, staid places by creating a vibrant and engaging ‘living museum’ where visitors can learn on their own terms and at their own peace."


Multiple Interactive Experiences

Opened in 2015, the Kids Museum of Glass is the first interactive cultural experience kids museum is titled “played by kids, themed as glass” in Shanghai, or even in China. It aims to provide a space equipped with

fun knowledge for kids to explore the arts, and meanwhile it holds a series of fun and educational activities like BOBO & LILI Lab, Kids Design Glass, and Night at the Museum Tent. Another partition that contains education in amusement is the Maze, which is the only large-scale passing-through interaction game device made of glass. Besides the common traps seen in ordinary mazes, the Maze is an illusory space made of layers of glass mirrors, bringing unique charm to the game experience, making it more exciting.

The last spotlight of the museum park is the dazzling Rainbow Chapel, a cylindrical volume in no fewer than 65 vibrant colours, which is China’s rst chapel set within a museum park, as well as a multifunctional events space enclosed within a kaleidoscope of colour. The designer aims to provide an intimate setting of joy and love, and its unique circular form and magical glass re ections make it a welcoming environment that is perfect for uplifting ceremonies and congregations.


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