Leaked Email Reveals that SH Contemporary Art Fair in Shanghai Has Been Called Off

The Shanghai Exhibition Center

The Shanghai Exhibition Center
Photo: wiki Commons

The troubled BolognaFiere Shanghai International Contemporary Art Exhibition has been postponed or canceled, it has been leaked.

The news broke after Artinfo obtained an email that states that the fair will not take place this year, and there is no sign as to whether it will continue.

This follows a two-year pause after the market crash of 2008, and a very beleaguered fair in 2014. Not only did bureaucratic red tape prevent artworks from arriving on time, but the fair was also dampened by government censorship, quitting curators, and even the fair’s license was called into question. Indeed, the only way the fair could go ahead was for the Italian Ministry of Culture to host it, which meant there could be no sales.

The leak will not come as a surprise to those who have looked at the numbers. Although the fair is one of the longest running Asian Fairs, SH Contemporary has consistently lost money.

The fair in 2012 <br> Photo: wiki commons

The fair in 2012
Photo: wiki commons

According to Shanghai Daily, the first edition lost around $750,000, and over the following five years it lost $2 million. Organizers were also embroiled in legal disputes with Swiss dealer Pierre Huber and ex-fair director Lorenzo Rudolf.

It seems the writing could be on the wall for SH Contemporary, but there has been no comment from the Italian owners of the fair so far.

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