Nearly 7,000 art lovers visited the Shanghai exhibit of impressionist Claude Monet’s works in its first weekend alone.
More than 60,000 people had reserved their tickets to the exhibit even before it opened last Friday.
The show, organized by Tix Media and K11 Art Foundation, features 40 original paintings by Monet, including his famous “Water Lilies”. The art pieces are on loan from the Paris Marmottan Monet Museum.
A Tix Media staff said they were pleasantly surprised at the big turnout of visitors, which demonstrated Shanghai’s appreciation and enthusiasm for world-class art.
In 2012, an equally large crowd gathered to see three original works by Monet at the Shanghai Museum.
The only fly in the ointment this time around was that Monet’s works are on display, not on the halls of a museum, but on the third underground level of the K11 shopping mall in downtown Shanghai.
A few patrons felt that the mall venue was incongruous with the stature of the world-renowned painter.
Xie Dingwei, director of Tix Media, said he initially considered holding the Monet exhibit at the China Art Museum but thought the location was not ideal in terms of transportation.
“There are not many choices in Shanghai for venues to hold a major show like Monet’s. A lot is for contemporary art,” Xie explained.
K11 mall’s art foundation had offered the free underground venue to Tix Media for the Monet exhibit, a deal which Xie gladly accepted.
With a free venue, and admission tickets priced at 100 Yuan each, Xie is hoping to recover losses he had incurred in previous master art exhibits that he held in expensive venues but with fewer people turning up.
If the long queue at the K11 mall was any indication, Xie just might realize some profit this time.
“The more visitors to the exhibition, the better. Otherwise, I may hardly make ends meet for this project again,” Xie enthused.
The Monet exhibit runs until June 15.