Art021 Team to Launch Shenzhen DnA Art Fair This Fall

June 11th, 2021

The organizers of Shanghai’s Art021 and Beijing’s JingArt have announced plans to launch a new art and design fair in Shenzhen this fall, The Art Newspaper reports. Shenzhen DnA (Design and Art) will feature forty participants and will take place at the Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning (SZMoCAUP) from September 30–October 4. The art fair will be China’s first to be held in an art museum, though it will occupy an event space accessed separately from exhibition areas. “We visited a lot of venues, and SZMoCAUP is cozy and symbolic, located in the city center and near a metro,” said Bao Yifeng, who with fellow Art021 cofounders David Chau and Kylie Ying is organizing the fair.

Shenzhen DnA will be divided into four categories: galleries, design, art-on-paper, and curio, the last a modern take on Chinese scholar objects. Though the organizers hope to attract international galleries, they acknowledge the current difficulties they face in doing so, given China’s entry restrictions and three-week quarantine requirements, put in place to stem the tide of Covid-19. On the plus side, “traditionally, Shenzhen collectors go to Art Basel in Hong Kong,” Bao noted; however, with borders closed and the Special Administrative Region inaccessible, collectors may turn their sights back to their hometown. 

DnA is the second new fair to launch in the area during the past year, following the Guangzhou Contemporary Art Fair, which was inaugurated in December. With its booming middle class, Shenzhen remains a relatively untapped segment of China’s superheated art market. The southern China technology capital has grown overwhelmingly in recent decades, expanding from a town of 175,000 in 1985 to 10.7 million in 2015. Last year, the city’s population surpassed 17 million, leading it to announce changes to incentive structures, in an attempt to rein in growth.