Chanel and Shanghai’s Power Station of Art Sign Long-term Partnership

Just in time for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations and the Year of Cultural and Tourism exchange between the two countries, Chanel and Shanghai’s Power Station of Art signed a strategic partnership on Monday to restore the museum and enrich its collection and research capacity.

The French luxury brand first launched a partnership with PSA in 2021 as a part of the “Next Cultural Producer” initiative. The two-year program marked the company’s first partnership with a museum in Asia. 

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The forging of the partnership means Chanel will be “taking on a greater cultural role in this multipolar world,” as well as presenting a model for Chinese contemporary culture, empowering contemporary urban cultural life, and shaping a global culture brand for Shanghai, the French company added.

PSA is the first state-run contemporary art museum in mainland China. Located in a former power plant along the Huangpu River, the museum spans more than 441,000 square feet and opened in 2012.

“We are now thrilled to witness PSA on this journey to foster a powerhouse of ideas and innovation for the years to come,” said Renaud Bailly, Chanel’s president of North Asia. 

“This long-term partnership marks a new chapter in the house’s commitment in China,” Bailly added.

For Yana Peel, global head of arts and culture at Chanel, the extension of the partnership in size and scope means the French house will be able to support “big ideas that will influence art and culture worthy of a transformed station of power — for the audiences PSA serves now and for the future.”

Also playing up the voltage metaphor, Gong Yan, director of PSA, said that the partnership will “eventually enable the PSA to become a comprehensive power station of cultural energy.”

“PSA is built for the memory of the future. It belongs to all those who have been to this city and those who will stay in the future,” Gong added. 

More specifically, Chanel will fund “a comprehensive upgrade” of the third floor of PSA, which will be named the Espace Gabrielle Chanel. 

The floor, spanning more than 10,000 square feet, will include the first public “Contemporary Art Library” in mainland China, an “Archive of Chinese Contemporary Art,” the exhibition space “Power Station of Design,” a small “Arts Theater” and a “Riverside Terrace.”

In addition, Chanel’s itinerant retrospective, “Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto,” will land at PSA in July. The exhibition will include an additional section that looks at Chanel’s connections to China and Chinese culture.

Apart from PSA, Chanel also works with Hong Kong’s M+, one of Asia’s most popular art museums that opened last year. To boost the museum’s moving image offerings, the program has named Silke Schmickl as Chanel lead curator of Moving Image at M+.

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