The Prado Museum in Madrid is showcasing a selection of its artworks in Shanghai’s Longhua metro station, with the pop-up running through February 2022.
The project, called ‘Encounter The Prado’, is a collaboration between the Spanish Embassy in China, the Instituto Cervantes, and Turespaña (via Jing Culture & Commerce).
“China is a country we’re interested in building strong relations [with],” Francisco Tardio, senior advisor for international relations at the Prado Museum, told the publication.
“We want Chinese people to know the Prado and the incredible collection.”
More than 100,000 people travel through Longhua metro station daily, which now features 29 of the Prado Museum’s most popular artworks. These include replicas of works by Dürer, El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Goya.
The exhibition is presented chronologically, offering a look at European art history from the Renaissance through to the 1800s. Accompanying videos reveal more about the art.
‘Encounter The Prado’ in China
Guests can scan a QR code, located next to each work, to access the Prado Museum’s custom-built WeChat Mini Program. This allows users to ‘collect’ works, listen to audio explainers, and watch videos.
‘Encounter The Prado’ comes after similar pop-up exhibitions in China from cultural institutions including the British Museum and the National Gallery in London.
Earlier this year, the Changsha Metro Digital Art Museum opened at Yingwanzhen station in Hunan, transforming the subway station into an art space for commuters.
Tardio said the Prado Museum “worked very closely with local authorities and the Spanish institutions in China to make sure the best and most appropriate choices were made for Shanghai”.
“The exhibition at the metro is the first step,” he added. “Hopefully, we will soon organize an exhibition in Chinese museums with the original paintings.”
“Chinese audiences are already important at the museum, but we think there is space to grow. We plan to increase the intensity of our activities there to achieve our goals.”