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Tank Shanghai museum opens with teamLab digital art

teamlab tank shanghai

Tank Shanghai, the private museum project of collector Qiao Zhibing, has opened on the West Bund waterfront with a trio of exhibitions.

The Beijing-based design firm Open Architecture converted five former oil tanks into the rotundas of the museum, which debuted with three exhibitions by artist Adrián Villar Rojas; the Japanese collective teamLab; and a group of contemporary Chinese artists, including Zeng FanzhiYang Fudong, and Ding Yi.

The giant interactive digital waterfall installation by teamLab is at Tank from March 23 to August 24. The attraction’s opening programme reflects a long-term vision that is “both Chinese and international, and contemporary”, said Qiao.

TeamLab’s enormous waterfall cascades down the interior of the Tank, with water represented by a continuum of numerous water particles.

The interaction between the particles is calculated and then lines are drawn in relation to the behaviour of the water particles.

When people stand on or touch the waterfall, they obstruct the flow of water, causing it to change. The water also causes the flowers of Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together artwork to scatter.

Tickets for the teamLab installation cost RMB120 ($18), though Qiao wants tickets to be more accessible.

Tank Shanghai

“The space’s possibilities are the museum’s specialty,” Qiao told the Art Newspaper. “Artists like the space and want to work with it.”

Qiao has been planning Tank for more than four years, and construction finally started in 2017.

“When [the state-backed development group] West Bund started seeking to install museums here, they invited me, and I chose the oil tank space,” he explained.

An exhibition of work by Theaster Gates is being planned for 2020.


Galleries and museums are evolving as they look to keep pace with visitor expectations and rapidly developing technology.

One key trend is artainment, which is fusing art and technology with spectacular results – find out more about some of the most eye-catching, including Meow Wolf and teamLab.

Images: teamLab and Tank Shanghai

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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