Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-17:00 (Last admission: 16:30)
Closed on Mondays
The Train Garden is open to the public every day
Located at No.111 Ruining Road, Xuhui Riverside, Shanghai, the Start Museum was founded in 2015 by Mr. He Juxing. The main building of the museum was designed by world-famous architect and the Pritzker Prize winner Mr. Jean Nouvel, with renowned graphic designer Mr. Wang Xu responsible for its visual identity.The Start Museum holds a unique research perspective, believing that art was conceived at the conception of human life, and will eventually fade away at the end of it. This shapes the museum’s understanding of art, artists, art in relation to politics, society, natural forms, and more. The Start Museum stands firmly on the side of Chinese history and culture, as well as human individuality, promoting pioneering, independent, and speculative artistic works and art scenes.
The Stance of the Start Museum:
The Start Museum takes the perspective of Chinese contemporary art research and focuses on the practice and research of contemporaneous art worldwide. We believe that art is always on the side of human individuality and that this is its natural vocation.
The Composition of the Start Museum:
The future composition of the Start Museum is, firstly, to carry out research into contemporary art thinking. Secondly, to present exhibitions of artists' individual works. Thirdly, to gently cultivate a pioneering and progressive urban culture.
The Exhibition of the Start Museum:
The artist studies presented by the Start Museum are biased in three areas: firstly, the artist's occasional creative moments, including episodic moments such as creative turns, creative adventures and experiments. Secondly, when creation itself becomes a source of knowledge, language, standpoints, texts, events, etc. Thirdly, when artistic works are coordinated in form and content as a dimension or a community.
The Research of the Start Museum:
The Start Museum has developed the concept of "long-table meetings", discussing the propositional relations between the “mutual gazing”, and exploring the liberty of art itself. At the same time, the Start Museum proposes a “non-linear, de-thematic” approach to art historical research, emphasising that artists and their works form their own veins and values — that is, they do not have to follow with linearity in time and theme, nor do they have to be arranged by specific propositions.
The Collection of the Start Museum:
The Start Museum has a serious collection research system that spans more than half a century. By introducing a multidimensional knowledge in its research, the Start Museum hopes to provide a platform and channel for Chinese contemporary art to be seen and understood.
Values of the Start Museum:
Individuality of art, independence of art, equality of art, and artistic contribution to the city.
Mr. He Juxing was born in 1960 in a rural village in Zhuji, Zhejiang Province. When he was young, he was inspired by the five-generation-legacy of his literary family. Curious and imaginative as he was, he read widely from the various books brought by his older brother. At the age of 14, he published a short essay in the Zhejiang daily newspaper Qianjiang Chao and received the first remuneration of his life. For many years afterward, occasional remuneration have been an important source of his living. In 1979 he served in the army and entered the Department of Journalism at the Nanjing Army College and later was enrolled in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at East China Normal University. He founded a military bookstore on Changde Road in Shanghai in the 1980s-90s, then he launched a military magazine. Mr He has also won a third-class honour in the army for his writing, and was promoted to a high rank. After his demobilisation in 1997, he participated in the early development of China's first private bank. During the difficult start-up, he led the establishment of institution regulations and personnel system at the core decision-making level of the company. He also led the establishment of its cultural brand and art institutions during his career until his resignation in 2012.
Mr. He Juxing has always been a passionate art enthusiast since his days in the university, focusing on contemporary cultural studies and the comparative study of contemporary avant-garde art, and maintains a close personal relationship with many of his contemporaries. He also has an extensive collection of experimental artworks of various genres, including over 400 Chinese and international artists, with thousands of masterpieces. Mr. He's collection is a significant influence in the art world.
From 2006 to 2010, Mr. He Juxing was the director of the Yan Huang Art Museum in Beijing, where he launched the series exhibition "China Twentieth-Century Art Founder", reshaping the historical significance of study on Chinese modernity and modern culture. In the meantime, Mr. He was in charge of the establishment of the Minsheng Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai and the Minsheng Museum of Modern Art in Beijing. He is an influential researcher and promoter of Chinese contemporary art, the series projects and exhibitions initiated by him have established the importance of Chinese contemporary art in the art museum system.
In 2015, Mr. He was invited by the Shanghai government to establish a private museum in his name, the Start Museum. In accordance with the city plan, the Start Museum is located on the site of China's first railway station, built in 1907 (the 33rd year of the reign of the emperor Guangxu). The pioneering French architect Jean Nouvel was responsible for the architecture design, and graphic designers Mr. Wang Xu and Mr. beio for the visual identity and official website respectively. Since its formation in Hong Kong in 2015, the Start Museum preparatory team has been working diligently for eight years. The team is constantly trained through diverse research projects, with a sense of commitment and responsibility as if being called upon at all times.
Mr. He Juxing has an independent research perspective and his own standpoint of art. He believes that art begins with the beginning of mankind and ends with the extinction of human beings. From this, he derives his views on art, artists, and all research and discussion on the specific relationships between art and politics, society, natural forms and more.
Mr. He Juxing believes that the existence of art museums in China is like a fish tank for people to enjoy. He remains convinced that creating the first drop of water is of great importance, for it is perhaps the drop that starts the future rivers and oceans.
The opening of the Start Museum would not be possible without its strong team. The team has gone through an eight-year journey of preparation and diligent pursuit, which would be difficult without their faith in cultural ideals.
From academic study in college to working for such an art museum full of aspirations, the whole team has taken on a rewarding adventure in aspects such as knowledge, practice, research, imagination, etc.
Although the team of the Start Museum is relatively small, the team members are encouraged in their personalities, active in creative thinking. They are independent but at the same time work as a team with warmth and joy in success.
Nevertheless, the career path is much longer, and team has to learn and grow much more in terms of experience, competence, literacy and so on.