Prada to Host Michaël Borremans Art Exhibition in Shanghai

Prada Rong Zhai, the Italian luxury fashion brand’s restored mansion in downtown Shanghai, has unveiled its first major exhibition of the year — a solo show for Michaël Borremans, the renowned Belgian contemporary artist.

Titled “The Promise,” it will be on view from April 9 to June 9. It marks Borremans’ first solo presentation in mainland China.

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Borremans, born in 1963, is best known for his paintings of strangely threatening objects, which create psychologically charged atmospheres, as Prada described in a press release.

In Borremans’ paintings, human figures and everyday objects are first isolated from reality, then immersed in uncanny atmospheres, which offer a permanent feeling of “tension and anxiety,” according to Prada’s press release.

Borremans often photographs his planned compositions before painting them, but despite their photographic origin, his works evoke a space and time that is ambiguous.

Michaël Borremans, The Commuter, 2021
Michaël Borremans, “The Commuter,” 2021

For the past two decades, Borremans has explored the medium of film, which, in the artist’s own words, derived from “an urge to see how sculpture could look if it weren’t static.

“If you film something that is standing still, there is still an aspect of movement to it,” he added.

The show will feature 23 paintings by Borreman and a film titled “The Storm.” The exhibition will take over the two main floors of the Rong Zhai building.

“The Prada Rong Zhai venue offers an architectural and decorative dialog between Chinese and Western traditions. Its domestic-like and historical spaces will enhance the sense of anachronism conveyed by Borremans’ art,” Prada said in a press release.

“The exhibition will allow visitors to move freely around the different rooms and experience the multiple connections between history and contemporaneity in his works as well as a confrontation with the unique context of the early 20th-century villa,” Prada explained.

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