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40 awesome things to do in May

Years & Years, Wicked, the Shanghai derby, Alan Walker, FEAST and more

©Mike Massaro
It's May and summer is within touching distance. The weather is heating up and there's plenty to do in our great city. Whether it be music, nightlife, art, food and drink, stage, screen, or sport, Shanghai definitely has something for you this month. See below for our May picks.

Great festivals and gigs

Awesome art exhibitions


Shanghai-based womenswear brand Arete is ditching the conventional runway shows in favour of inviting the public to view its latest clothing collection at Pata Gallery in M50 art district. The brand has collaborated with contemporary artist Tracie Cheng to create a ‘fashion art’ exhibition, ...

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Pata Gallery , 50 Moganshan Lu Every day except Monday Free

Fantastic Color Bar

Critics' pick

Hidden in the basement of Ying Art Center is artist Wang Chienyang's Fantastic Color Bar, with the ordinarily dull room transformed to capture the dazzling colours of the internet age. The vibrant setting makes the perfect spot for some WeChat selfies, and has drawn crowds of young hipsters ...

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Ying Art Center , 97 Moganshan Lu Every day except Monday

Julian Opie

British contemporary art legend Julian Opie arrives in Shanghai for the first time, bringing with him over 50 of his signature graphic works. His art, which is featured on the cover of Britpop band Blur's 2000 Best Of album, is internationally renowned for its skilful simplicity but extraordinary clarity.

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Fosun Foundation Art Center , 600 Zhongshan Dong'er Lu 28 Mar - 10 Jun

Paradox of Reality: Latest Works by Shen Hua

Including a unique series of painted images on mirrors, this exhibition sees Sichuan-based artist Shen Hua present his pictorial conclusions of recent reflections on realism. With minimalistic abstract works and themes including post-modernity and the relationship between language and reality, ...

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Art+ Shanghai Gallery , 191 South Suzhou Road 21 Apr - 04 Jun

Liu Bolin

In a show that has been extended due to its popularity, the first exhibition at MD Gallery's new space on Beijing Dong Lu invites artist Liu Bolin to present his famous photography series Hiding in the city, in which he disappears until he becomes invisible. The artist now broadens the field of ...

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MD Gallery , 256 Beijing Dong Lu 13 Apr - 30 Jun


Critics' pick

This summer, the Yuz Museum welcomes pop and graffiti art master Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, from Brooklyn NYC. The illustrator, painter, sculptor, designer, and toymaker recently helped envision the latest version of the Air Jordan Retro 4 sneakers, with the sole of the shoe accented by one of ...

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Yuz Museum , 35 Fenggu Lu 28 Mar - 13 Aug
Shanghai's best art walks

New releases and film screenings

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The latest installment from the Marvel universe and sequel to 2014 hit Guardians of the Galaxy, the film features a star-studded ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Sylvester Stallone, Karen Gillan and Kurt Russell and continues the team's adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 04 May - 02 Jun Buy tickets

Smurfs: The Lost Village

The third installment is an all-new take on the Smurfs animated series. Follow the cute blue creatures on their rollercoaster journey full of action, adventure (and danger) that leads to the discovery of ‘the biggest mystery in Smurf history’. We can’t wait.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 21 Apr - 02 Jun Buy tickets

Battle of Memories

Critics' pick

Leste Chan’s sci-fi thriller about a near-future world where memory-manipulation has become commonplace boasts Huang Bo in the lead role and a surprisingly large budget for a Chinese film. The film follows Feng, a prestigious novelist (Huang Bo) who uses memory manipulation technology to ...

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Cinemas around Shanghai 28 Apr - 30 May Buy tickets

The Fate of the Furious

Critics' pick

Big tough bald men drive cars fast and make them go boom in the eighth(!) instalment of the Fast and the Furious series. The perfect movie to see if you feel like turning your brain off for a couple of hours and letting the spectacle wash over you. Starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell and Helen Mirren.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 14 Apr - 04 Jun Buy tickets