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"No necessity of newness. Anyone expresses himself and allows you to look through his individual window on the world."

SHANGHAI, known as the 'Oriental Paris', is China's biggest and richest city (on aggregate). It is one of China's greatest economic and cultural centres; therefore, it is seen as a showcase for everything considered modern in China. But it has an edgy subculture too. The large creative district and the urban ghetto of Shanghai's art, set amongst the backdrop of restored factories and home to infamous Shanghai graffiti wall is the M50: A CITY WITHIN A CITY. M50 remains one of the most innovative places to see free art in the city.

In the heart of Shanghai, an aggregation of steel, cement and illuminated minds giving shape to a parallel intricate universe, M50 was established in 2000 by local artist Xue Song. Here you can find wild creatives from all over the world, art pieces unchained from the boundaries of canonical perfection, galleries speaking their own alphabet, inspiring cafes, disturbing glimpses and decay.

When you think about Chinese art the most diverse wonders gather into your mind, from calligraphy to bamboo carving, from porcelain to silk embroidery, from lacquerware to paper cutting. It is no coincidence if there are no immediate associations to that kind of conceptualised form of expression that has dominated most of the world since the birth of avant-garde movements at the beginning of the 20th century. Still today in China art remains surprisingly and inextricably connected to manual skills and ancient traditions. Even attending an exhibition where the role of ideas eclipses that of pure signs is not that simple for the wider public. But M50 is different.