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Grocery shop for art

Items can be bought at Xu Zhen's art installation, a social critique on food safety scandals in China

Published on May 5, 2014 3:25 PM

Thirsty art lovers who recently stopped by ShanghART Supermarket in the Gillman Barracks art enclave, lusting after a can of cold beer, were left high and dry.

The minimart, which occupies the ShanghART Singapore gallery space, is well-stocked with convenience store items including soft drinks, ice cream and instant noodles. But the sealed packages on the neatly packed shelves, priced for sale and available for purchase, do not contain anything.

Reach for the beer in the non- functioning chiller and you will find it as light as an aluminium can emptied of its fizzy brew, although the tab is intact.

The store, a full-scale replica of a typical convenience store in a Chinese city, is a tongue-in-cheek interactive art installation. Its creator is listed as Xu Zhen - Produced by MadeIn Company. The mouthful of a name refers playfully to the prominent Chinese conceptual artist Xu Zhen as a brand produced by the art company he founded in 2009. The sign-off is a wry response to criticism levelled at major Chinese artists who rely on studio assistants to make their works instead of doing so themselves.

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Where: ShanghART Singapore, 9 Lock Road, 02-22, Gillman Barracks

When: Till May 18, Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm, closed on Monday

Admission: Free