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Jan 31 2020

How the Coronavirus is Impacting Cultural Institutions

by ArtAsiaPacific

*Last updated April 4, 2020.

Illustration by Renee Li for ArtAsiaPacific. 

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to more than 100 countries has reached global pandemic proportions, according to the World Health Organization’s announcement on March 11. More than 730,000 have been infected and nearly 34,000 have died from the disease since December when the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China.

As governments attempt to restrict large-scale public gatherings to limit contagion, public museums have been ordered to close, and many private museums, galleries, and independent art spaces have followed suit. Here’s a rundown on the situation with art museums, cultural institutions, and galleries, from across Asia, Europe, and the United States.

ArtAsiaPacific’s editors will update this page as more information becomes available.

WHAT’S OPEN

Hong Kong

Many galleries are open by appointment only.

Gallery Exit: modified hours, 12pm–4pm, Tues–Sat.

Rossi & Rossi: Rasheed Araeen, “Going East, Again,” open through April 4.

Lehmann Maupin: opening a show of Nari Ward and Robin Rhode on April 3.

Massimo de Carlo: open by appointment.

Whitestone Gallery: The group exhibition “Little Fables” is open.

Soluna Fine Art: Kim Young-Hu, “Diamond Mountain: Electronic Nostalgia,” opens on April 3.

Karin Weber: The group show “Castles In The Air” opens on April 3.

Alisan Fine Art: opening “Contemporary Forms of Ink Painting” on April 4, in Aberdeen.

Blindspot: open by appointment only, with the opening “Anonymous Society for Magick” on April 11.

De Sarthe: opening a show of Andrew Luk and Chu Teh-Chun on April 11.

South Korea

Art Sonje Center, Seoul: reopened on March 24 with Hwayeon Nam’s solo exhibition, “Mind Stream.”

Arario Gallery, Seoul: Park Youngsook’s solo exhibition, “Tears of a Shadow,” opened on March 26.

Amado Art Space: Minwook An’s solo exhibition opens April 3.

China

Beijing

Galerie Urs Meile: Qiu Shihua, “Empty/Not Empty,” opened March 28, by appointment.

Shanghai

Edouard Malingue: Zheng Zhou’s solo exhibition, “Belly,” opened March 12.

Madein Gallery: open to the public by appointment. Ding Li’s solo exhibition will open on April 12.

Ota Fine Arts Shanghai: open by appointment only, 12–6pm. 

Taiwan

Most of the cultural institutions in Taiwan are operating under a series of precautionary measures. In response to the changes lately, museums have adjusted the visitor restrictions in late March. All public visitors are now required to wear face masks, test body temperature, disinfect themselves with medical alcohol and leave contact information before entering the museum. Anyone with a body temperature higher than 37.5 °C will be denied entrance. The institutions also promises to clean the public spaces more frequently throughout the day. As for the galleries, some have decided to close their space while many carry on with their schedule. 

Taipei Fine Arts Museum: precautionary measures adjusted on April 1; Erwin Wurm exhibition opens April 2.

MOCA Taipei: precautionary measures adjusted on March 17; session B at U12 kid’s space will be temporarily closed; group exhibition “Assembly of Communities: MIX” opens from February 22 to May 10.

Project Fulfill Art Space: open as usual, with precautionary measures adopted; Sean Wang’s solo exhibition "Formless Form” opens on April 11.

Da Xiang Art Space: group exhibition “Empathy” opens until May 24.

WHAT’S CLOSED

Singapore

After confirmed cases topped 1,000—spiking in one month from 100—the government announced strict new measures on April 4 to fight Covid-19.

National Gallery of Singapore: closed from April 7.

NTU CCA Singapore: closed from April 6.

Gillman Barracks: galleries and eateries are all closed from April 6 until May 4.

Indonesia

Cemeti Institute, Yogyakarta: closed since March 25.

Malaysia

Ilham Gallery, Kuala Lumpur: closed since March 16.

Japan

Like other Asian nations, Japan has seen a recent resurgence in Covid-19 cases, leading to renewed suspensions of cultural activities and orders for Tokyo residents to stay at home during the weekend.

Tokyo Region

Complex 665: ShugoArts, Tomio Koyama, Taka Ishii Galleries: closed from March 28 through April 30.

SCAI the Bathhouse: closed since March 25.

21_21 Design Sight: closed until March 31.

Artizon Museum: originally “Bridgestone Museum of Art,” renamed after renovation; closed until March 16.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka: closed until April 28.

Hara Museum of Contemporary Art: Yasumasa Morimura’s exhibition “Ego Obscura” extended to April 12; the museum will be closed again for the preparation of next exhibition, which is scheduled to open on June 7. The museum was scheduled to close at the end of 2020, due to the aging of the building, according to reports by Bijutsu Techo.

Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo: closed until March 31.

Mori Art Museum, Mori Art Center Gallery: closed until further notice.

The National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT): closed until further notice. 

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT): closed until further notice.

National Museum of Western Art (NMWA): closed until further notice.

Nezu Museum: closed until March 29; the museum remains closed from March 30 to April 17 for change of exhibition.

Panasonic Shiodome Museum of Art: closed until March 22; the museum remains closed from March 23 to April 10 for change of exhibition.

SOMPO Museum of Art: closed from March 3, until further notice.

Tokyo Fuji Art Museum: closed until March 31.

Tokyo National Museum: closed until further notice.

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery: closed until March 22; the museum remains closed from March 23 to April 10 for change of exhibition.

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum: closed until March 31.

Yayoi Kusama Museum: closed until April 1.

Art Fair Tokyo 2020: canceled and offers refund for tickets, according to public notice.

Art in Park Hotel Tokyo 2020: postponed to September 26–27.

Kanto Region

Art Mito Tower: closed until March 31.

Chiba Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until further notice.

Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama: closed until March 31; the museum remains closed from April 1 to 10 for change of exhibition.

Saitama Museum of Modern Art: closed until further notice.

Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until further notice.

Yokohama Museum of Art: closed until March 31.

Ichihara Art x Mix 2020: originally scheduled to open from March 20 to May 17; postponed until further notice.

Tokai Region

Mie Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until March 31.

Kansai Region

Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Museum of Art: closed from February 22, until further notice.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until March 15.

Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art: A preview of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s exhibition “Post Vitam” will go ahead as scheduled on March 19; the museum will open to the public on April 11. 

Kyoto National Museum: the museum gardens and outdoor exhibition are open to the public for free from March 24 to April 9; galleries remain closed until further notice.

Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka: closed until further notice.

National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto (MOMAK): closed until further notice.

Nara National Museum: closed until further notice.

Nara Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until March 31.

National Museum of Art, Osaka (NMAO): closed until further notice.

Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts: closed until further notice.

Shikoku Region

Hiroshima Museum of Modern Art: closed until March 29.

Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until March 31.

Izumi Museum of Art: closed from March 8 until further notice.

Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until March 31.

Kyushu Region

Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art: closed until March 20.

Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto: closed until further notice.

Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art: closed until March 31.

Kyushu National Museum: closed until further notice.

Chubu Region

Northern Alps Art Festival 2020: origianlly slated for May 31 to July 19; postponed until further notice.

Palestine

There are 86 recorded cases of Covid-19 in the Palestinian territories, including 9 in Gaza, as of March 26.

The Palestinian Museum, Birzeit: closed from March 23.

Australia

Australia’s federal government and many state governments have asked people to take measures in social distancing. Art museums and galleries in Victoria announced their closures on the week of March 16, while the Biennale of Sydney and museums in New South Wales shuttered the week of March 23.

Sydney

Biennale of Sydney: venues including Cockatoo Island closed from March 24.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney: closed from March 23. The Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes have been pushed back until later in the year.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney: closed on March 23.

Artspace, Sydney: closed on March 23 until further notice.

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Syndey: closed from March 18.

Sutton Gallery: by appointment only.

White Rabbit: closed until further notice.

Roslyn Oxley: open by appointment only.

Melbourne

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne: both the NGV International and NGV Australia sites will be closed from March 16 until April 13.

Melbourne Art Fair: the event, originally planned for June 18–21, has been rescheduled to February 4–7, 2021.

Anna Schwartz Gallery: closed from March 22 until further notice.

Heide Museum, Victoria: closed from March 17 until April 13.

Brisbane

Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane: closed as of March 17.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane: closed from March 23.

Hobart

The Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart: closed from March 18 for the foreseeable future.

Adelaide

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide: closed from March 25.

Perth

Art Gallery of Western Australia: closed as of March 23.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department suspended operations at all sports and cultural facilities beginning on January 29 through the week of March 2. However following an uptick in cases, on March 22, LCSD venues like the Hong Kong Museum of Art closed again, and M+ Pavilion has also closed again.

The Hong Kong Museum of Art: parially reopened on March 11; closed again on March 23, until further notice. 

M+ Pavilion: closed until March 31; The Sigg Prize 2019 exhibition has been extended until May 17.

Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani’s audio-visual presentation dis·play, originally scheduled for April 3–4, will be postponed to September 11–12. 

Tai Kwun Contemporary: remain open with reduced services until March 31. All exhibitions, events, performances and guided tours will be suspended. The next exhibition “They Don’t Know Each Other,” due to open on February 15, has been postponed with no new dates yet announced.

Para Site: closed March 25–29, with the March 26 public program, postponed.
The current exhibition “Koloa: Women, Art, and Technology” has been extended through April 26. The next exhibition, “Garden of Six Seasons” will run from May 26 through August 30.

Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT): closed from March 22. “Unconstrained Textiles: Stitching Methods, Crossing Ideas” had opened on March 21. 

Asia Art Archive: AAA Library closed from March 24 to March 28.

Hong Kong Arts Centre: Wan Chai building and theater open; “In the Course of Dancing, from Nightfall to Darkness” is on view. 

Asia Society Hong Kong: building and galleries open, though visitors will be screened and required to wear a mask; some programs postponed. The HKAGA and Asia Society Hong Kong Sculpture Exhibition is continuing program on Saturday March 26, 11am – 6pm.

Sun Museum: the exhibition “Chinese Tradition in Western Oil,” opened on February 21.

K11 Musea: “the Silicon Valley of Culture” is still open for business. 

Art Basel Hong Kong (March 17–22): canceled. Next edition is scheduled for March 2021.

Art Central (March 18–22): canceled. Next edition is scheduled for March 2021.

Hong Kong art galleries: many galleries are open, or open by appointment only, while others are running on a limited schedule. Check social media or call ahead to confirm.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong spring auction series has been rescheduled to the week of July 6, with further details to come.

Poly Auction Hong Kong has postponed its spring auction series (April), with details forthcoming. The auction house told AAP that the sales will likely take place in May.

China Guardian Hong Kong announced on February 18 that its spring auction series (April) will be delayed to late May, with details forthcoming. 

Bonhams Hong Kong announced on February 11 that its spring auction series (March) will be rescheduled, with details forthcoming.

Christie’s Hong Kong has delayed its inaugural March 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, now slated for May during its spring auction series.

Philippines

On March 19, the Philippines suspended all visas to foreigners as well as visa-free access to incoming travelers. There are currently 217 cases and 24 deaths. Most museums and galleries have now shuttered.

Manila

Ateneo Art Gallery: closed from March 16 to April 14.

Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD): closed until April 12.

University of the Philippines Vargas Museum: closed from March 16 until further notice.

Silverlens Gallery: the gallery space is closed until further notice.

1335Mabini: closed from March 13 until further notice.

The Drawing Room: closed from March 19 to April 14.

Finale Art File: closed from March 14 to April 15.

Lebanon

Lebanon has 248 confirmed cases as of March 23.

Sursock Museum: closed since March 19.

Beirut Art Center: office closed since March 16.

India

India has just 194 confirmed coronavirus cases as of March 20, with limited testing nationwide. On March 16, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare advised that museums close because of the pandemic.

Delhi

The National Gallery of Modern Art: closed until March 31.

Gallery Espace: closed beginning March 20.

Ojas Art Gallery: postponed its March 27 exhibition “Reciprocation: American Fulbright Artists and India Connections” to a later date.

Kolkata

Experimenter gallery closed both of its spaces, on Hindustan Road and Ballygunge Place, starting from March 17.

New Zealand

New Zealand has banned non-residents from entering the country as of March 20, as the government closes all community facilities including museums.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki: closed on March 20 for two weeks.

Te Papa Tongarewa | Museum of New Zealand: closed from March 20 until further notice.

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu: closed until further notice.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth: closed until further notice.

United States

On March 15, the Center for Disease Controls announced that all gatherings of more than 50 people will be prohibited for the next eight weeks. Beginning March 13, many museums in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other major urban centers began to close.

New York

The Museum of Modern Art: closed from March 13 through March 30.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: currently closed.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: closed as of March 13, and all public events and tours are canceled through April 30.

Museum of Chinese in America: closed from March 12 through March 16.

New Museum: closed from March 13.

Whitney Museum of American Art: closed beginning March 13.

Frieze New York 2020: canceled.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: closed from March 14.

Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art: closed from March 13.

Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago: closed from March 14 through March 27. Programming is canceled through April 10.

Smart Museum: closed from March 15 through March 30.

San Francisco

SFMoMA: closed through April 7.

Asian Art Museum: closed.

Boston

Museum of Fine Arts: closed for up to 30 days beginning March 13.

ICA Boston: closed temporarily as of March 13.

United Arab Emirates

The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority has closed all museums, historical sites, and libraries from Sunday March 15 until the end of the month. The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention has canceled all school classes for four weeks, and has advised UAE residents not to travel abroad.

Sharjah

Sharjah Art Foundation: all SAF spaces including shops and venues, are closed from March 16 until further notice. March Meeting, Sharjah: the 2020 edition of the event, meant to take place from March 21 to 23, has been postponed until further notice.

Maraya Art Centre: closed from March 14.

Dubai

Jameel Arts Centre: closed from Monday March 16 until at least April 1.

Alserkal Avenue: galleries are open by appointment only, or you can visit virtual tours of the spaces online here.

Art Dubai: canceled. A smaller program of cultural events, scheduled to run during the fair’s original run dates, March 25–28, has also been canceled.

Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery: closed from March 8 for four weeks until further notice.

Louvre Abu Dhabi: closed until March 31.

United Kingdom

Public Health England finally recommended on March 17 that cultural institutions close.

Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St. Ives: closed until at least May 1.

Chisenhale Gallery: closed until further notice.

Serpentine Gallery: closed until further notice.

Taymour Grahne, London: Nicky Nodjoumi’s “Singing a New Song” and Cara Nahaul’s “Impossible Garden,” scheduled to open on March 30, have been postponed to later in the year.

Germany

On March 12, the German State Department for Culture and Europe decreed that all state museums, memorials and galleries would be closed until April 19.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin: closed on March 14 until April 19.

Gropius Bau, Berlin: closed from March 16 through April 19.

France

French health authories have said more than 127 have died, and there are more than 5,400 cases in France. Gatherings of more than 1,000 people have been prohibited, and more stringent lockdowns are expected to be announced after 6pm March 16 local time.

Centre Pompidou, Paris: closed since March 14 until a later date.

Turkey

The Istanbul Municipality has closed all museums and events have been canceled through the end of the month.

Arter: closed through March 30.

SALT Beyo─člu and SALT Galata: the buildings are closed through March 31 but SALT’s collections, talks, and projects are accessible online.

Istanbul Modern: closed through March 31.

Pera Museum: closed through March 31.

Jordan

The Jordanian government closed its borders with Israel, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, as well as banning travelers from everal European countries.

Nabad Gallery, Amman: the gallery has postponed Emmanuel Guiragossian’s solo exhibition on March 16 and Eman Haram’s exhibition on April 4, however the gallery remains open.

Taiwan

Most of the cultural institutions in Taiwan are operating under a series of precautionary measures. In response to the changes lately, museums have adjusted the visitor restrictions in late March. All public visitors are now required to wear face masks, test body temperature, disinfect themselves with medical alcohol and leave contact information before entering the museum. Anyone with a body temperature higher than 37.5 °C will be denied entrance. The institutions also promises to clean the public spaces more frequently throughout the day. As for the galleries, some have decided to close their space while many carry on with their schedule. 

TKG+ Gallery: closed until further notice.

Thailand

The Public Health Ministry has designated Covid-19 as a dangerous communicable disease, with new measures set to go into effect on March 8.

Bangkok Art & Culture Centre: closed from March 22 until April 30.

Jim Thompson House Museum: closed from March 21 until April 12.

100 Tonson Gallery: closed from March 19 through April 12.

BAB Box: closed from March 20.

Ardel Gallery of Modern Art, Bangkok: two exhibitions have been postponed indefinitely: “Warawoot Shusaengthong: The Selected Collection,” originally scheduled to open on March 19; and “The Great Masters by 5 National Artists,” the opening of which was planned for April 2.

Italy

On March 9, in an effort to contain the escalating spread of Covid-19 in Italy, prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced that existing restrictions already in place for northern Italy will be extended to the whole country, in effect putting all of Italy on a lockdown. All of the country’s museums have been closed and will remain shuttered until at least April 3.

Fondazione Prada, Milan: briefly reopened March 2, now closed until further notice.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice: reopened March 2, now closed until at least April 3.

Castello di Rivoli, Turin: reopened March 3. On March 4, the museum launched the exhibition “Facing the Collector: the Sigg Collection of Contemporary Art from China.” Now closed until further notice.

South Korea

The Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Tourism announced on Monday February 24 that all state-run art museums, as well as history museums and libraries, will be shuttered for at least one week to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul: closed from Tuesday February 25.

MMCA branches at Gwacheon, Deoksugung and Cheongju are closed from Monday February 24.

Artsonje: The opening of Hwayeon Nam’s solo exhibition “Mind Stream” on February 27 has been postponed until March 24 when Artsonje will reopen.

Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art: closed with no re-opening date yet announced.

Kukje Gallery, Seoul: closed through March 22.

PKM Gallery, Seoul: temporarily closed.

Asian Cultural Center, Gwangju: closed through March 22.

Kukje Gallery, Busan: closed through March 22.

China

On January 23, on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, the Beijing Palace Museum announced it would close the Forbidden City complex beginning Saturday, January 25, until further notice. Many other cultural institutions followed suit, including the National Museum of China. 

Beijing

National Art Museum: closed since January 24.

UCCA and UCCA Dune: reopening postponed indefinitely. The exhibition “Immaterial / Re-material” (February 22–May 5) has been postponed to a later date. A solo exhibition by Yan Xing (March 8–June 16) will be rescheduled.

M Woods and M Woods Hutong: closed until further notice. On February 13, M Woods launched an online exhibition platform curated by Victor Wang.

X Museum: opening of the new museum and its inaugural exhibition postponed until April.

Beijing Gallery Weekend: VIP days May 22–24; public days May 26–31. (Exhibitions and programs will be closed on Monday, May 25).

798 Art Zone: most galleries have not announced plans for reopening yet. 

Techne Triennial at CAFA Museum: postponed indefinitely

Red Brick Art Museum: extended New Year closure (January 20–31) until further notice. 

Today Art Museum: closed until further notice.

JINGART: The Beijing art fair, scheduled for May 21–24, canceled its 2020 edition. “No matter how long the Winter, the Spring is sure to follow,” organizers wrote in their email announcement.

Shanghai

Yuz Museum: closed until further notice.

Tank Shanghai & Qiao Space: closed indefinitely.

Long Museum: closed indefinitely.

Shanghai Center of Photography: closed indefinitely.

West Bund Art Museum: closed indefinitely; public educational program suspended.

Rockbund Museum of Art: closed for renovations until September 2020.

Prada Rong Zhai: Alex Da Corte’s “Rubber Pencil Devil” has been postponed to November 13, and will run until January 24, 2021. 

Guangzhou

Guangzhou Art Museum: closed indefinitely from January 24.

Guangdong Times Museum: closed since January 23.

He Art Museum: the new platform’s opening has been pushed back, with no date announced yet.

Macau

In Macau, the Cultural Affairs Bureau announced the closure of all government-run cultural spaces beginning on January 25 for an indefinite period to prevent the spread of the epidemic. 

Macau Museum of Art: closed since January 25. 

Ox Warehouse: the January 30 exhibition opening has been postponed until further notice.

TeamLab SuperNature Macao, at Sands Resort Macao: the debut of the new project has been postponed, but with no revised date yet confirmed.

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