Field Trip: St. Petersburg
By Sylvia Tsai
May in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, is a sight to behold. Sunshine illuminates the city, luring people into its many gardens and parks, while highlighting the eclectic mix of baroque and neoclassical architecture that has made the city—since it was founded by Peter the Great in 1703—the country’s “window to Europe.” The port city of roughly five million people sits along the Baltic Sea, among a network of canals, with the Neva River running through it. During these months in the summer season, usually between the end of May through July, the evenings of St. Petersburg remain bright as dusk, a period that is also known as the “White Nights.”
On the occasion of Iranian artist Reza Derakshani’s solo exhibition at the Marble Palace of the Russian Museum, ArtAsiaPacific was invited by Sophia Contemporary, the artist’s gallery in London, to explore St. Petersburg, Russia’s cultural hub. From the various venues that make up the Russian Museum to the world-renowned Hermitage (with its three-million-piece collection), the breadth of these institution’s holdings, of not only ancient to contemporary Russian art, but also iconic pieces from American and European art history, made for an incredible journey through the ages.