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The Guangdong Times Museum in China’s Guangzhou region made the decision to close its doors after nearly 19 years. The private museum is recognized for its meticulous curating and academic programming concentrating on southern China, Southeast Asia, and the Global South. It is one of China’s oldest and most prestigious private art museums. After the conclusion of its current performance of River Pulses, Border Flows on October 9, the venue will close, according to a post on its WeChat channel.
The shutdown is a result of China’s economic slowdown, which started in the first half of this year and snowballed into a weakening real estate market by mid-2021 due to rigorous lockdowns and other Covid controls. Since 2010, Times China, a real estate developer, has invested RMB200m (£24.7m) in the museum. In that same year, the business dissolved its affiliation with the government-run Guangdong Museum of Art and set up a non-profit division to oversee the Times Museum on an independent basis. The Times Museum opened a location in Berlin in 2018 and was the only Chinese institution to do so until it shuttered in June of this year.
The 1,200 square meter display space for the Times Museum, which is housed in a high-rise structure in the northern part of Guangzhou, will close along with the 14th floor offices. On the first floor, there will still be a café and an event space available, and there will still be public programs until November. Liang Jianhua, who served as the Times Museum’s curator from 2011 to 2022, will continue Huangbian Station, a side project that she started in 2012 and is now running independently.
According to the WeChat announcement, the museum plans to return in some capacity in 2019.