10. Li Xiaofei, "Assembly Line" (OV Gallery, 07/28 - 09/03): Industrial landscapes are nothing new in art but this emerging artist's documentary style video works have a candidness and lyrical quality that humanizes the factory machine.
9. Paolo Pivi, "Share, but it's not Fair" (Rockbund Art Museum, 07/07 - 09/09): This solo show from the enigmatic Italian artist demonstrates that artists aren't always self-serious and humor-less cranks. Her It's a cocktail party
installation was an especially gleeful spectacle to witness.
8. Xu Bing, "Book from the Ground" (Shanghai Gallery of Art, 04/21 - 05/29): The iconic Chinese artist made quite the splash earlier this year with a book that attempted to revolutionize the way we "read". A beautiful extension of his "Book from the Sky" project.
7. Zhang Ding, "Buddha Jumps Over the Wall" (TOP Contemporary Art Center, 06/02 - 07/15): Zhang Ding puts a whole new spin on this traditional and extraordinarily complex banquet dish with an equally complex installation and performance.
6. Chen Wei, "More" (Leo Xu Projects, 06/03 - 08/05): This Beijing-based artist proves once again why he's the Chinese photographer to watch with new works on eerie interiors composed with a painterly eye.
5. Shen Fan, "Landscape 9210" (ShanghArt Gallery H-Space, 04/15 - 05/15): Shen Fan continues to explore innovative approaches to traditional landscape painting with a multi-media installation that's more creative and thought
provoking than that of works from artists half his age.
4. Bill Viola, "Unspoken" (James Cohan Gallery, 03/09 - 05/06): Some may take issue with me putting this show so high on the list but it's exhilarating when Shanghai is treated to a heavy hitter like Viola. Viewers were able to see his monumental works on a more intimate scale.
3. Geng Jianyi, "Wu Zhi - 1985 - 2008" (Minsheng Art Museum, 09/07 - 10/12): Last year, there was the Zhang Peili retrospective at the museum. It's only natural that this year, Zhang's partner in 1980s avant-garde hijinks would also be given a special look. Undoubtedly influential, Geng Jianyi's work is still fresh.
2. 9th Shanghai Biennale: Reactivitation (Power Station of Art, 10/02/2012 - 03/31/2013): Say what you will about the Shanghai Biennale, this year was arguably the best since 2000. The new space impresses (despite the fluorescent lights and ugly escalators) and there was something for everyone. It's still on so don't miss your chance to see the best international exhibition in Shanghai. And if you missed it the first time around, read what I had to say about the Biennale here and here.
1. Yang Fudong, "Quote out of Context" (OCT Art Terminal, 09/29 - 01/03/2013): This wasn't a complete retrospective of everyone's favorite Chinese video artist but there was just enough to demonstrate why Yang Fudong is a critical darling and a potent voice of a generation. A definite highlight of this astounding show was One Half of August, which gives a whole new perspective to his film series Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest.