ARTifacts boasts to be China’s largest and most spectacular antiques marketplace and museum, and this place certainly lives up to these claims. Large is a bit of an understatement as their vast collection is spread over 9000 square meters spanning six floors and a day can easily be spent looking through. Shopping is not compulsory and it is much more like visiting a museum than it is an antique’s store, but there are so many amazing pieces here that it is hard to leave empty handed.
The specialty of ARTifacts is antique Chinese furniture and visitors walk through a cultural history of China as they stroll around this emporium. Many of China’s minority tribes are represented through pieces of embroidery, purses and vintage clothing on display. There are also thousands of Chinese antique cabinets, carvings, tables, chairs, beds, wood and stone Buddhist, Taoist, Animist, and other statues, ancestor portraits and Buddhist / Taoist paintings, ancient shrines and thrones, with many items dating back to the Ming dynasty. This list is far from exhaustive, but it is impossible to list everything that can be found here!
ARTifacts is easy enough to get to by taxi as it resides roughly 20kms from the center of Shanghai. This can be an hour’s ride depending on city traffic but it is well worth the journey. It is a haven for both Chinese antique enthusiasts and tourists alike; the curator of ARTifacts speaks excellent English and there seems to be nothing he does not know about the products on display.
There are pieces in ARTifacts to suit all price ranges, so it is not necessary to spend big to leave with something special. Indeed, ARTifacts does not give the impression that its priority is to sell and make money. It is far more focused on showing off the extraordinary antiques and imparting some knowledge and a sense of awe on all those who visit.