Art Galleries, Design & Creative Industries


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Industry Overview

Thanks to China’s economic growth and increasing personal wealth, Chinese people’s rising purchase power extends from luxury brands to art. A burgeoning Chinese elite and middle class have developed a growing appetite for art. Shanghai has seen museums and galleries multiply in the last 3-4 years, while art hubs such as Red Town and M50 continue to thrive, and newer galleries such as the Power Station of Art and Rock Bund have made impacts upon the scene. Art investors have expressed concerns over the possible bubble built up in the industry, considering the sharp sales fall in 2012. Regardless, Chinese buyers’ fascination with antique art and contemporary work such as painting and calligraphy, which symbolizes China’s long history and national pride, is highly unlikely to dissolve. Moreover, Chinese government is quite supportive of the art industry because it is part of the effort to preserve traditional art and promote cultural exchange. Authorities have pushed for tighter regulations and cracked down plagiarized and “faked” art. In the long term, the art industry is likely to thrive with maturing regulations and growing demands.

Fast Facts

  • After briefly overtaking the US in 2011 as the world’s leading art market, sales dropped to $14 billion, currently placing China as the second largest market.
  • Auction market accounts for a large portion of Chinese total art market sales.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, Chinese artworks accounted for 40 percent of top 500 global auctions of modern and contemporary art combined.
  • Along with Beijing, Shanghai is China’s arts hub. Shanghai hosts a large number of art galleries and relevant events.
  • China’s younger generation growing up with heavy Western influence and better education, the demand for quality design and other creative industries is rising.


Current Media and Journalism Openings

More openings are available than listed below- please apply to discuss further opportunities!


Position: Graphic Design Internship

We are looking for a graphic design intern to join our team. This is a fantastic opportunity to assume a position of great responsibility at an exciting, young company where you will have an important say in the visual identity of the services we provide and of the company as a whole. It is a great chance to gain experience and develop your portfolio working on a variety of real-world projects in a fantastic city. You will report directly to our operations manager/creative director and our director of marketing.

Who We Are Looking For: We are looking for a current student or recent graduate of graphic design or a related field of study. Previous experience is a plus. The candidate must be proficient in Adobe software, such as Photoshop or Illustrator, with a working knowledge of InDesign. Any knowledge or experience in web design is a plus. Candidate must have a great eye for colour, spacing, design and typography. Multitasking is a major part of the job, and tight deadlines must be met.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Create event flyers and other marketing-related visuals.
  • Assistance with visual elements of event production.
  • Work closely with social media team to create coherent and effective web and print promotions.
  • Assistance with printing process.
  • Assistance in developing visual identity of company.


About Art Gallery Internships, Design Internships and Creative Industry Internships in Shanghai

While Beijing is China's creative heart and soul, Shanghai still offers plenty of opportunities for those aspiring to work in the creative industries. These opportunities range from copywriting to marketing communications to graphic design and beyond, but they tend to be fast-paced and demanding. Below we highlight several examples of industries in design and the creative industries, but if you don't see an opportunity here that looks to be a good fit for you, don't hesitate to send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Some of our clients express interest in working for large advertising agencies, several of which partner with SmartIntern and need native English speakers to work as copywriting interns. If you love to write and want to learn how to use words to sell products, an opportunity at one of these major ad agencies may be right for you. If you love writing, you might also wish to explore an internship in marketing communications.

Any talented young graphic designers with a passion for bringing their ideas to life on the web and basic proficiency in the Adobe Creative Suite may be interested in exploring an internship at one of the many web design and development agencies that call Shanghai home. These web design agencies also have a consistent demand for aspiring copywriters and marketers to come as interns. 

If you aren't interested in going the agency route and are more interested in working inhouse with a company, there are plenty of opportunities for that as well. Local companies ranging from the healthcare clinics to the bars and restaurants that service Shanghai's expat population need marketing and graphic design interns to help them expand their reach. And if you have background in China or Mandarin Chinese, you may have the opportunity to work on products targeting China's rapidly growing domestic market as well.

Art Gallery Internships (Specialized)

Shanghai is host to a number of art galleries that seek interns to assist in numerous tasks- from event production, gallery & exhibit openings, research and logistics with local and international artists. 

Our partners range from world-renowned galleries, to regional powerhouses. Whether our client is interested in fun, smaller galleries, "art world" galleries, or private museums, we'll be able to find a good fit. Environments are both English-speaking and bilingual. Some focus on Chinese artists, others focus on cultural/artist exchange between Europe and China, some focus on young artists, while others cater to the well-established artist. In the past, we've had clients interested in an art gallery internship in Shanghai focused on a particular style: street art, maybe a design overlap, ink, photography, or abstraction- our partners specialize in all of these and more. 

SmartIntern can also help interns to secure internships in architecture, industrial design, or interior design.