This project aims to use the history of Daxin Huating (Daxin Painting Hall, 1936-50) to explore the role of department store exhibition spaces in art history and its connection to the changing urban space of Shanghai. Daxin Huating was located in the Daxin Department Store, in the center of Shanghai's commercial culture: Nanjing Road in the International Settlement. As one of the most popular exhibition venues in Shanghai, it held about 351 exhibitions during 1936-50. I argue that Daxin Huating not only served as a platform for the display of art—it was a social actor itself. The changing cultural-political climate in Republican Shanghai (1912-49) constantly reshaped the meaning and representation of the space, and the space in turn caused changes in art and the urban landscape of modern Shanghai.