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Posts tagged “Shanghai

LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China

East of Huangpu River across from the historic city centre of the Bund, Pudong (literally means the east bank of Huangpu) has been Shanghai’s new ground for contemporary developments in recent two decades, including the city’s international airport Pudong International Airport (opened in 1999) and Shanghai’s financial district Lujiazui.  Many of Shanghai’s iconic skyscrapers from the past two decades, which include Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Building, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai IFC, and the tallest of them all – Shanghai Tower, stand proudly at Lujiazui, directly across Huangpu River from the Bund, its historic predecessor.  One tower after another tested the vertical limit of modern architecture.  The development of Lujiazui reflects the ambition and pace of the contemporary development of the Chinese society.

Before heading to the airport, we dropped by Lujiazui of Pudong District one last time.  At Lujiazui, we intended to visit the Aurora Art Museum, a gallery designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.  Unfortunately not until we reached the door, we realized that the museum was closed on Monday.  We ended up spending time wandering around the financial area to check out the latest skyscrapers.  The main focus in the area was undoubtedly Shanghai Tower (上海中心大厦).  Construction was completed but Shanghai Tower had not opened its doors to the public yet.  We could only walk around the 632m tower, the tallest in China, from outside.  While admiring the twisting gesture and double skin facade system of Shanghai Tower, we could not ignore the two other super highrise towers of Lujiazui: Jin Mao Tower (金茂大廈) and Shanghai World Financial Center (上海環球金融中心).  Before leaving Lujiazui for the airport, we had a quick tea break at a chain restaurant for a last taste of Shanghaiese food.  We then took the metro to Longyang Road station and switched to the maglev airport express.  Reaching a speed of about 430km/h, the magnetic levitation train ride to the airport took less than ten minutes.  Our 4-day experience was coming to an end as we sped through the suburbs of Shanghai before our evening flight back to Hong Kong.

DSC_1712The three super-tall skyscrapers of Shanghai: (left) Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Centre (centre), and Shanghai Tower (right).

DSC_1678_01The central atrium of Grand Hyatt Hotel at the 54th floor of Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_1690View of Putong and the Bund from the 54th floor of Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_1697Shanghai Tower as viewed from Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_1699Shanghai Tower as viewed from Jin Mao Tower.

DSC_2572Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Tower viewed from a footbridge near Lujiazui metro station.

DSC_2586The three super tall skyscrapers of Shanghai are all designed by American architects: Shanghai World Financial Tower by KPF, Jin Mao Tower by SOM, and Shanghai Tower by Gensler.

DSC_2605Oriental Pearl Tower (東方明珠塔) viewed from a footbridge near Lujiazui metro station.

DSC_2616The twin towers of Shanghai IFC with the Shanghai Tower in the middle.

DSC_2622Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Tower viewed from a footbridge near Lujiazui metro station.

DSC_2632The rest of the commercial buildings at Lujiazui were dwarfed by the three tallest towers.

DSC_2650Extensive footbridges connect a number of commercial developments in Lujiazui.

DSC_2633One last look at the three towers before we headed for the airport.

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Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China

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CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China

Originated from the nearby provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guizhou, the hand making of blue nankeen cotton fabric have been a local heritage for centuries.  Dyed in indigo and finished with white traditional patterns, the traditional blue nankeen fabrics have caught the eyes of many people, including Japanese artist Kubo Mase (久保麻紗).  Kubo Mase was a prominent collector of blue nankeen fabrics, dyeing tools, handlooms, and many other blue nankeen related tools collected from the rural areas across Southern China since 1950s.  Kubo Mase founded the Chinese Hand Printed Blue Nankeen Gallery in a small courtyard at Changle Road Lane 637.  It houses many of her collections, and also hosts a small shop selling hand printed blue nankeen fabrics.

Before leaving Shanghai, we were keen to drop by the Chinese Hand Printed Blue Nankeen Gallery to know more about the traditional indigo cotton.  Following the sign from the main road, we found our way through small lanes and courtyards until reaching the gallery forecourt where a few rows of indigo fabrics were hung.  In an old two-storey house, Kubo Mase’s collection and a small shop of a variety of blue nankeen products made up the off-the-beaten-track attraction for anyone who is interested in cultural heritage and beautiful handcrafts.  In a nation where modernization is rapidly wiping out authentic heritage, historical neighborhoods, and rural culture, the gallery appears like a peaceful oasis where the old ways of blue nankeen making is quietly preserved.

DSC_2539Entrance into the gallery forecourt.

DSC_2533Blue nankeen fabric hanging in the forecourt of the gallery.

DSC_2537Blue nankeen fabric hanging in the forecourt of the gallery.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore blue nankeen fabric hanging on the second floor of the gallery building.

DSC_2542Inside the gallery building, many blue nankeen fabrics were framed and displayed all over.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA With nice wooden floor and nostalgic pendant lamps, the gallery interior was an atmospheric old mansion.

DSC_2545On the second level, a traditional handloom was on display.

DSC_2551The Koinobori (Japanese carp flag) inspired print was also on display among the traditional blue nankeen fabrics.

DSC_2558Detailed patterns of a traditional blue nankeen fabric.

DSC_2560Detailed patterns of a traditional blue nankeen fabric.

DSC_2562Second floor exhibition hall showcasing dyeing tools in the glass display counters.

DSC_2567Traditional clothing made with the blue nankeen fabric.

DSC_2570A hallway marked by neat archways was also used to display blue nankeen fabrics.

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Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China


TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China

Hidden in a series of alleyways of traditional townhouses known as Shikumen (石庫門), an interesting area popular with artists and young people has become a major tourist attraction in the former French Concession of Shanghai.  Known as Tianzifang (田子坊) since artist Huang Yongyu (黃永玉) named the area after an ancient painter Tianzifang (田子方) in 2001, Tianzifang has become a vibrant location for young people and artists.  Many of the traditional Shikumen houses were restored during 2000s and converted into craft shops, cafes, bars, souvenir stores, etc.  Taken quite a distinct approach towards preservation than the nearby Xintiandi (新天地), Tianzifang maintains a relatively low-key and community feel.  Electrical cables were hanging all over, while weathered bricks and decades old windows could be commonly seen.

We spent much of the last morning of our Shanghai trip wandering in the alleyways of Tianzifang to absorb the lay-back and creative atmosphere.  We did quite a bit of window shopping.  At the end, we stopped by Cafe Dan for coffee and soba.  Owned by a Japanese, Cafe Dan is a lovely small cafe serving excellent Japanese food and great coffee from around the world.  Up a flight of narrow wooden stair, the dining area of Cafe Dan on the upper levels felt like a peaceful oasis above the bustling activities of tourists and visitors of Tianzifang.  Sitting by the wooden window screen, we had some moments of tranquility under the warm sunlight, while the aroma of our filtered coffee gradually filled the cafe interior.

DSC_2528We reached Tianzifang through one of these alley entrance on Taikang Road.

DSC_2384One of the alley gateway into Tianzifang.

DSC_2383Statue of the ancient painter Tianzifang from the Warring State Period (481 to 403 BC).

DSC_2311Hand-drawn 3D map of Tianzifang.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlleyway in Tianzifang.  Some shops were at the upper level of the old houses, accessible by narrow stairway from the ground level.

DSC_2317Much of the old houses in Tianzifang were transformed into cafes, restaurants and shops.

DSC_2303This shop is dedicated to Teddy bears.

DSC_2322Pedestrian nodes such as a small courtyard could be found at a number of places.

DSC_2333Colourful or kitsch souvenirs selling the Chinese culture could be found all over.

DSC_2352A shop selling traditional and bespoke clothing.

DSC_2386Statue dressed like a red army during the Cultural Revolution in front of a second-hand camera shop.

DSC_2419Interesting murals contribute to the community feel of Tianzifang.

DSC_2320Alleyway in front of Cafe Dan.

DSC_2519Entrance of Cafe Dan.

DSC_2459Interior of the upper level of Cafe Dan.

DSC_2464Delicious Japanese soba at Cafe Dan.

DSC_2481My cup of coffee was brewed with beans from the Galapagos.

DSC_2511The alternating tread wooden staircase at Cafe Dan was an interesting feature.

DSC_2521Heading out of Tianzifang to find our way to our next destination of the day, the small Blue Nankeen Museum.

 

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Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China


THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China

After another long day touring the city, our friend took us to a rooftop bar at Three on the Bund for evening drinks in front of the magnificent night view of Putong (浦東).  Nowhere else is more iconic in Shanghai than the Bund, the historical commercial centre of the former International Settlement by the Huangpu River (黃浦江).  All tourists who come to Shanghai visit the Bund at least once during their stay, on one hand to admire the historical Beaux-art buildings along the Bund, and on the other hand enjoy the glittering lights from the ever-changing skyline of Lujiazui (陸家嘴) skyscrapers across Huangpu River.  Thirteen years ago when we first visited Shanghai, many skyscrapers in Putong had yet been built.  Back then, Oriental Pearl Tower and Jin Mao Tower were the two structures that stood out from the horizon.  Standing at the roof patio of POP Bar on the 7th floor at Three on the Bund, the vivid lights from the cluster of commercial towers across the river tinted the water in rainbow colours.  We had a great time chilling out under what my friend described as a clear sky with relatively little pollution according to the standards of Shanghai.

 

DSC_2251Skyline of Lujiazui viewed from the promenade along the Bund.

DSC_2255Old skyline of the Bund at night.

DSC_2256Old skyline of the Bund at night.

DSC_2261Old skyline of the Bund at night.

DSC_2262Old skyline of the Bund at night.

DSC_2267Old skyline of the Bund at night.

DSC_2269Old skyline of the Bund at night.

DSC_2293POP Bar on the 7th floor of Three on the Bund, the historical Union Assurance Company has been restored by architect Michael Graves in the 2000’s .

DSC_2296Colourful cocktails at the POP Bar on the 7th floor of Three on the Bund.

DSC_2291View of Lujiazui from POP Bar.

DSC_0633Interior of the Peace Hotel (和平飯店), one of the most famous hotels in the old Shanghai.

DSC_0634Interior of Peace Hotel.

DSC_0639Interior of Peace Hotel.

DSC_0641Interior of Peace Hotel.

DSC_0644Elegant entrance of Peace Hotel.

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Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China


LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China

Before our trip, a number of people recommended the Long Museum to us.  Designed by a focal firm Atelier Deshaus, the Long Museum is a fine piece of contemporary architecture that has been featured in many design magazines.  Despite our tight schedule in Shanghai, we managed to squeeze in two hours to visit this contemporary art museum at the West Bund of Xuhui.  The riverside promenade of Xuhui district hosts a number of cultural establishments like the Long Museum, and also occasional art events such as the West Bund Biennale of Architecture and Contemporary Art.  Along with upcoming developments such as the movie production and entertainment complex – Dream Centre, the once industrial area West Bund of Xuhui is gradually transforming into a lively cultural corridor by the Huangpu River.  The privately-owned art museum near the former Expo ground stands as a proud revelation of Shanghai’s ambitions to boost the local contemporary art scenes.

We arrived at Long Museum in the mid afternoon.  Dozens or so visitors were busy photographing the cherry blossoms in front of the museum.  Others were having fun taking seflies against the backdrop of a well preserved industrial structures, which has now become a significant feature outside the museum.  At the museum’s rear side facing the riverside promenade, locals were enjoying themselves playing badminton and skateboards.  We entered the museum through its main entrance at the side.  Once inside, we were immediately captivated by the high vaulted space of the main exhibition hall.  There is not a single white wall in the museum.  With high volume spaces and half-vaulted ceiling, the museum is like a minimalist concrete cathedral, offering visitors diverse spatial experience, and a sleek atmosphere and backdrop for showcasing contemporary art.

Exhibited in galleries and a number of international biennale around the globe, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is a prominent figure in the art world.  Eliasson creates interesting art installations that often engage spectators through the use of basic elements like water, light or shadows.  We were delighted to see Eliasson’s solo show at the Long Museum.  Playful reflections, shadows, and lighting effects of his pieces did a fine job engaging spectators in multiple ways.  We spent about two hours seeing Eliasson’s exhibition until the museum was about to close its doors.  After the visit, we strolled along the riverside promenade to take in the relax atmosphere.

DSC_1718 Visitors gathered in front of Long Museum to photograph the fine cherry blossoms.

DSC_1725Concrete structure from an old factory is preserved as an exterior feature of Long Museum.

DSC_1764The old structure becomes a local favorite for portrait photography.

DSC_1799The old industrial structure create a beautiful scene of shadows and textures.

DSC_1809Visitors walking beyond the old industrial structure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA visitor and dramatic sunlight casting onto the vaulted concrete wall.

DSC_2097Main exhibition space of Long Museum.

DSC_2092Olafur Eliasson’s installation art took over every wall and corner of Long Museum.

DSC_2079Spectators having fun with their own reflection at one of Eliasson’s piece.

DSC_2062Mirrors are used in many of Eliasson’s pieces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA sphere that allows visitors to enter is a popular piece.

DSC_1858Moving shadows and interesting reflections was a result from lighting effect and a suspended ring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElegant shadows of an abstract installation.

DSC_1917Visitor and the semi-vaulted ceiling.

DSC_1942Visitors queuing for a glimpse of their own reflection at one of Eliasson’s piece.

DSC_1955A mother photographing her daughter from the other end of the piece.

DSC_1952A room with alternating lighting that changed the hues of wall decorations from black and white to rainbow colours.

DSC_2125The passageway between the old industrial structure and the museum facade made of pour concrete and expanded metal.

DSC_2131Locals having a good time with badminton and skateboards at the back of Long Museum.

DSC_2175The riverside promenade behind Long Museum links the museum with other cultural establishments at the West Bund of Xuhui.

 

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Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China


POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China

After a morning of the former French Concession, a short taxi ride took us to the former Expo ground by the Huangpu River for an entirely different side of Shanghai.  Opened in 2012, Power Station of Art is China’s first state run contemporary art museum.  Like London’s Tate Modern, the 440,000 sq.ft art museum is housed in a former power station.  We spent about two hours at the art museum.

Upon arrival at the grand hall on the ground floor, we were immediately astounded by the gigantic piece of installation art that involved a life-size train carriage and a number of mounted animals.  The piece belongs to French-Chinese artist Huang Yongping (黄永砯) as the centerpiece of his exhibition, Baton Serpent III: Spur Track to the Left.  On the upper floors, through a retrospective exhibition marking his 60th birthday, we got to know about the magnificent works and tragic life of Datong Dazhang, a Chinese artist from Shanxi Province active in the 1980s and 90s, and eventually committed suicide in the year 2000.  With vivid posters, drawings and videos illustrating renowned architect Bernard Tschumi’s design philosophies, we spent a brief time full of architectural thoughts at Tschumi’s exhibition, Architecture: Concept & Notation.  The last thing we saw before leaving the museum was In the Name of Architecture, a design exhibition by Atelier FCJZ encompassing the studio’s ideas on architecture, fashion, lifestyle, and graphic design.

DSC_1561Built in 1985, the Nanshi Power Station was turned into the Pavilion of Future in 2010’s Shanghai Expo, and subsequently converted into an art museum by Original Design Studio.

DSC_1564Today, the Power Station of Art has become a prominent cultural venue in Shanghai.

DSC_1566The life-size train carriage of Huang Yongping’s Spur Track to the Left.

DSC_1570Huang Yongping’s Spur Track to the Left.

DSC_1582Huang Yongping’s Spur Track to the Left.

DSC_1575Other installation by Huang Yongping’s on the ground floor.

DSC_1577Other installation by Huang Yongping’s on the ground floor.

DSC_1585Other installation by Huang Yongping’s on the ground floor.

DSC_1651Huang Yongping’s Baton Serpent on the second floor.

DSC_1599View of Huang Yongping’s Spur Track to the Left from the third floor.

DSC_1604Huangpu River and the former Expo ground as viewed from the museum’s outdoor terrace.

DSC_1605Outdoor terrace of the Power Station of Art.

DSC_1635Greatly under valued and seen as a social dissident during his lifetime, Shanxi avant-garde artist Datong Dazhang (大同大) lived a harsh life in the 1980s and 90s as an artist who was way ahead of his time.  Entirely self-taught and self initiated, Zhang works ranged from installations, photography, performance art, and drawings.

DSC_1621Datong Dazhang’s Questioning the Weight of Scales.

DSC_1632Datong Dazhang’s The Fear of Math, where pig heads were arranged in an abacus arrangement.

DSC_1634Prohibited from showcasing his art because of political issues, Zhang continued to make art during the 1990s and documented a number of performance arts with zero audience.

DSC_1643Bernard Tschumi’s Architecture: Concept & Notation.

DSC_1653Architectural model at Atelier FCJZ’s In the Name of Architecture.

DSC_1661Cool copper partitions at the entrance of FCJZ’s exhibition on the ground floor.

 

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Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China


FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China

From 1849 to 1943, the area that encompassed today’s Xuhui District and the western part of Huangpu District was under the French control known as the French Concession.  Large number of western buildings survive till today, and has since then become some of the most prestige residential neighborhoods and entertainment areas of contemporary Shanghai.

In the morning, we were to meet our friend near Xintiandi  (新天地).  We arrived a little earlier than planned, thus had a little bit of time to wander around Xintiandi and its nearby alleyways of shikumen (石庫門) residences.  Known as lilongs (里弄), these alleyway communities once dominated the majority of residential neighborhoods in the city.  Shikumen was a common type of terrace houses cladded in brick veneer over combustible timber structures.  In 2001, one of the most famous restored shikumen neighborhood in the Former French Concession opened its doors as a new lifestyle and entertainment destination in Shanghai.  Known as Xintiandi (New World), this adaptive reuse project offered new life to old neighborhoods not only in Shanghai, but also other Chinese cities.

After a short walk in Xintiandi, we met up with our friend.  Our friend took us for a quick detour to the newly built SOHO Fuxing Lu mixuse development to check out a cool lift lobby of a commercial building.  Then our friend led us to one of his favorite noodle soup.  We ordered two bowls of noodles: yellow fish and deep fried pork chops.  After the tasty breakfast, we continued our tour of the Former French Concession.

Next we arrived at Normandie Apartment or Wukang Mansion (武康大樓) at Wukang Road, a French Renaissance style building at a street corner similar to New York’s Flatiron Building.  Home to many Shanghainese celebrities, Normandie Apartment was designed by Hungarian-Slovak architect László Hudec, a renowned architect who lived in Shanghai from 1918 to 1945.  Inspired by the WWI battleship Normandie, the architectural form of the building resembles a ship.  The project was completed in 1924.

We continued our walk along Wukang Road to Ferguson Lane, an upscale leisure destination with shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries along alleyways and courtyards flanked by Art Deco buildings.  A long queue was lining up for what looked like a decent restaurant for bunch.  Equally popular was the French bakery where an irresistible smell of bread spread allover the leafy courtyards of Ferguson Lane.

DSC_1427Our morning stroll in the lilong alleyways near Xintiandi.

DSC_1446It was early morning when we arrived at Xintiandi.  Most stores had yet to open their doors.  We loved the tranquility of the street. The leafless trees along both sides of the road blended harmoniously with the building facades.

DSC_1449Beautiful shikumen building facades along the street at Xintiandi.

DSC_1453Gelato shop at Shanghai Xintiandi.

DSC_1468The peaceful and delightful mood blanketed the entire Xintiandi in the morning, before the arrival of tour groups.

DSC_1472Some buildings in Xintiandi serve as backdrop for tourist photos.

DSC_1474Outdoor seating at Xintiandi.

DSC_1480Our friend took us to a newly built office building at SOHO Fuxing Lu near Xintiandi to check out a cyber looking lift lobby design which has been published in design magazines.

DSC_1484An entrance court of SOHO Fuxing Lu designed by GMP Architekten.

DSC_1489Our tasty breakfast: yellow fish noodles and fried pork chop noodles.

DSC_1490Humble entrance of “Great Times” Noodle House.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe 8-storey Normandie Apartment reminded us of New York’s Flatiron Building.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe curve corner of Normandie Apartment.

DSC_1503Normandie Apartment or Wukang Mansion (in Chinese) once represented a prestige address in the city.

DSC_1501The veranda at Wukang Mansion is one of the oldest in Shanghai.

DSC_1521Signage at the main entance of Ferguson Lane revealed its Art Deco past.

DSC_1524Ferguson Lane, a warm and relaxing destination for anyone who seeks for a tranquil place to chill out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInteresting bronze statue riding a bike captured many’s attention.

DSC_1541Western buildings could be found everywhere on Wukang Road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother interesting building at the intersection of Wukang Road and Hunan Road.

DSC_1555Once again we felt like as if we were traveling in Europe.

 

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Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China