Ways of Seeing Shanghai

China in mind, as always. I’m missing China…cycling the city’s streets in the summer heat, the views, the fresh food, my “Shanghai family”, but that’s not new information! I’ve been grounded (as such) since December 2012 due to surgery and recovery kingdoms, not escaping the UK since…definitely frustrating for someone who can’t sit still and likes to explore and find. I go to Croatia in July and I can’t wait…though I have a distinct feeling I won’t want to come back. (ManaXi be warned.) Anyway, here are a few videos and images I’ve come across from friends (and beyond) of Shanghai, of China.

The first is a beautifully written and illustrated article – // MAPS –  by my close Shanghai friend Leontine van Luik and her photographer friend (her “Shanghai sister”) Yilan Yuen on Slash Zine. Leo takes some time to talk about her experiences of a day in the city.

“Today it’s Monday and a national holiday in China, dragon boat festival. There is not much happening today in Shanghai, shops are closed and the streets are empty. Good reason to write down some thoughts. I am sitting at a coffee place near my house and it actually smells like Europe; coffee and pasta. People, who have never been to Shanghai, often ask me if I ever get tired of eating rice. After that comment I always try to explain that Shanghai is the New York of the East but with an amazing cultural touch, with a great mix of ancient and modern architecture, with locals eating their food on the street and dive bars but also very fancy rooftop restaurants and five-star hotels. Yes, Shanghai has best of both worlds. You won’t understand until you visit.” – Leontine van Luik



Next is photographer Doug Kelly who, in May 2013 as part of a PechaKucha presentation in Hong Kong, shared some of his favourite photographs from his adventures in China, his impressions of China. He photographed people and cultural relics throughout Shanghai whilst discussing the changes that are about to take place in older parts of the city. See some of his documentary images below that capture a spectrum of traditions and generations.

Doug Kelly 1

Doug Kelly 2

Doug Kelly 3

This music video for ‘Les Automates’ is a collaboration between the band College and Charles Lanceplaine, taken from College’s album ‘Heritage’. The movie directed, filmed and edited by Charles Lanceplaine who is based in Shanghai, and describes the journey of three mysterious characters plunged into the heart of a vacant, futuristic megalopolis. I love this song…and that album as it’s indicative of a certain period in my China life.

Charles Lanceplaine

Finally is a friends sister’s video of her travels from Atlanta to Shanghai to Beijing to Suzhou to Shanghai to Atlanta as filmed on her iPhone 5…funnily enough with a soundtrack by local artist Bibio who I know. Small world as ever. Thanks Kate Papiana for this personal insight that takes me right back. Memories made, never forgotten.

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