This collaborative project consists of two scenarios – the soaring skylines and the narrow alleys, which are believed as two classic symbols to represent the dramatic contrast of Shanghai. It aims to explore the mentality of Shanghai by revealing the solitude in this city and reflect the general meaning of urbanisation.
A collaborative project by Ching Chen and me, 2011-2014.
This is Shanghai, a bustling metropolis of 24 million, where most of the areas used to be wasteland one century ago. Now with the frenetic pace of urbanisation here, every square metre of the downtown area is crowded with concrete and steel. There is no somewhere else anymore here, individual uniquenesses of most places are gone, districts from this city tend to be increasingly consistent and similar. These sensations of detachment, isolation and oppression evoked by these endless skyscrapers become tangible with frozen dizzying lights.
This is what behind the modern skyline, an area found in Huangpu district – one of the last historical reservation in Shanghai. This old town appears to be low-rise and very dense housing, most of the citizens living here are kids and seniors. Yet here has all the daily drama worth to record, children playing hide and seek, running along with joy while the elderly are always glad to tell you the local history. It’s all about the past time, the hidden face of this city.