A popular getaway destination for all Shanghaiese who are tired with the bustle of a big city. One hour by train, Suzhou is … yet another big city, though a lot smaller than Shanghai and more relaxed. It is famouns for its parks and gardens, during my trip, however, I focused on the „snack street” – Shang Tang.

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Popularne miejsce, do którego uciekają mieszkańcy Szanghaju, zmęczeni zgiełkiem wielkiego miasta. Oddalone o godzinę jazdy pociągiem, Suzhou to … również wielkie miasto, ale zdecydowanie mniejsze od Szanghaju i nieco mniej hałaśliwe. Słynie z wielości parków i ogrodów, jednak podczas mojej krótkiej wizyty skupiłem się na „ulicy przekąskowej” czyli położonej przy kanale malowniczej Shang Tang.

Back to China / Powrót do Chin

I’m leaving the place where the time has frozen (in a way), at least for local Chinese who are still cultivating old traditions, and head for modern amnesiac China, where they sometimes try to refresh their memories by going on a trip to places like Penang.

Just a stopover in Singapore (one of the most entertaining airports I have ever seen – better go through the security check as quickly as possible and use all those – mostly free of charge – benefits that the airport offers: video games, cinema room, gym…) and I’m already shaking the humid and cold hand of Shanghai. Luckily I’m bringing a backpack full of warm memories of my trip through Thailand (and through that little tasty bit of Malaysia)…

Z miejsca, w którym czas w pewnym sensie się zatrzymał, przynajmniej dla Chińczyków, którzy wciąż kultywują dawne tradycje, wracam do Chin współczesnych,…

As promised – a micro report from Shanghai Biennial. Short and to the point – check the photos to know more.

But before we kick it off with the Biennial – a short note about a nice vernissage I was lucky to experience. On November the 30th a grand opening (and closing – don’t ask me why, it’s the Museum’s bosses who made the decision) of Ailadi Cortelletti’s drawings took place. In case if you are wondering who Ailadi is – she is a very talented young Italian illustrator. The exhibition was a success, initial doubts that this could become a kind of “foreigners for foreigners” thing dissolved after the place was raided by crowds (200 people) of Chinese guys and gals – which proves that Shanghai’s youth are interested in cultural life (and that the propaganda strategy chosen by museum and by the curator – Paulina Salas Ruiz of Kankan media – http://kankanmedia.org ).

Ailadi showed her project consisting…

This is something you cannot miss if you are in the least bit interested in a(A)rt. The newly created Power Station of Art (that looks a little bit like oversized Tate Modern) has brought artists from all around the world, letting them use its huge spaces. What is the outcome? For me personally – painful legs after marching the whole day. But one day is definitely not enough to see it all. By the way: you should book your tickets online – that’s the theory but in real life you just give your best white face smile and enter with no fuss.

And what you get to see inside is a bit of gigantomania (Huang Yongping, “Thousand Hands Kuanyin”; a little too direct a reference to Duchamp), lots of installations marked with “Don’t touch” warning (those that have no such tag can be touched when the security guards are not looking; if you ask them whether…

One of the weirdest tourist attractions of Shanghai is beyond any doubt Building 1933. Planned and built to be a huge slaughterhouse it adopted a number of functions throughout decades. Right now the city’s authorities are hesitating whether to turn it into a cultural centre (so far it hasn’t been working out) or an “exclusive” posh shopping place. Better check this place out before they totally spoil it. It is definitely a masterpiece of expressionist art-deco British minds that designed the complex. Stairways and footbridges running in all directions (you can imagine those poor pigs trotting around), decorative façade and glass clad “conference hall” – this place is heaven on Earth for photographers. And indeed there are many of them here – mostly students of some sort of photography schools; usually ten sweating men chasing one female model. Knowing how shy Chinese men usually are I’m guessing that for some of them this is the closest they have…

Teatr cieni / Shadow theatre

Qibao is one of touristy districts of Shanghai where what is old has not been demolished or was demolished but then rebuilt to imitate the original style. Though located far away from the centre, in Minhang, it is still very popular among the Shanghaiese. The come here to eat like crazy – that’s the main attraction of Qibao. The place is also popular for its cricket breeding – local crickets are said to be pretty aggressive, a feature that is highly desired for cricket fights that are traditionally organised here. You can also have a walk around and visit the (newly built) temples and see the shadow theatre, once a very popular form of entertainment. Nowadays, it is just a small place displaying their shows for a bunch of tourists plus a number of history rooms filled with nostalgia of past glory.

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Qibao to jedna z turystycznych dzielnic Szanghaju, w której nie wyburzono…

Street art

Shanghai is stunning with its dimensions, noise, density of everything and everybody… There is no free space to be found, no matter day or night. Even when you take the last subway you cannot just sigh and sink into your own thoughts. You have to think collectively here, immersing yourself into the stream of people flowing one way or the other. One of the most amazing things is the lack of accidents between the participants of the traffic, even though nobody respects traffic signs or regulations – bicycles and scooters dash through the pavement and cars hardly ever respect the red light. I kind of tried to collide with cyclists and motorcyclists rushing through MY pavement. And I almost got it, it’s just that the very last moment they twist and dodge like some evil snake – they don’t even touch you and there is no way you can let go of your frustration. You can only…

To all those who thought I totally abandoned running this blog: you are so WRONG! And this post is to prove it:) Here comes some new stuff (and this new stuff should be also a kind of an explanation why I had no time to take care of the website).

First things first – what was I busy with while in Shanghai? Check the videoanswer below:

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Do tych wszystkich, którzy zastanawiali się, czy całkowicie zarzuciłem prowadzenie niniejszego bloga: otóż zdecydowanie NIE! Na dowód prezentuję kolejną porcję materiału, stanowiącego jednocześnie jakieś wytłumaczenie dla mojej sieciowej bezczynności:)

Na rozgrzewkę – videoodpowiedź na pytanie: co ja właściwie przez ten czas robiłem w Szanghaju?

France, Poland, Russia, China… and other places travelled with Kenji, who definitely is not just a regular travel compagnion. A movie about art, friendship, politics and travelling through life.

Good old times:)