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2006 06 13
Shanghai Missive
Image: AGOTW

Montreal resident Emmanuel Madan recently travelled to Shanghai to install an artwork called Ondulation. He sent us a series of dispatches about his experiences and we thought these were perfect for our feature on Shanghai. We will serialize them here over the next few days.

"Pudong New Area is the suitably science-fiction-like name for a very surreal place. Shanghai's history is tied up with European imperialism and was basically founded around the time of the Opium wars, in the mid-1800s. From that time until about ten years ago, Shanghai existed essentially on the west bank of theHuangpu river. Everything east of the river was reserved for farmland, supplying the city's millions of people with most of its produce. All that changed about ten years ago when city planners decided to open Pudong up to urban development. It has since become the banking centre of China, competing withHong Kong for financial dominance of the "New China".

Pudong New Area is where I spent more than half of my time in China, and I don't think I could have picked a more unrepresentative place. The model is familiar if unsavory: a vast agrarian area outside an existing city is appropriated, its ( more...)
[email this story] Posted by David Ross on 06/13
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