My Shanghai. 2014

People will say that it is the centre of business in China and around the world. We will definitely think this metropolitan city is crowded, busy and complex. I wonder whether I will enjoy to be in a busy city or not.

My flight to Shanghai was delayed for more than 5 hours due to heavy fog in Shanghai and landed in Hongkong. I hope it was not a bad sign for me to live in Shanghai, hahaha.
Actually it was a great trip because on flight I met new friend from Russia who has ever lived in Shanghai for more than 5 years.She talked many things about Shanghai’s lifestyle, history, people, culture and etc. It is interesting to meet new people and talk about many new things that I have never heard and known before in my life. I know from her that there’s a huge positive energy in Shanghai which could affect on every people who live there. It encourages me to see how it feels like to be part of Shanghai people.

Yes it is a busy city but it’s a very stunning city. I feel like I am in between two places, China and Europe. We can experience old China in the city centre and it is easily accessible with convenient transportation.
On 1853 there’s a Taiping Rebellion in China and almost 20,000 Chinese fled into the International Settlements. At that time British decided to scrap the law forbidding Chinese from renting property in the concessions and foreigners from developing real estates. The result was the shikumen, a unique mixture of East and West that was a successful meeting of the Chinese courtyard house and English terraced housing.


My daily route here is from Pudong to Xuhui (Changshu area). Monday till Saturday is my workday and Kengo Kuma office is located in Xuhui area. It’s a French concession area in the heart of Shanghai. The area is quite, surrounded by fancy and artistic spaces. The building, pedestrian, building block , shopping windows, and the atmosphere are definitely look like Paris. This kind of space is relaxing and I am sure people will feel so peaceful in this district. There’s also an area which has the Europe feeling called The Bund. The Bund is a traditional banking and trade centre dates back to the 19th century.





Addition to these well preserved imperial-era buildings, the walkways is also the viewpoint of Pudong central business district, which provide a strong time era contrast between the new and the old. It is a great place to relax and runaway from a weary and fatigued of life. A truly place where citizens can congregate together.

I also realize that Shanghai has many great cafés in town. One of the best one which I found is Aroom. The café is located in Tai’an road near Jiatong Univ. metro station. Well it is actually a vintage shop and the owner are Shanghai couple who work in advertising. They travel around the world and collect vintage goods. The idea is opening a vintage shop and give coffee as a compliment service for shopping person. The owner love something which is industrial rustic and old-antique (same with me ). The collections are antique chair from the 1850s, a C3PO model from the 1980s and in between, industrial lamps, 1950s handbags, garden tools, etc. The room reflects beige tone color and it creates warm ambience. The space smells like coffee, they play jazz and ballad music as backsound. It’s a perfect place to escape for a while from the bustling and uproar of the downtown. I definitely get many ideas and inspiration when I was inside this café.







Talk about the Shanghai people, I think they are modern, proud of their achievements, open minded, fashionable, and proud of their future. They accept new ideas, changes, love to talk about future and have strong positive energy. That’s why Shanghai is a centre of radical idea, fashion and international business. Most of the youth aware with contemporary art and Shanghai provides lot of museum for them. 2 of my favorite places are MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and M50 (Mogangshan 50). I felt very lucky when I walk pass MOCA and I saw Yayoi Kusama exhibition’s poster. I admire Yayoi Kusama’s work of art. This time, she has A Dream I dreamed Exhibition. She was born in Nagano Japan and began to paint using polka dot and net as motifs at around age of ten. She is one of the greatest contemporary artist in the world. She uses lights, patterns, and repetition in her works to encounter this limitless space beyond all worldly limits. Her recent works show images of scattered particles that are randomly juxtaposed, reminding viewers of a something existing, yet uncanny and identified. Btw, her illness related to the obsessive-compulsive disorder and hallucination was the foundation of her art and redemption.





And here’re few photos from Art District M50. I came here on weekday and it’s good that few people visit M50 in weekday. I remember that day was off day because previously office did overtime work and on the next day we can have 1 day off. It feels so refreshing to visit art district after working overtime in the whole week. M50 provides artists to show their contemporary artwork such as painting, statue, ceramic, poster, product and many more.




The city are full of unique atmosphere which encourage our feeling to create something creative. This kind of feeling and spirit are beyond your imagination. If you do like old traditional culture, architecture and artistic things you will definitely enjoy living here in Shanghai.
Ok, here’s a story from me. Thanks for passing by and reading my essay.

credit : faniatmanti

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