Duolun Culture is Street is a pedestrian road closed off to traffic (except scooters and bicycles), featuring restored colonial era buildings, that we explored this past Thursday. Located in the Hongkou neighborhood, the street was wholly devoid of crowds. Despite the history behind the street, it’s not a major tourist attraction. Which is a shame because I think it’s quite a little gem.
There are places here where writers and artists used to gather in the 1930’s. There are several bronze statues commemorating the circle of writers led by Lu Xun, placed in front of buildings along the street, including this one that Henry was curious to touch.
One exception is Uchiyama Kanzo, who was the owner of the Neishan book store and a close friend of Lu Xun.
The shops sell jade, jewelry (pearls), and antiques. I didn’t get the chance to explore the shops since they aren’t the most appealing places to kids.
Well, cars aren’t supposed to be on the street, but exceptions are apparently made. Note the laundry hanging out to dry. This is still a residential area.
There was a frieze along one section of the street featuring the writers with intricate carvings.
The kids loved touching it.
Near the old Neishan bookstore is Hang-de Tang Church, the only church in Shanghai with traditional Chinese architectural elements.
The church was built in 1928.
At the southern end of the street is the Duolun Museum of Modern Art.
Henry and I were curious to see inside the gallery, but Henry didn’t find the art too interesting, and was disappointed that the exhibit was confined to only two large floors. It was free for us to enter. The gallery is currently hosting a solo exhibition of works by Chinese Artist Wang Shuping called, “Rebuild the Paradise.” I can’t say anything gripped me very strongly but I found Wang’s art interesting and I’d be curious to see her other works. Here’s a sampling.
Notice the locks on various parts of clothing and the horn-like hair style.
A performance piece that I couldn’t experience was called “G20,” named after the G20 meeting between economic powers. There was a film showing it, though, narrated in Chinese. It showed a long U-shaped table with 20 seats and 20 microphones. Instead of the usual group of men and Angela Merkel, in each place was a Chinese woman in a suit. (The actual table and props shown in the film were there in the hall.) Clearly a commentary on the lack of women and Asian women at the table.
We didn’t do much after that, other than lunch, as we were all still fatigued from the previous night’s trip to Din Tai Fung for those delicious, paper-thin, Soup Dumplings. A casual walk down a quiet street and through an art gallery was enough for the day.
Chinese Paparazzi Count: 1