Friday, September 24, 2010

Propaganda Poster Art Centre

The Propaganda Poster Art Centre is well worth the effort to find.Tucked away as it is not only in a housing complex oddly named President Apartment but also in the basement of Building B of the aforementioned residential block.The guard at the front gate will give you a small business card with directions once you reach the main entrance.Follow your nose and descend down the elevator where the gallery awaits.

There are according to the pamphlet at the gallery some 3000 odd posters from the 50's through to the 70's. There is also some Maoist memorabilia on display such as the collection of busts above .I liked the earlier posters that reminded me almost of Japanese woodblocks with their simplicity and spare use of colour rather than the later lurid almost psychedelic 60's anti US Vietnam era productions.I've included a couple that I liked-the one above and the last one in this entry below.

Not all the posters are political in nature.This being the year of the Expo some posters and photos of life in Shanghai in earlier
times are also on display.There was a lovely almost 2 metre long black and white photo of the Bund in the 1920' or 30's on sale for a not inconsiderable but reasonable sum given its size.Just how to get back home.Not exactly carry on luggage.
The poster below depicts 1930's Shanghai for some people at that time.

The Art Centre is divided into the gallery/showroom where the posters,prints and varied collections of Mao busts are displayed.The posters are grouped historically and there are English language captions explaining each sections significance.
The other section is the shop where you can buy the posters and prints either as originals or copies.There are also a number of related items for sale such as arm bands and caps and other Mao era memorabilia.

The posters represent an important time in the development of China and hopefully they can be preserved as primary historical items that bear witness to those times and be seen by many more people.As I said above the later Korean/Vietnam posters didn't really inspire me as much as the earlier poster and the one below.
The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre has a website entrance fee was 20rmb and it can be found at 868 Huashan Road near the intersection with Changle Road.It was a little hike from Changshu Road Metro Station but walking the leafy French Concession streets was an unexpected bonus.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shanghai Sculpture Park

The Shanghai Sculpture Park is located in Shenshan about 45 km out of central Shanghai.I took the subway to get there.It's 18 stops from Century Avenue on Line 9.About an hour and half ride to Shenshan Station.You then can either catch a taxi,walk or catch a bus from the station to the Park.The figures above are in the Moon Lake and are part of a series of beach sculptures featuring figures at the beach.

On entering the Park I was impressed with the large open green expanses.And the fresh air.The Park covers around ninety hectares and includes rolling green lawn.A large man-made lake Yuehu or Moon Lake takes centre stage and the whole area is surrounded by the Shenshan Mountains.There are around thirty sculptures of varying size and interest within the Park.One of the features of the Park is a large paddling pool where you can go get your feet wet.A larger deeper pool for wading is located adjacent to this one obviously intended for toddlers.Both pools have been decorated in a faux Gaudi style with small,colourful ceramic tiles being used to cover what would otherwise be a dull expanse of concrete.

One of the permanent,more traditional sculptures on display.Being such a large area the sculptures are well spaced out and you can appreciate each one in it's own right.Some of the sculptures can be climbed or sat on.In fact there is an odd but fun jumping area like a cross between one of those deflated fun kids castles and a rubber mattress.

These sculptures are on the beach shore of the man-made Moon Lake.While you can't swim in the lake there appear to be boats for the nautically inclined to hire.There's also a large concrete tree structure complete with treehouse that provides views of the whole area and a restaurant and cafe that provide refreshments.

The Park has its own website that provides information on prices and opening times.I think because it is a bit of a haul out there and the adult admission price is 120rmb there were few people present.Not that I'm complaining.It was nice to walk around unimpeded by the masses and being able to breath without hearing the continual hacking and spitting that usually fills the city air.As the Park closes around 5pm its worth getting there early.Definitely a place I'll return to sometime midweek in the future.

Friday, September 03, 2010

More Snail Shots

A very slow week at work.Wrestling with the differences between collocations and compound words.Earth-shattering stuff I know.But damn annoying and difficult to define.So is the word 'school bus' a collocation or a compound word?I've found definitions and websites that go either way.

While pondering such matters,Shanghai felt the effects of a passing typhoon.Lots of grey skies and rain though the strong winds forecast didn't really eventuate.Schools were cancelled the night before the typhoon's arrival.Next day dawned very humid and warm but otherwise most untyphoon like.

I was too tired to do much my last days off so I have resorted to posting more snail photos.You can just make out their white shapes in this shot across from the Jinmao Tower.Theres an observation deck on the 88th floor which I will eventually visit once my summer humidity induced lethargy wears off.