September 25, 2018: Member’s Forum – “Streets of Old Shanghai” with Gerry Abbott

Streets of Old Shanghai

The neighborhoods of Shanghai’s Huangpu district continue to be under constant redevelopment. Entire blocks of Huangpu housing projects (typically dating from 1870 ~ 1930) are being demolished and replaced with modern high rise buildings. These new developments will contain expensive apartments, condos, offices restaurants and shopping malls. Shanghai’s unique Shikumen style housing and Lilong block structures are also being redeveloped. The huge Chinese migrant population has been a part of the workforce for these projects.

The former residences of Sun Yat-sen, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Agnes Smedley, Mei Lanfang among others have been preserved. However, many existing residents will continue to be relocated to accommodate their neighborhood’s demolition.

As some of the neighborhoods continue to fall, I became interested in documenting the current life on the streets of old Shanghai. At the forum, I’ll show images and perhaps give tips on documentary and street photography. Images will mostly be monochrome and many were taken at night. There will be no photos that include westerners, typical tourist locations, famous modern buildings, etc.   While I find these candid situations interesting,  I look forward to revisiting these images following another decade of rapid change in Shanghai.

Gerry joined NVPS in 2006 and has held several NVPS board positions. He departed for Shanghai in 2012 and returned to Hoboken NJ in 2016. He now resides in Langley.

This entry was posted in Activities, Member's Forum.