09 mars 2016

Destructions along Suzhou River

Version Française There are moments one would never like to experience. To stroll along ravaged Shanghai lilongs is definitely one of them. For some three years now, the lilongs situated along the Suzhou River or near the Huangpu are actually regularly destroyed (read my article "Goodbye Old Shanghai"). When looking at half torn down walls or missing glass windows, one cannot help rememberping some happier moments enjoyed there. There used to be entire families living in those houses not long ago (read my article about sunny lilongs... [Lire la suite]
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09 septembre 2015

Le Corbusier in Shanghai?

Version Française I was recently traveling to the Indian city of Chandigarh and I was very much impressed by what Indian describe as of the most comfortable city in the country. At first sight, this statement is not obvious as Chandigarh is a 100% concrete modern city, entirely built by controversial architect Le Corbusier to become the capital of Indian Punjab after Partition. However, compared to other dense traffic and crowded cities of India, one soon realises Chandigarh is a heaven. Traffic is fluid and trees can... [Lire la suite]
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05 juin 2015

A bridge too close 1/2

Version Française Shanghai Garden Bridge (Waibaidu Bridge) on the Suzhou River is a major landmark of the city. When the weather is nice, many photographers would choose to make wedding photos there, as the bridge is a perfect symbol for the blend between old and modern Shanghai. Let's understand why this bridge is so important when talking about Shanghai and what key role it played in Shanghai History.   A strategic location When the British settled in 1842 at the intersection of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River, this... [Lire la suite]
04 juin 2015

A bridge too close 2/2

Beginning of article Defense of the International Settlement  The growing influence of Japan on Shanghai affairs in the 20's would confer the Bridge a new role. The Japanese side of the city initially started North of the SMC Slauterhouse with extensions along the North Sichuan Road. With a population outnumbering the British by three times and the coming to power of military, there was much to fear for the British hegemony on Shanghai. In 1932, the “28th January Incident” opposed the landing Japanese... [Lire la suite]
16 mai 2015

A brief history of Shanghai music 2/2

Beginning of article  The modern jazz scene Many places of the 30’s still exist in Shanghai. One of them is the Paramount in Jing An district, an area which used to be called « Badlands » as it was dangerous to be there after nightfall. Among the places connected with jazz, the Peace Hotel is one of the most famous. This building erected in 1928 by tycoon Victor Sassoon still harbours the oldest jazz orchestra in the world: The « Peace Hotel Old Jazz Band ».  In the movie, « As Time Goes By In Shanghai », Jibin Sun, the... [Lire la suite]
16 mai 2015

A brief history of Shanghai music 1/2

Version Française The Shanghai music scene is one of the most active in the world. From the numerous jazz venues to some of the world’s largest techno dance-floors, there are many possibilities to listen to live music in Shanghai. Even in the city’s parks, Chinese will setup choirs and dance every single day of the year. Let alone karaoke clubs that are most popular among Chinese young people. So what are the reasons that make music so popular in Shanghai?   Kunshan Opera To understand the relations between Shanghai... [Lire la suite]

16 mai 2015

Brève histoire de la musique shanghaienne

English version La scène musicale shanghaienne est l’une des plus dynamiques du monde: Que ce soit dans les bars jazz ou les dancefloors technos, les possibilités de sorties sont nombreuses. On peut aussi entendre les Chinois étaler leur répertoire dans les parcs où les chorales et danseurs amateurs se relaient au fil des jours. Enfin, les innombrables karaoke, produit asiatique par excellence, ont  trouvé en Chine une terre d’accueil particulièrement favorable. Quelles sont donc les raisons qui font que la... [Lire la suite]
26 mars 2015

Sur la traces des Sassoons en Inde

English version La première fois que je suis venu à Shanghai, il y a dix ans, j'ai été très impressionné par le Peace Hotel, le joyau art-deco du célèbre Victor Sassoon. Je ne pensais pas alors qu'il puisse exister d'héritage architectural plus prestigieux pour cette famille, parfois surnommée les "Rothschild d'Orient". Pourtant récemment, lors d'un voyage en Inde, j'ai visité la Librairie David Sassoon de Mumbai (à gauche) et j'ai été aussi impressionné que lors de mon premier séjour à Shanghai. La Librairie David Sassoon... [Lire la suite]
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26 mars 2015

Tracing the Sassoons in India

Version Française When I first arrived in Shanghai, ten years ago, I was impressed by the magnificent Peace Hotel, gem of the notorious Victor Sassoon on the Bund. I could hardly imagine a more prestigious legacy for this family, also called the “Rothschild of the East”, as they made most of their fortune in Asia. However, I was recently on a journey to India and visited the Mumbai David Sassoon Library (left) and I was equally impressed as on my first visit to Shanghai. The David Sassoon Library is only one tiny part... [Lire la suite]
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30 janvier 2015

Albert Londres last reportage 1/2

Version Française Among my preferate books about Shanghai, Albert Londres "War in Shanghai" ranks top of the list. a series of articles written during the 1932 shanghai incident. Albert Londres came to shanghai between November 1931 and April 1932 to comment the events of the invasion of Manchuria by Japan. When he arrived, he was eventually caught in the first battle of Shanghai between Japanese Marine Corp and Chinese Republican Army. His report of these dramatic episode is a unique insight on Shanghai communities of the time at a... [Lire la suite]