20 février 2017

Meeting with Jacqueline Meyrier

French version Among the people who actually knew Shanghai 1930s, my recent meeting with Jacqueline Meyrier, the daughter of Consul General Jacques Meyrier, is a special one. We did had the opportunity to discuss with the 90 years old lady who specially came to Shanghai to celebrate her birthday after more than 67 years of absence. This unique event happened at the Villa Basset, the French Consul General residence. Villa Basset (last photo) is well-known by the French community in Shanghai as it is the place to celebrate the 14th of... [Lire la suite]

26 janvier 2017

Happy new year, Shanghai roosters!

Version Française On the occasion of the coming of the Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster, I would like to remind my dear readers that the rooster is also the French national emblem. For quite a long period in Shanghai, it was associated with the French Sports Club , today's Okura Garden Hotel located on today's Maoming Road, previously called rue du Cardinal Mercier by the French. Completed in 1926, this wonderful building is the masterpiece of two young and talented architects Alexandre Leonard and Paul Veysseyre who launched... [Lire la suite]
12 janvier 2017

French Concession police story

Version Française I just finished the memoirs of Joseph Shieh (Xue Gengxin 薛耕莘 in Chinese) written with help of French journalist Marie Holzman. This is actually the kind of readings that leaves you with dozens, not to say thousands of questions.  Hired by the Shanghai French Police in 1930, Joseph Shieh made his way through those troubled years marked by the control of gangs on the French Concession, the fierce fight between Communist Party and Kuomintang party and later the Japanese invasion. He ended his life in 2008 at... [Lire la suite]
08 janvier 2017

Shanghai Art Deco top 10!

Version Française Art Deco is a word coming from the 1925 Paris Salon des Arts Decoratifs. This architecture trend is deeply related to the Shanghai landscape where Western influencies met with Asian culture. This style describes a way of life too, reflecting 1920s eagerness for modernity, speed and lightness. As WWI was over, fashion designers, artists as well as architects looked for a brand new way of shaping daily life of people. As Shanghai was a the midth of an economic boom, it immediately adopted the new wave as a strong... [Lire la suite]
05 janvier 2017

Top 10 de l'Art Deco à Shanghai

English version L'Art Deco, ce mouvement architectural né du Salon des Arts Décoratifs de Paris en 1925 à marqué durablement de son empreinte le paysage de Shanghai en y apportant le mélange unique entre influences chinoises et occidentales. Plutôt qu'une série de critères bien définis, ce style est plus un mode de vie. En effet, au début des années 1920, la tendance générale est à l'optimisme et à la modernité. Le premier conflit mondial achevé, le monde cherche en effet à se refonder dans le domine  des... [Lire la suite]
08 décembre 2016

Shanghai bikes

Version Française Among the first images I got from China, the thousands of Chinese workers riding bicycles is probably one of the most vivid of my teenage memories. In the 1970's, China was just waking up from the Cultural Revolution and was known in the world as the "Kingdom of bicycles" (自行车王国), representing 60% of the whole world production. Even after Mao's death in 1976, the dream of every family was "san zhuan yi xiang" (三转一响), meaning 3 spins and one sound, to describe  a wrist watch, a sewing machine, a bicycle and a... [Lire la suite]
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29 novembre 2016

Da Ke Tang, my cup of tea!

Version Française Having tea in the “Da Ke Tang” is one of the most authentic experiences I had (and still have) in Shanghai. Da Ke Tang is an old Art Deco villa, which belonged to a top member of Chiang Kai Shek’s Kuomintang party in the 1930s. Hidden in the back of an alley on Xiangyang Road, this is the kind of place you would never find by accident. On the first time I went there, I could not believe my eyes: none of the original luxurious wood decoration had been changed. The floor, ceilings and door panels were all... [Lire la suite]
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13 novembre 2016

Vertinsky, the Russian soul of Shanghai

 Version Française Among the famous characters who happened to live in Shanghai 1930s, one quite particular is Russian singer Alexander Vertinsky. Born in 1889 in Kiev, Vertinsky started his singing career as a in 1916 with a most memorable performance as "Black Pierrot", embodying Russian melancholic soul with an expressionist version of the famous Comedia Del Arte character. At that time, other European artists like Sarah Bernhardt used to dress in black and white to emphasize the expressions of the face and hand moves... [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]
30 janvier 2015

Albert Londres last reportage 2/2

Beginning of article In the heart of the action "The Asian madness has just struck Shanghai", he wirites on 31st January 1932. "War is in the streets!". Following the boycott of Japanese goods, the Empire of Japan Marine Corps suddenly launched its troops on Shanghai. This conflct will last one month and result in some 30000 dead among them two thirds are civilians. Albert Londres was staying in the Palace Hotel, opposite today's Peace Hotel, which made it easy to walk to war scene on  Broadway Avenue or the nearby French... [Lire la suite]