Photos by Ryan Kim, (Brandeis University) Student Correspondent CET Shanghai, Fall 2016
On October 30th, several CET students and I had a great opportunity to explore one of the older parts of Shanghai with Ms. Nova Shao. Being born and raised in Shanghai, Nova Laoshi (老师) – Resident Director of our program – took us to stunning and yet exclusive places of the city. Starting the tour on the Xundao street (巡道街), we were amazed by the juxtaposition of futuristic skyscrapers and old and small buildings of Shanghai.
This is a picture of a gate near the former residence of Qiao Yiqi (乔一琦故居) who was an artist (and a calligrapher) during Ming dynasty. Not only the former residence of Qiao Yiqi but also many other buildings around it were also built in Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Though the gate was not built during the Ming dynasty, it is also unique since it is hard to see such symbolic red star of communism in the modern city of Shanghai. (If anyone is wondering, the Chinese characters behind the gate is a name of a company.)
These are the pictures of “the Secret Garden” Shu Ying Lou (书隐楼) which is located in the Old Town of Shanghai. The garden was built in Ming dynasty, meaning that the extraordinary carving and decorations on the buildings are also about 400 years old. Not only the beautiful decorations on the buildings but also the magnificent gate/wall of the main building stunned all of us. According to the owner of the garden Guo Ayi (郭阿姨) and Nova Laoshi (老师), the gate/wall was the tallest in Shanghai when it was built; the wall is 12 meters tall while the city wall was only 8 meters tall.
To provide an indirect experience and feeling I had when I witnessed the Shanghai’s juxtaposition of past and present during the tour, I will end this photo essay with the picture of The Bund (外滩) at night. I took this picture few weeks before the tour. It may be hard to believe but, yes, all of the places in this photo essay are in Shanghai. In fact, the Old Town of Shanghai and the breathtaking Wai Tan (外滩) are only miles away from each other.