Matteo Placucci

Old replaced by new

Shanghai is imploding to burst with modernity, but the risk is to lose its soul.
Local worker on rickshaw | ©Matteo Placucci, 2018

This post is also available in: Italiano

Shangai, Cina

Cranes in Shanghai

Shanghai is imploding to quickly to explode in modernity. The city has had an impressive fast development and old buildings are demolished to give space to new and more efficient residential complexes. Shiny skyscrapers rise everywhere like the business district ones, creating the iconic landscape admirable from the left side of the Huangpu River. Cranes are now an integrant part of the landscape. In their basement, the old simple houses are disappearing and probably in a couple of years, it will remain only a pale memory of those little, crowded small buildings.

Some little shops still undaunted sell old kinds of furniture, memories or memorabilia of a disappearing China. Residents with no other possibilities still live in their old dwellings, keep fixing them as best they can and in the cheapest way, because they probably will be forced to leave in a near future. Small local business hardly tries to survive in this desolate landscape.

Nanjing Road | ©Matteo Placucci, 2018

The soul of the city

Old will be replaced by new” and elders, who have to leave space for young generations, will inevitably be left behind. Some of those still have the opportunity to gather on the street in front of their houses, but less lucky ones spend their time at the parks, trying to find the serenity they can’t have around their evolving neighbourhood. A neighbourhood that is changing and where everything is disappearing: old people at the door, sinks with running water outside the houses, laundry in the windows, those clothes hanging like flags of a city that is erasing its past. Sooner or later, the old quarters of Shanghai will be turned into something extremely touristy and become yet another cunning Chinese copy. But this time it will be the copy of itself, the copy of the small neighbourhood that once was the soul of the city.

Merchant ship on Huangpu river | ©Matteo Placucci, 2018
Text & Photos: Matteo Placucci 
Original text in Italian - In house translation
Shangai, Cina
DooG's Author
Matteo Placucci

© Portfolio - Old replaced by new

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