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Bringing art to the people along historical Nanchang Road

29 Aug, 2020   /   Shanghai, China


Historic buildings related to China's modern science sector.

An art season will premiere along the more than century-old Nanchang Road in downtown featuring installations created by descendants of former celebrities who once lived there, and young guides speaking the Shanghai dialect.

Hosted by the Ruijin No. 2 Road Subdistrict, the Huanfu, or Around the Fuxing Road, Fun Travel Art Season, will run from September to November.

The road, which has many characteristic garden villas as well as derelict lane-style townhouses, will also be upgraded.

“The campaign aims to attract citizens and tourists to learn the history of the road and to boost business on the nearby Huaihai Road commercial hub amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ren Weifeng, Party secretary of the subdistrict.

The 1.7-kilometer road, formerly called Route Dollfus and Route Vallon, stretches between Huangpu and Xuhui districts. The boulevard is flanked by plane trees and villas that were once home to figures such as renowned painter Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), legendary poet Xu Zhimo (1897-1931), translator Fu Lei (1908-66), or Fou Lei known by Western readers, and famous modern industrialist Wu Yunchu (1891-1953).

Some representatives to the first National Congress of the Communist Party of China also lived in these residences. The site of the congress is about 10 minutes’ walk away.

In recent years, the subdistrict has launched a new round of renovation projects to help restore the historical ambiance of the area, while also improving the residents’ living conditions.

During the art season, the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MoCA) will work with the subdistrict to unveil public art installations in the old communities and side streets along the road. Some of the artworks will be created by the grandchildren of the former famous inhabitants of the area, said Miriam Sun, executive director of MoCA Shanghai.

Fu Lingyun, grandson of Fu Lei and son of famous pianist Fu Cong, will display an art installation on Nanchang Road combining literature and music.

With the authorization and support from the grandson of Xu Zhimo, many of Xu’s classic poems will be printed on the pavements and walls along the road.

“We’d like to develop a museum without walls,” said Sun. “People may be reluctant to enter the museum of contemporary art, so we bring the artworks to their communities."

A statue of astronaut Snoopy will be set up in front of the Shanghai Science Hall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of human space exploration.

Source: SHINE