Ged, F. (2014). Shanghai. L’ordinaire et l’extraordinaire (Shanghai. The ordinary and the extraordinary). Paris: Buchet-Chastel.1
Shanghai is the mythical city par excellence. Able to renew itself cyclically, to continually rebuild, we could believe it locked in an absolute present, removed from its history, recent or ancient, without memory.
But what is true of the early 2000s is not necessarily so today. A leading city, a “laboratory” city, Shanghai has undergone some major upheavals. With large-scale constructions finished, the city turns to other sites and reclaims its history as it reclaims its territory. Society is primarily involved in these new adventures, which herald the face of China in years to come. Throughout this journey from the 1980s to the present day, Françoise Ged guides us through this city where the ordinary and the extraordinary exist side by side. Yang Hui Bahai’s photographs punctuate her narrative like guiding lights, signs of a disappearing era, to be replaced by a time not yet realised.2
Next week will have a post with more information on the Chinese photographer Bahai.
- Françoise Ged is in charge of the Observatoire de l’architecture de la Chine contemporaine at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine.
- Translated from the back cover of this book.