Xin Xu 徐昕
| Independent Photographer
| Born and raised in Shanghai
| Lived in Chengdu four years for his undergraduate
| Concentrating on recording disappearing Shanghai by photography for ten years
Have you ever considered to settle down in another city?
Yes, I like the cities beside Yangtze River such as Chongqing and Wuhan.
But I have to stay in Shanghai (five to ten years more) to finish my current photography project.
When I leave here someday, that means there is almost nothing for me to record anymore, and it has totally become another metropolis which is different from the city in my memory.
If I have to choose another place to settle down, New York is my top. Because there are many similarities with Shanghai in city planning.
What is the most significant change during these decades that you felt here?
A lot. Such as in the culture, custom, architecture aspects. One of reasons is that more and more immigration has come.
Also, the distance between people is getting more remote than before. People here are isolated. Although we live in large apartments, it feels like most of the relates with others have been cut off.
Shanghai is becoming international dramatically. Nevertheless, it is not that Shanghai in my mind.
Then how should Shanghai be?
Polite citizens, clean roads, dedicated lifestyle.
Conversely in fact, today the streets are dirty, and people throw away rubbish everywhere. Some passengers evade their fare on metros or buses. These things happen because not only tourists but also plenty of local residents do not know city life rules.
How do you think of the city development or planning in Shanghai?
It is horrible. And I know it is worse in other cities in China.
I do not mean that the city cannot develop. The thing is, before starting development, there was no clear and comprehensive plan. At that time, they even did not know what should be protected. You see, today's architecture in Shanghai is such chaotic. There is no consistent style of the whole city, even a district.
Have the ways of entertainment changed?
Yes, they are always changing. For instance, in the past, the Shanghainese would like to enjoy coffee at cafes with a gorgeous dress. Nowadays there are tons of options for everyone, and cafes are at each corner in the city center. People are freer to live.
Moreover, ballroom dance was quite pop once. But I do not think many people go to dancing halls today. | Read Part Two