Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Old Shanghai (2)

On Sunday, I took a walk to another group of old buildings, this one located near the long distance coach terminal.

It is similar to the other area I visited previously, with quaintly crooked lanes, disorganised groups of houses and women washing vegetables along the lanes.

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However, this area is earmarked for demolition. The process of evicting residents from their decades-old homes is common practice in Shanghai. The city government kicks everyone out and pays them a hefty sum to cover the astronomical cost of getting a new home, and these residents generally feel quite lucky to be able to get a free upgrade in housing.

More than 2/3 of the buildings in the area have been made inhabitable. The roofing has been removed, the upper level floors completely smashed through, and everything of possibly any value has been scavenged. Roof tiles, window panes, doors, washroom fixtures, wooden stairs, electrical fixtures… everything that can possibly be reused has been taken away by successive scavengers. What remains among the standing structural members (these are too difficult to break without machinery) are huge chunks of concrete, masonry and other odd reminders that someone used to call this home.

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This used to be a kitchen- the window has a little square frame where an exhaust fan used to reside, and decades of hot oily air had deposited a film of disgusting black muck on the frames.

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Blogger sabrina said...

I just love the way you capture these images babe. Every photo seems to have such emotion in it!

I know i've said this a million times, but seriously....if you were to ever publish a book of your work(s), i would be the first to buy it! Really!!!

5:34 pm, July 08, 2009  
Blogger Tan Yee Wei said...

Every? Including those of the 3/4 nylon leggings?

Seriously, you're bad for my ego.

But thanks so much!

6:34 pm, July 08, 2009  

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