Shanghai’s Inspector Chen

Xiaolong’s detective series, largely set in Shanghai, features Chief Inspector Chen Cao, a literary minded, disenchanted cop with a heavy heart and a discerning appetite. Death of a Red Heroine is the first of the series which uses the detective noir formula to shed light on the social changes and …

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Books, films, music, art and big ideas to get you into the Shanghai headspace...

Kung Fu Hustle

Hong Kong martial arts meets slap-stick comedy in this entertaining film set in 1930’s Shanghai where rival gangs battle for power. Starring Stephen Chow, it features appearances by numerous figures from the Hong Kong film industry and in-joke references to martial arts movies.

It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in Shanghai while wearing pajamas. New York Times, on 'Planet Shanghai'

Lust, Caution

Set in the second world war in occupied Shanghai this erotically charged and lusciously shot thriller, Lust, Caution was directed by Ang Lee; it stars the perennial heat-throb Tony Leung and launched the career of the youthful Tang Wei.

Phantom Shanghai by Greg Girard

We love this eerie and intimate photographic odyssey documenting untrammeled development in Shanghai by Canadian photographer Greg Girard. Contrasting the violence of mass destruction with fleeting moments  of familial, domestic encounters it evokes questions not just about the dcirection of Shanghai, but we’re we’re all heading in general. Cementing its …

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Planet Shanghai

“Who would have thought people wearing pajamas could take over the world?” National Geographic photographer Justin Guariglia teamed up with John Krich to create Planet Shanghai an amusing and sometimes poignant photographic exploration of Shanghai’s rapidly disappearing lane-way culture. See Chronicle Books for an interview with Guariglia about the project …

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Shanghai 5

With its tower blocks and endlessly looping roads choked with cars, Shanghai is hardly pedestrian friendly, travelling by skateboard brings the city back to a human scale. Beautifully shot documentary about the local skater scene by Shanghai-based videographer Charles Lanceplaine.

Shanghai Baby by Wei Hui

This somewhat narcissistic, semi-autobiographical tale of sex and drugs in Shanghai predictably caused outrage in China while titillating Western  readers. Glamorous writer Wei Hui might be described as China’s answer to Sex in the City, but grittier.

Violence is not the wrong word to describe what happens when there are no impediments to change. Photographer Greg Girard to the National Post

Shanghai Cycles

Bicycles, raincoats and umbrellas turn a grey day in Shanghai into a whimsical ballet of colour. By Berlin-based videographer Lrock.

Shanghai Express

Photographer Roy Zhang sets out to document Shanghai street style, fast emerging as one of the fashion capitals of the world. Check his latest snaps on Tumblr.

This Generation by Han Han

This collection of essays by Shanghai blogger and sometime racing-car driver, Han Han, encapsulates the attitude of his 80’s generation. The sarcastic Han Han critiques and rails but stops short of going too far – the Chinese art of oblique criticism lives on. (Who can blame him?)

This is Shanghai

A high-definition look at this modern megalopolis by time-lapse photographer Rob Whitworth and urban researcher JT Singh.

Wrinkles of the City: Shanghai

In a city where the mantra is progress at all costs, French graffiti artist JR reminds us of the human stories that comprise a city. His paste-ups of ‘wrinkly faces’ evoke the passing of time, memory and loss, but also humour and humanity. See images from the project on JR’s …

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