Living in a city of up to 23 million people has left me starved for culture because the policy here is to obliterate the past (or, at least, recreate the past as some commercial construct/theme park). Recently when I was traveling to what is called the Nordic Lighthouse (actually a warehouse, but renovated and a pleasant area) I spied some of that culture clash from the elevated subway -- the bland modern encroachment of "progress" without architectural context nor significance threatening to stamp out the storied layers of the past:


View from southeast to Pudong from metro line 3/4 in from the elevated section between Baoshan Lu and Hailun Lu stops [Sept 23rd

It was this mind set that led me to the surprising Shanghai Art Museum, which, while not as exhausting as the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, is still worthy of praise (especially the bronze and ethnic minority folk art gallery). I visited the museum on Sept 18th.

Shanghai Art Museum

Shanghai Art Museum

"Ding" Food Vessel

"Ding" Food Vessel with interlaced dragons and scale design, early 6th century to 476 BC

Detail of Dragon Plate

Detail of dish underglaze blue and oveglaze red design of clouds and dragons. Jingdezhen ware, Yongzheng Reign, AD 1723-35, Qing Dynasty

Qing Dynasty Vase

Zun (vase) with Fencai design of a Hundred Deers. Jingdezhen ware, Qinglong Reign, AD 1736-95, Qing Dynasty

Jade Belt Plaque with Dragon Design

Belt Plaque with Dragon Design, Ming Dynasty, unearthed from the basement of Xilin Pagoda, Songjiang, Shanghai in 1994

Yi, Yunnan Clothing

Woman's embroidered garment, Yi people, Yunnan, second half of 20th century

Ceremonial dress, Yugur

Ceremonial dress, Yugur, Zhangye, Gansu, first half of 20th century

Mongol headdress

Headdress adorned with coral beadwork and silver. Mongol. Erdos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, first half of 20th century

Ozhek cape

Woman's grey cape with embroidered trim. Ozhek. Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, first half of 20th century

I ended up taking over 200 photos here (including captions, so the total is more like 100) of works that also included seals (stamps) and furniture. Were it not for my pitifully slow internet here, I would post more examples. One interesting thing to note about the jade buckle above is that the stone is sculpted by abrasive water (think sandblasting but with water instead) versus metal tools such as with western stone. Modern variations of the tools they use are now metal discs (like the Dremel) instead of wood discs and electric versus foot pedal, but the way of working has essentially remained unchanged.