Creative Garden @ Shanghai
- Series: CREATIVE QUARTERS RUHR
The colonial sites in old Shanghai districts always inspire two opposite visions. Well, it is such a colony site, and the different architecture styles are totally distracting people’s perceive from the modern development, like what you can see in the old Japan Occupied Territories, small wood structured houses “Shi Ku Men” are caged in the old district, they’re too old to redecorate, they’re so old that have to be protected; another case is the villas and factories were mostly gathered in French or British Concessions, where are always spaciously built with courtyards, now more and more these areas are protected as cultural relics, fortunately there’re some old designed industrial architectures are rebuilt to be Creative Gardens.
These gardens mostly belong to SOEs since 1949, while the old depreciated factories were almost abandon because of the worsening business, Chinese SOEs thought to sell out the buildings for real estate construction, but that confronted of the urban planning, which said to keep the remained old architecture heritages. Then these areas were one by one built up to be creative gardens, even nobody really knew what did creative mean.
Old horses wear new saddles! In the very beginning, they were supposed to be Terminals as the first choice for all creative events, art exhibitions, or enterprises, attracted lots of attentions that like reincarnation for the old useless buildings; it’s even more impressive than the glazed curtain walls. Artists scrambled for taking a first look, when it was representing a sense of avant-garde. Then in the gardens, creative fairs, design exhibitions or workshops were held lively, seemed new unique hotspots had grown up.
But just as the cliché, fashion is instantly disappearing. Investors of “1933 Old Millfun” were waiting for the right companies or maybe studios to be the lessees, to hold more modern art activities, but not enough creative events happened, companies didn’t know that if creative garden fit for their own character. The prospect and intention are not in the same track. Now artists are rarely coming, lessees are more and more common enterprises, the big plaza becomes the residents’ dancing pool in the night, occasional premier shows or theater performances are making no sense of creative. Just a normal block, so what else?
“Still too early for Shanghainese to understand creative means, Beijing is better. So the real business oriented investors will certainly compromise to the Non-Sense business. It’s nothing to blame, but at lease it makes people regret that it should be a surprise of this spots like other countries at least like Beijing 798, as we expected.” The staff of an art space said to me willy-nilly while I was attending a theater show. It seems not in the right artist mood in this garden, one theater room and surrounded by cafes and pubs.
A creative meaning can be ideal spaces but not only architecture silhouettes. Now it doesn’t mean the creative gardens go to Tomb, in fact it’s exploring the appropriate way for Shanghai locals, until when it appears as a real functional Terminal for creative sense.