Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shanghai Week in London

I’m sojourning in the French family homeland of London for a couple of weeks, a city which apparently now has the second largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of China. Not sure if that is actually true but certainly the nouveau Chinatown around Gerrard Street, Lisle Street etc (historical purists like me still cling to a fondness for Pennyfields and Limehouse) is nicely decorated (left).

This week is also being billed as "Shanghai Week in London" with what appear to be hastily run off ads (such as that below - honestly, where did they get that typeface!) on the Tube. Actually it’s not much of anything – there were planned exhibitions at the V&A linked to past EXPOs, World Fairs etc already and the exhibiting of ancient bronzes from the Shanghai Museum at the British Museum. I posted about these before – click here.

Despite the piss poor poster’s claim to be celebrating Shanghai’s heritage there isn’t much to see – the bronzes come from a Shanghai collection but are from all over China and the V&A exhibition is really about past EXPOs and World Fairs so not much there either excepting some publicity shots of Shanghai FedExed over. What Londoners are making of the official Shanghai 2010 mascot "Haibao" (dubbed Shanghai’s big blue condom) is still unclear to me. All in all a rather shoddy looking and cheap attempt to cash in on two exhibitions without adding anything much else of value. Shame.


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