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Old houses on canvas in Shanghai stir up memories

updated: 2010-05-18

When some slice of life familiar to one's own experience gets depicted in exhibitions, emotions swell up easily. This is precisely what visitors who attend the art exhibition about historic buildings in Changning district in Shanghai Hongqiao Contemporary Art Mueseum, are undergoing, to some extent. So, encouraged by the positive response, the exhibition which was supposed to end today has been extended until June 9, 2010.

"Most of our spectators actually had the experiences living nearby these houses, so they were moved when they saw these paintings," said Tang Yanxun, director from Shanghai Hongqiao Contem-porary Art Museum.

"This exhibition not only shows great painting skills, but also sets out an appeal of sorts to the common man and the government for the protection of these houses," said Tang.

Nearly one-third of Shanghai's historical buildings were located in Changning district with most of them built in the years 1930s-40s. The exhibition has 109 paintings, involving 106 old houses, out of which two of them have now been demolished.

Tang also said that more than 100 people visit the exhibition in a day, which was a relatively high number when compared to the previous exhibitions.

Zhou Yimin, a 62-year-old local resident, told the Global Times Tuesday at the exhibition that he was really happy most of these houses were preserved well.

"They are not just old houses. They contain histories and traces of development of Shanghai. And for senior residents like me, they are part of our precious memories," said Zhou.

The exhibition will go to other two art galleries in the next four months, with an aim to promote the concept of preserving historic houses. Unfortunately, many old houses in Shanghai continue to face the reality of being renovated, removed or even demolished.


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