A photo exhibition featuring images from a new Spanish city guide for Shanghai is now on at Biblioteca Miguel de Cervantes Shanghai, a branch of the Cervantes Institute. The display runs through March 23.
A Spanish guide had previously been published in 2010, the year the World Expo was held in Shanghai, by the Spanish Consulate in Shanghai. Carmen Fontes, consul general of Spain in Shanghai, says this new guide, Guia de Shanghai, is meant to be an update of the previous version.
Four photographers, one from Spain, one from Chile, and two locals from Shanghai, were commissioned for the project. Apart from photos of the usual landmarks, the photographers also captured a variety of scenes, such as fine art exhibitions across the city, late night fruit shops and workers delivering food or mending the highway.
"Each artist, with their distinctive cultural background and different experience, tell about their individual perception and understanding of the city," says Han Peipei, curator of the exhibition.
"Today, we live in a fast-paced metropolis and efficiency is so important. It is a luxury to be able to measure out the streets with one's footsteps and record the changes and development of the city," she adds.
"It is often the small points of seemingly meaningless details and anecdotes that connect to form a romantic and passionate story of the city."
He Cheng, known in the book as Dodge He, was one of the two Chinese photographers. He has been working with the institution for several years prior to this project. A series of his pictures at the exhibition feature portraits of people taken from the back.
One of them features an elderly man wearing a Panama hat and linen suit.
"It is a Chinese man, and only in Shanghai will you find such well-groomed elderly Chinese men," He says. "It is the fusion of different cultures and colorful history that makes the city unique, and its people interesting."
So far, 4,500 copies of the Spanish guide have been printed and can be picked up at Biblioteca Miguel de Cervantes, which is located on 208 Anfu Road. A digital version is also available for downloading at the institute's website.
The book contains a list of recommended museums, hotels, dining venues, public facilities such as hospitals and consulates, as well as a collection of everyday Chinese words and sentences.
"We have included four times more pubs and restaurants than other books as Spanish people enjoy drinking and laid-back lifestyle," says Amber Ma, a spokesperson with Biblioteca Miguel de Cervantes Shanghai.