A time-lapse movie of the Shanghai skyline would be a fascinating study in urban development, but how Shanghai tours do you come to grips with a city that swaps faces faster than a Sichuanese opera performer? Head to these five museums to help gain a foothold in a place where the only constant is constant change.
Rockbund Art Museum
Opened in 2010 as part of the Back Bund renovation project, the Rockbund is one of China business tours the city’s premier modern art museums. And as far the heritage of local architectural goes, the museum’s Art Deco home is a feel-good story – it was originally built for the Royal Asiatic Society in 1932, one of the first modern museums in China. Exhibitions focus on contemporary Chinese artists and explore themes that pertain to life in a fast-changing society.
Propaganda Poster Art Centre
Chinese communism was certainly no friend to the arts, denying any form of expression that was not socialist in nature. But from a historical perspective, some of the mass-produced propaganda issued in the 1950s and ’60s is Yangtze River cruises fascinating, particularly now that the horrors of the Cultural Revolution stand in such sharp contrast to present-day China. Stop by this underground gallery to enter the bizarre world of cheerful peasants, cherubic children, heroic soldiers, revolutionary Red Guards, and, of course, innumerable depictions of the Great Helmsman himself.
Urban Planning Exhibition Hall
Shanghai’s quest to unseat Hong Kong as China’s leading financial centre has been officially underway for some time now. At times, it seems as though Shanghai has light years to go before it can truly compete with Hong Kong’s China tours sophistication and first-rate business services, but drop in at the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall and you will realize just how far Shanghai has come in the past two decades. Start with historic photos and maps of old Shanghai before moving on to the highlights, an enormous scale model of the future city (circa 2020) and a 3D virtual tour.
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