Shanghai Bishop Jin Luxian’s Legacy

This mostly dormant blog was started in 2007 with almost no agenda beyond plans to expand on my just-published profile of Shanghai’s Catholic bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian in the July/August 2007 issue of the Atlantic. I did that, and over the years I kept up with Jin – though I didn’t publish anything much beyond…

Build, Demolish, Rinse, Repeat: A Shanghai Scrap Carmelite Update

Way back in January 2009 the staff of Shanghai Scrap told you about the demolition of Shanghai’s (then) 135-year-old Carmelite Convent  on the edge of the expensive, rapidly re-developing Xujiahui neighborhood (part 1, complete with historical background, here, and part 2, here; background on Carmelites, here).  The building wasn’t anything special – except for the…

Orphans and Woodcarvers: Shanghai’s Prodigal Memorial Gate Returns Home.

The upcoming Expo 2010 Shanghai (World’s Fair) is an un-apologetically forward-looking event, intended – at least in part – to solidify Shanghai’s place as the Next Great World City. This is all fine and good. But lost in all of this talk of the future is scant acknowledgment of Shanghai’s relatively brief but fascinating past.…

Italians painting Byzantine icons in Shanghai.

Yesterday afternoon I was invited to visit the almost-completed new fresco in the 150-year-old Dongjiadu Catholic Church (aka, the Jesuit-built St. Xavier Church) in Shanghai. The church is 150 years old, and it’s in the midst of what was once one of Shanghai’s most Catholic neighborhoods (now, mostly demolished – more on that in the…

The Artist is flexing: A brief note on the stained glass windows of Shanghai’s cathedral

The three leading reader questions received via the Shanghai Scrap contact form are: Can you get me into the Expo grounds? [What do I look like? A ticket broker? No.] Will you ship your large inventory of e-waste to me? [I don’t have any e-waste (except for that Dell in the closet). So, no.] What…

Beijing this, Beijing that … Just who is this [Mister] Beijing, anyway?

I may be in the minority here, but in my experience there’s enough subtlety and disagreement in even the simplest of government policy decisions, in any country, to remove any incentive for blaming said policy decisions on a specific city. For example, whether or not you agree or disagree with Barack Obama’s fiscal stimulus program,…

Angry property owners agree: Shanghai Film Group President “tarnishes” the Party

Back in January, I twice blogged about the tragic destruction of Shanghai’s 135-year-old carmelite convent (here and here). Located on the grounds of the old Shanghai Film Studios lot in the midst of the bustling and expensive Xujiahui neighborhood, there was really no hope for this historic property. Outside of a few blogs, nobody in…