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Nicky Almasy

City in Motion: The rebirth of a modern metropolis

shanghai

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Nicky Almasy City in Motion:

The rebirth of a modern metropolis

Shanghai

Special thanks to JFK Miller, Ned Kelly, Travis Murray, Marshall Strabala, Monica Liau, Hart Hagerty, David Dieter, Andy Davis, Raemin Zhang, Tongfei Zhang, Celine Song, That’s Shanghai Magazine, Natalie Hill, Don Yap, Mark Pummel, Cao Mengxiao 2

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Capturing the essence of a city through photography is a difficult task when that city is standing still, impossible when it is moving at a pace. With this book, Nicky Almasy has attempted the impossible: to distill something that is in a state of flux, a work in progress that is still forming. “I can’t even tell you what Shanghai looks like,” wrote P.J. O’Rourke, “because, look again, and it looks different.” The photographer’s job is made all the more difficult here because of his shape-shifting subject. Somehow he has pulled it off. This book, the culmination of Almasy’s seven years in Shanghai, documents China’s greatest city in the thrust of one of the greatest urban transformations in history; a city deconstructing and reconstructing before one’s eyes. But it is more than just a skyline. Almasy gives a human face to the rapidly changing China narrative. The Shanghai he has captured here is richly diverse, often conflicting, frequently bipolar, and sometimes makes for strange bedfellows: Chinese and foreign, modernity and tradition, rich and poor, white collar and blue collar, local and migrant. We get to see Shanghai as Almasy has seen it, through his lens, with his unique eye. He takes us behind the closed doors of old lane houses, inside wet markets, beauty salons, primary schools, migrant ghettos, workshops, churches, studios, factories, kitchens and to the top of the city at Shanghai Tower. It is an intimate portrait that reveals multiple truths, but leaves one overarching impression of a vibrant place which calls to mind Huxley’s depiction of Old Shanghai, which Almasy’s book reminds us applies equally today: “[it] is Bergson’s elan vital in the raw, so to speak, and with the lid off. It is Life itself.” JFK Miller September 2013

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the disappearing city

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9 View from the Puxi side, from Renmin Road, Summer 2010

View from the Hongkou side, 2012


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Abandoned school in Hongkou District, 2013

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...and from the outside


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A demolished dwelling on Zhongshan Lu 2013

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Houses awaiting demolition on Fuxing Lu, 2013

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A rooftop view of the arts enclave of Tianzifang, 2007

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A church survives the mass demolition behind The Bund, 2012

Guangdong Lu, 2011

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Houses torn down behind the shopping precinct of Xujiahui, 2009

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Residents taken in their homes in the area behind Yu Garden, 2010

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Resident taken in his home near Yu Garden, 2010

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A migrant couple from neighboring Anhui Province in their one-room Shanghai home,
2011

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Haibao, the mascot of Expo 2010, swept away in the event’s aftermath, 2013

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Interior of an old Shanghai kitchen, 2010

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49 Resident sitting outside, Hongkou, 2013


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Lane off Yanping Lu, 2010


A Chinese guardian lion on Fuxing Lu, 2013

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Modern Shanghai

Building


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Jin Mao Tower, as seen from Shanghai Tower, 2013

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Looking down on the Jin Mao and SWFC from Shanghai Tower’s 120th floor, August 2013

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Morning light hits SWFC and Jin Mao Tower, 2013

Shanghai Tower gets off the ground, 2011

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75 Window cleaners start work on the Jin Mao Tower, 2013


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Window cleaners outside the 80th floor of SWFC,

2011

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81 View from Pudong

View from Puxi


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87 SWFC under construction, 2008


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A worker rests on top of the Shanghai Tower, 2012 July

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Lujiazui, 2012


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The last metal panel is raised at the topping out ceremony of Shanghai Tower, 2013

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The columns of the China Pavilion

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Shanghai Locals

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Hu Yun (91) A former Red Army soldier 2011 November

Miki Zhou, photographed for the September cover of That’s Shanghai, 2010

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Shanghai’s famous “Avocado Lady” January 2013

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Celebrity Yue-Sai Kan at home, 2011

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Pole-dancer, Lina Wang 2012

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Gigi Ren, 2012

Fashion designer, Uma Wang 2010 December

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Cotton Ding, 2013

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Contestants prepare for the local finals of Miss Universe, 2012

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117 Hairstylist “Bono”, 2010


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Shanghai couple Ji Lianzhen and Dong Yonkang in their Jingan home, 2011

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Shanghai’s oldest couple, Xu Dongyin (104) and Zhang Mucheng (103), 2012 122

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Christian church in Hongkou District, 2013

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Cricket sellers behind Huahai Lu, 2010

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Hongkou residents enjoy a late summer day, 2013 138

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Wheelchair fencing, 2011

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Anhui migrants live in freight containers Pudong District, 2011


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Blue collar

White collar 152

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Taxi drivers on a break, 2011

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Local toy-maker Zha Peihua, 2010

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Organic farms on the outskirt of Shanghai, 2013

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Bicycle repair shop, 2011

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A worker collects rubbish from the mud of Huangpu River, 2009

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A milkman readies for his 3am shift, 2012

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Construction workers at Shanghai Tower, 2012 178

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Shanghai plastic surgeon, 2010

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Perfume factory worker, 2011

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Shanghai limousine driver, 2010

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Shanghai

Laowais

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Foreign and local restaurateurs and chefs pose for That’s Shanghai cover shoots: “The Last Supper” (2011, at Mi Tierra restaurant) and à la “Reservoir Dogs” (2012, at The Cool Docs)

Bund restaurateur Jean Georges, 2011

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British author Paul French photographed just after the international release of his book, Midnight in Peking 2012

Concert promoter, Archie Hamilton 2010

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Shanghai Repertory Theatre 2011

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British actor Charles “Chinatown Charlie” Mayer, 2010

Emily Wallace, 2007 July

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New York saxophonist Alec Haavik dressed as his alter ego, “The Lizard”, at 1933, Shanghai’s old slaughterhouse, 2011

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TV presenter Isobel Yeung, 2009

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Musician and actor Gauthier Roubichou taken for the cover of That’s Shanghai’s “French Issue”, 2010

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201 Evan Chen, music producer 2010

Liva Koziola, 2013 April


Monica Liau, food and Drink/Deputy Editor of That’s Shanghai Magazine

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Frank Steffen, Partner, Pure & Whole Vegetarian Restaurants

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Marshall Strabala, Chief Architect of Shanghai Tower, with his half-finished masterpiece, 2012

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Alessa De Wet, daughter of Old Shanghai’s most famous architect, László Hudec, photographed in Hudec’s greatest building, the Park Hotel, 2013

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Shanghai-based entrepreneur Devon Nixon, grandson of US President Richard Nixon, 2013

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Tony the Tailor, 2013

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Shanghai

Seasons

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213 Xinhua Lu, 2011

Yanping Lu, 2008


Huashan Lu in autumn, 2010

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Xinhua Lu, 2012


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Wuyuan Lu, 2012


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Rare Shanghai snow, 2008

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Just

Shanghai

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Garden Bridhe leading to Hongkou

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Smoke clouds engulf the city from a fire in the CBD of Lujiazui, 2010

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A tea stall in a local market, 2009

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Taikang Lu Lane, 2010

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A crowd begins to gather to watch the aftermath of a road accident 2010

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Opposite: The former French Concession in winter

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People’s Park’s regular weekend “marriage market”, 2011

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The musicians of the city

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Previous page: The “Playerz Gotta Play” Melting Pot Family, taken on the roof of audio maker Sennheiser, 2010

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Jazz guitarist Eddy Goltz lights up at the Paramount, 2009

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Jazz guitarist Doug Martin on Taikang Lu, 2008

Doug Martin 2009 December 247


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Jazz singer, Erica Lee Summer 2010

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Anne Evenou and Carlton J. Smith 2008

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New York saxophonist Alec Haavik summer 2009

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Theo Crocker June 2013

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R’n’B singer, Coco 2012 September

Steve Sweetings 2010

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Blind musicians rehearse, 2011

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Gypsy jazz guitarist, Lulo Reinhardt, 2008

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The late Jeff Davis, 2009

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Carlton J. Smith 2009

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Jimy Graham, Blues Room 2008

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Carlton J. Smith, French Concession 2009

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Mauritian band Noukilla spread their wings at Shanghai’s JZ Festival, 2011

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Lions of Puxi, 2010

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The Word, 2011

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Hassan from Weghur 2010 summer, Panyu Lu

Byron Hill, Red Town Shanghai, 2010 December

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The late Sugar Mama, aka Jackie Stanton at her last appearance at JZ Festival, 2009 October

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Opposite: Jimy Graham, 2008

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Lucius Clark People Square, 2009

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Alec Haavik and Erica Lee in action, 2010 JZ Club

Gypsy Jazz guitarist, Marc DeVivies, 2009

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Jazz singer Coco Zhao Shanghai Aquarium, 2009

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Bass guitarist Q from JKQA Gaoan Road, 2009

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John Wallace, 2008

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Cherry Brown, summer 2012

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Nicky Almasy - City in Motion: The Rebirth of a Modern Metropolis  

Nicky Almasy's newly released photo book

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