1933, Shanghai
Slaughterhouse and escape game

Investigation by Adrien Blouët and Wang Yang

Summary

Presented on a number of websites as a must-see tourist destination in Shanghai, 1933 Laochangfang—1933 Old Millfun in English, or sometimes just abbreviated 1933—is a former slaughterhouse, a sprawling concrete building situated behind the Huangpu port district. For years the city has attempted to revitalize the site by converting it into a shopping and entertainment center.

[ 1 ]

A cóng is a sculpted block of jade, often squat, with a tube-shaped inside and rectangular outsides.

[ 2 ]

This and the following quote are from Empire of the Sun (1984) and Miracles of Life (2008) by J.G. Ballard, published in France by Folio.

[ 3 ]

For more on this, see Chine trois fois muette (2000) by Jean-François Billeter, published in France by Allia (not yet translated to English).

[ 4 ]

An expression used by Sun Yat-SEn a posteriori to designate the numerous colonial treaties imposed by foreign powers following their military victories and signed under duress by China.

[ 5 ]

To give an idea, Shanghai only counted six hundred and fifty foreigners in 1992, versus fifty thousand again today, in addition to three hundred thousand Taiwanese.

[ 6 ]

Wang Bing, ‘Til Madness Do Us Part (2013). French version (À la folie) released on DVD by Arte Editions, 3h47.

Whether you come from the North Sichuan Road subway, from Hubai or by foot, walking along the river that cuts from north to south through Hongkou district where 1933 Old Millfun is located, you pass through spaces that seem, despite the relatively short distances, to contain and condense the immensity of Shanghai. Gentrified neighborhoods alternate…

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