【City Wander & Lecture】



Xu Ming, Dong Yiping

Searching for the industrial and cultural heritage of Pengpu District

Guests: Xu Ming, Dong Yiping
Date: June 22, 2019, Saturday 15:00-17:00
Venue: Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, sign in on the first floor (
Xinyefang 3, Wenshui Road 210, Jing’an District)
Co-hosts: Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, City Hall of
The Paper

As the most important industrial town in the old Zhabei District, Pengpu Industrial district was designed in 1960s as a place of collective modernized factories. By 1990s, Pengpu had become the home of 40 factories contributing to the electromechanical industry, light industry, and electronic industry, half of which are the pillars of large and medium-sized enterprises. Pengpu was the witness of the peak of an industrialized age. Though Pengpu industry district is now history, with part of the zeitgeist of it disappeared in the limbo of time, some of it is represented via contemporary art.
A route is designed by Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Xu Ming, the first urban archeologist,Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum has united two guests, Xu Ming from The Paper, the first urban archeologist, and independent researcher of Shanghai history, Song, to design a route for wandering in the city, and to search for the unique spectacle and the memory from that age. After the wandering, professor Doing Yiping from Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
 is going to share his insight on the future of the industry heritage with the theme of “the multi-paths of the heritage.”

About the Wander

The route: Shanghai Metallurgy Machinery Factory (the current location of Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum), Shanghai No. 1 Petroleum Machinery Factory (now Electric Wentong 709 Media Park), Shanghai Blower Factory, Renshou'an, Lianyi Cemetery (where Ruan Lingyu once was buried)
Meeting time: June 22, 2019, Saturday, 15:00
Meeting place: Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum IF (Wenshui Road 210, Jing’an District)
Walking time: 1.5 hour
Distance: 3 km
Number of people: 25

The wandering journey starts and ends at the old Shanghai Metallurgy Machinery Factory, where now stands the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum. As the remains of the industrial culture heritage, it accommodates the complete industrial producing area with the intense structure as much as possible. Most of the architecture is more than 30 years old, built before the 1980s, which represents the zeitgeist of the glorious industry area, including how people lived and worked, how the industry developed and materialized human’s industry culture.
The precious industry heritage will not fade with time. All the details on this route are what a time machine is made of, which could bring you back to the past, when people were working hard in the booming industry culture.

  • The neon light that read “production with safety” in the factory workshop

  • The customized manhole cover from the old Shanghai Metallurgy Machinery Factory era

  • The traffic lights and the high-pitched speaker inside the factory area

  • The bulletin board from the 80s which will continue its function as a bulletin board here

Electric Wentong 709 Media Park (the old Shanghai No. 1 Petroleum Machinery Factory). The only thing left from the past is the big industrial water tower.

The second location of the route is the old Shanghai No. 1 Petroleum Machinery Factory, which has witnessed abundant changes as time goes by. It was occupied by the Japanese military to produce military machinery; then bought by the British merchants to produce textile machinery parts; before it finally became a national property of PRC in 1953, to produce tricone bits used in oil exploitation.
The factory obtained API Monogram from American Petroleum Institute (API), making it the first factory in China and the ninth in the globe that met the standard of API Monogram.

Near the petroleum machinery factory there is an exclusive temple named Renshou’an. It is estimated that the temple has been here since the natural village era, long before the industrial booming. It will always stay closed and mystery.


The large wall painting on the outer wall of Shanghai Blower Factory

Another site on this route is Shanghai Blower Factory. Distinguished from the other sites, it is not a part of the historic remains, but a functioning factory. The route also includes the old burial place of the famous actress Ruan Lingyu: Lianyi Cemetery. In this journey, participants could wander through the history of Pengpu district, searching for the best manner to converse with the past.

Reference: The Names of the Places of Zhabei District, Shanghai. Baijia Publishing House, Shanghai. August, 1989.

About the Lecture

About the Lecture
the old elm of the urban homesick—thoughts on the value of the industrial architecture
Time: June 22, 2019, Sat. 16:30
Venue: Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Multi-media Room’
Number of people: no limits

Industrial architectures might be culture relics created without a clear intention. When they were first built, nobody gave a thought about keeping them or about their cultural meaning. As time flies and people’s mind changes, some of the construction become objects to be admired after long-time usage. Although industrial remains have not gained any legal recognition, these architectures are gradually becoming industrial architecture heritage once people decide that they are worth keeping. However, becoming herniate is not just an easy thing. The industrial heritages are facing complicated value recognition of various perspectives.


Xu Ming

Road reporter, urban culture digger, descendant of a Kuomintang soldier, human right activist. Good at revealing the urban stories, projecting ebbs and flows of times and society from the fate of civilians.
Independent documenting photographer with 5 years’ experience of culture reporter in Japan and over 4 years’ writing about Shanghai urban culture. His photography interview collection A Hundred People and One Language.


Dong Yiping

Doctor of Technical Science. Graduated from the Architectural History and Theory program from Tongji University, and now works as associate professor of College of Architecture of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. He is mainly engaged in the study of modern architectural history, architectural heritage protection, industrial architectural heritage, the culture communication and contextual transformation of Chinese architecture and abroad, adaptive reuse of historical buildings, etc. He is now the deputy secretary general of the Academic Committee of the Urban and Country Built Heritage of Architectural Society of China, member of the Academic Committee of the Industrial Architectural Heritage, member of the Industrial Heritage Committee of Cultural Relics Academic Committee, standing director of ACHS, member of TICCIH.