About the Photographer
Michael DeLuca, CAS 2017, studying Politics and Chinese
About the Set
Title: The Persistence of Culture
Date: Photos taken Fall 2015, all in Pudong’s various streetside markets and residential communities. Submitted 16 November 2015.
Medium: 35mm B&W film, Kodak D-76 developer.
Technical Parameters: Focal length – 35mm.
The Huangpu River separates two cities – both called Shanghai. To the west is Puxi, an animated city marked equally by former colonial occupation and traditional Chinese culture as by its commercial areas. Opposite Puxi sits Pudong which is known for being an engine of economic growth and not at all for its history or culture. Despite this reputation, Pudong’s residential communities – unassuming collections of apartments and homes hidden behind busy roads – offer a mosaic of Chinese life. The close quarters of these enclaves force a cultural exchange and create environments which mimic Puxi’s vibrancy. Their energy is manifest in the food vendors that reemerge every night for dinner, firecrackers that announce holidays, arguing elders who never seem to sleep, and shop owners who always do. With these photos, I hope to represent that even in a part of Shanghai defined by globalization and placelessness, culture can be resilient, portable, sustainable, and, just maybe, inevitable.