Growing Up With Shanghai

Growing Up With Shanghai is a social sound project that documents of the culture and people of Shanghai during the city’s development boom in the 1990s. The project follows 30-40 year old Shanghainese young adults- whose own personal development was also during a time when Shanghai was beginning its transformation into the metropolis we see today. What began as a personal project for me, became an outlet that Shanghainese could document their life and culture in their own personal way. Subtle details within their stories document local customs and dialects and touch on contemporary social issues such as remigration and urban development.

The stories are recorded in the location where they occurred not only to help the storytellers recall their memories, but also to provide a complementary backdrop for their not so distant past. The stories encompass the entire Shanghai Municipality to also document the Shanghai culture beyond its city limits. The goal for this project is to record 100 people.

Walking through their memories, each story brings you closer to the city. The more stories that are recorded, the more meaningful the connection with the city becomes. Each street now has a face and life to it making you a part of someone’s life. These streets are never going to be the same to you again.

Every recording has a digital booklet produced that includes hand-drawn route maps, photos, Shanghainese character and Mandarin transcriptions, and English translations of the audio as a guide for people to ideally follow on location, or anywhere they may be.  

I hope that you enjoy your experience of this project and that one day your imagination leads you here.