The high temperatures might make
the seashore an attractive destination, but beaches are not the only
place to escape from the summer
heat. For those who seek intellectual
leisure, the city of Shanghai offers
numerous interesting and entertaining
museums. Devoting a few hours for a walk at the museums not only feels
like a trip back in time, but also entails
broadening our vision about a wide
variety of topics including postal history, architecture and so forth.
While Shanghai Museum and the
Shanghai Natural History Museum
might be the best known by residents, there are some hidden pearls
that deserve attention. For this reason
Shanghai Daily kicks off a series on
the city’s museums. This article marks
the beginning of a journey to a few of
these mysterious parts of the city that
offer a new experience for visitors.
Shanghai Museum of Animation
This museum is arguably one of the most extraordinary places to visit in Shanghai. On the way to this hidden spot in the Pudong New Area, the visitor has to take a cab or public bus to reach the destination. The museum is designated to entertain everyone as adults have the possibility to better understand the history and development of animation, while kids can have fun with the various interactive activities.
One can visit three exhibition halls — Evolution, Animation and Comics — which display approximately 7,000 artifacts. As the name suggests, Evolution hall showcases the historical development of animation. The process is presented in great detail, starting from the origins of animated picture, all the way through the agricultural, industrial and modern civilizations. Additionally to the chronological review, the hall further introduces the development of mainstream and experimental animation as well as the cross-continental spread of Western culture.
The other halls display a wide array of artifacts related to comics and animation. As one of the most famous representatives of the industry, Marvel is a big part of the museum. One part of the museum is dedicated particularly to this comic, featuring life-size figures of Spiderman, Thor and Captain America among others. The figures are accompanied by short introductions of the characters. Other figures include emblematic Western animation characters such as Mickey Mouse, Roger and Jessica Rabbit and Pao from “Kung Fu Panda.”
The museum strives to balance between Western and Chinese animation, thereby China’s works such as “Journey to the West” and the comic manuscripts of the well-known Hong Kong cartoonist, Tony Wong, are also on display.
For those interested in how animation is created, the museum exhibits a working room and a subtitle animation photography platform. The museum also briefly introduces the development of video games, showcasing gaming consoles such as Nintendo, Atari, PlayStation and Xbox.
Address: 69 Zhangjiang Rd
Opening hour: 10am-5pm (last admission at 4pm)
Admission: 70 yuan (US$11) for weekdays, 100 yuan for weekends
Shanghai Printing Museum
Completed in 1998, it is on the fourth floor of the library on the campus of Shanghai Printing and Publishing College.
Encompassing approximately 1,000 square meters, the museum is composed of five sections covering a wide array of topics such as typography, neoteric printing and the printing industry. The exhibited artifacts include vintage copies of magazines and newspapers such as the Young Companion and Jiefang Daily. Furthermore, the museum also showcases different paper-manufacturing and printing related artifacts, such as lithographic printing plates, several colored and black-and-white pictures, and a map about the spreading of paper-manufacturing technology.
After leaving the exhibition area the visitor can still take a look at further artifacts, such as a lead typesetting machine, while reading about the iconic character of printing and other historical explanations, such as the role of Shanghai in modern Chinese printing history.
The museum emphasizes talent-nurturing and also utilizes the achievements of technology as it gives home to student activities and allows visitors to see television footage. If the visitor gets tired after the long journey into the history and evolution of printing, there are chairs and tables set up outside the museum. Friendly museum staff are happy to explain things in greater detail should you be interested.
Address: 100 Shuifeng Rd
Opening hour: 9-11:30am, 2-4pm, Tuesdays and Fridays
Shanghai Museum of Pen and Ink
Located on Fuzhou Road, this museum offers a trip into the magical world of Chinese calligraphy. Opened at the end of 2008, the one-room museum exhibits more than 1,000 artifacts. These include Zhou Hucheng brushes and Chao Sugong ink stick, as well as fans with characters painted on them, works of traditional Chinese calligraphy accompanied by a short introduction of outstanding masters of the art.
The museum also features a detailed introduction about the structure of brushes. At the end of the room, there are bigger works of calligraphy on display, making it an appropriate spot for visitors to take some pictures of their trip.
Although the museum does not have English explanations, it does not deprive non-mandarin speakers from broadening their knowledge: audio commentaries in Japanese, Korean and English are available for free. After finishing the tour on the second floor, the visitor can buy some calligraphy items on the first floor.