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VOICES | The Beauty of Guangfulin


06 December 2018 | By Bai Yang | Copyedited by Zhao Yinfen

  • VOICES | The Beauty of Guangfulin

  • VOICES | The Beauty of Guangfulin

  • VOICES | The Beauty of Guangfulin

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few months ago, I happened to have a precious opportunity, as a volunteer, to visit the root of Shanghai’ s history and culture, Guangfulin. The splendid cultural relics witness the development and prosperity of Shanghai, and record everything in her way, silent. I lost my heart to her beauty in the first glimpse.

It was in a shining morning, with the breeze gently ruffling the water, Lake Fulin. I found it very peculiar that from a distance, it looked like a house that was buried under water. That gave me a first signal that the cultural relics were ruined by nature, especially the water, where used to be a land and now a lake. However, that is a special design of Guangfulin Culture Museum. At first, we need to know that the aim of Guangfulin Site is to build confidence in China’s history and raise awareness of people about the root of the city. But how to achieve that? The key is the truth. From the very beginning, countless archaeologists, designers and builders of Guangfulin Site planned the exhibition strictly based on the outcome of archaeological research and documents, striving to make the display credible. Besides, all the buildings, woods, rivers, ponds, roads and landforms of Guangfulin were photographed, surveyed and recorded before the implementation of heritage safeguarding and rehabilitation measures. Therefore, the original ecological conditions and current cultural features could be preserved while historical memory is recovered. What’s more, in order to set a more vivid scene of the past time, a number of spaces for display were built underground or under water so that the modern buildings do not overshadow the exhibits of history. While appreciating the traditional Chinese beauty, we are able to understand the past, remember the history, and know where our city comes from and where it will go. It is under such a considerate setting that we could devote ourselves totally into the ancient time, and experience the lives of our ancestors. During such, we would not be disturbed by the modern buildings or skyscrapers, the results of industrialization, and even the toilets in Guangfulin Site are built in the shape of some ancient architectures with flourish plants covering. 

One of the landmark museums is Guangfulin Culture Museum, which is located in the first big roof “floating” above Lake Fulin, while the entire exhibition space is built under the lake. The museum aims to set an air of traveling back into the past around you by stepping into the underground, just like the feeling of a journey through time and space. When we walked into the museum, the first scene showing to us was a huge daffodil plank, carving some delicate patterns about the information of this museum. Each character was arranged in the proper position as if there were some stories behind them. With temperature gradually dropped, we got to the world underground, the created scenarios presenting the archeological history of Guangfulin. The wax models were so vivid that they remained us of the considerable efforts made by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and Shanghai Municipal Cultural Relics Bureau, over ten archeological teams from Shanghai Museum, Fudan University, Shandong University, Nanjing University, Renmin University of China, Nanjing Normal University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai University, Ningbo Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology, Luoyang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology to offer us such a chance to appreciate the beauty of Guangfulin. It is a transition between the past and the present. Then, we moved to the ancient time, the time when humans learnt to set a fire and wove fishing nets. I was exceedingly astonished by the immemorial history and the glorious culture of Guangfulin, Songjiang. All of these foreshadowed the invention of the traditional fishing tool “Hu”, a kind of bamboo’s trap for fish as well as the abbreviation of Shanghai. After that, it brought us to the 19th century. It was quite peculiar for its multiculture, from home and abroad, which also fostered the Shanghai style or school culture. This exhibition, full of old objects, such as posters of Shanghai beauties, matches, food coupons, televisions, radios, green mailboxes, tramcars, theaters and steam trains, just took me back into that dangerous but beautiful period. It remained me of many impressive memories of Shanghai, and made me surprised at its current change, which would never fail us.

Just a few days before, I visited the exhibition on forty years of the reform and opening-up. It was another wonderful display, telling the stories of the transformation of the city Shanghai in the past 40 years. They both told us the development of our city and our country, and made us realize that how great achievements Shanghai has made. Forty years is so long, and so short. Forty years ago, it was beyond imagination that we could live such a convenient life today. Even for myself, I could not imagine my life without smartphones because it seems that I had owned my smartphone since I was born. Technology changes life a lot, but we should not be controlled by them. Guangfulin is a good choice to release ourselves and to make us get away from the sublunary. Just take a deep breath of the ancient time, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Guangfulin.

Besides, Guangfulin Site also has many other profound relics. For instance, the Sanyuan Taoist Temple, which is the earliest worship site found in Guangfulin and the earliest religious faith in China before Taoism; the Fulin Pagoda, the late Tang-style pagoda with three eaves standing between Zhiye Temple and Sanyuan Taoist Temple; Duoyun Academy, built on the former site of “Jiufeng Academy” belonging to the Cao family; The Wood Art Gallery, the Anhui-style architecture west of Ziyi Alley; etc.

In order to play an active role in Songjiang’s culture and tourism development, Guangfulin Site also established some amenities, like Guangfulin Prime Minister Hotel, Hilton Hotel Guangfulin, and Guangfulin Courtyard Hotel, supporting facilities are built with white walls and black rooftops, which displays the unique tranquil elegance in the Jiangnan area.

As a volunteer, I not only saw the natural beauty of Guangfulin Site, but also had more chances to witness and record the efforts behind the scenery—the stuff. Every time some visitors have troubles, the stuff will offer help at once, which is easy to say, while hard to do. Therefore, when we appreciate the spectacular Guangfulin Site, we should as well express our gratitude to those industrious stuff, who contribute the beauty of Guangfulin as well. 

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Tel : +86 (21) 3537 2378

Email : news@shisu.edu.cn

Address :550 Dalian Road (W), Shanghai 200083, China

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