Songjiang: a city of culture, art, and tourism
With a long history, rich cultural heritages and artistic resources, Songjiang is forging ahead to build itself into an art hub, a capital of film and TV making, and a destination of cultural relics, according to the district's "Three-Year Plan for Songjiang's Humanistic Development."
With a long history, rich cultural heritages and artistic resources, Songjiang District is forging ahead to build itself into an art hub, a capital of film and TV making, and a destination of cultural relics, according to the district's "Three-Year Plan for Songjiang's Humanistic Development."
A place of living heritage
The district currently has three national-level intangible cultural heritages and 10 city-level heritages. These include Gu-style embroidery, straw dragon dance in Yexie Town, drum and gong music in Sijing Town, and many others.
Though they seem obsolete today, the district is sparing no efforts to pull them back onto the modern stages in recent years.
The Gu-style Embroidery Research Institute that was set up to preserve and develop the hand skill has brought beautiful stitch works to many international art fairs and auctions.
Sijing's drum and gong music finds its home in a riverside relic house as the preservation center and practice area, where young people can learn and enjoy the melodies made from the traditional string and wind instruments.
Earlier this year, the memorial hall to remember Yu Sulu (1847-1930), known as the "Kunqu Opera Saint," was open to the public in Cangcheng Old Town, a historic protection zone in Songjiang, a step further to establish the district's presence as the cradle of this performing art.
Shows at doorsteps
Shows, concerts, operas and art exhibitions are being held in Songjiang every day, which was just a wild wish before for locals because they had to spend hours on traveling to the city center for a high-quality show.
Today with the opening of the Yunjian Culture and Art Center, art aficionados in Songjiang can enjoy wonderful performances at their doorsteps.
The ballet "Only Green" had a three-day run at the Yunjian Theater, which received high praise and its tickets sold out quickly, while the exhibition "Chinese Painting Series from Ancient Times to the Present" currently on display at the Yunjian Art Center is the highest-level exhibition in Songjiang.
The Yunjian Culture and Art Center that offers a one-stop cultural experience that includes a library, an art gallery, a theater and boutiques to shop some art pieces has been a new cultural landmark in Songjiang.
In the first half of this year alone, its four exhibition halls hosted 10 exhibitions, attracting 18,337 visitors. The Yunjian Theater held 85 performances and events, with an audience of nearly 50,000 people.
Since the new library opened in April, it has received 139,200 visitors and has loaned out 257,493 books to 39,480 readers.
With various cultural programs and state-of-the-art facilities, Yunjian Culture and Art Center reflects the ongoing efforts of Songjiang to enhance the cultural and artistic experiences for its citizens.
As a large high-tech film and television base, the Shanghai Science and Technology Film City in Songjiang has already gathered more than 7,700 film and television enterprises. Songjiang is constantly optimizing film and television support policies, promoting industry chain layout such as film and television creation, post-production, copyright trading, promotion and screening, and derivative product development.
This year, the film city launched a series of activities during the Shanghai International Film Festival, such as the Science Fiction Film Week, and the first Shanghai Science and Technology Film Creation Conference, which helps promote the Songjiang film and television industry to tap into the overseas market.
At the same time, the construction of the Yangtze River Delta International Film and Television Center and other projects are on the way, including Qiming Film and Television Science and Technology Innovation Base that started construction this May.
Some made-in-Songjiang movies, such as "Miracle Silly Boy," and the TV series "Beyond" won national awards. The movie "No More Bets" produced by a Songjiang-based company was a biggest hit this summer, which surpassed 1.7 billion yuan (US$232 million) in box office in its first-week screening.
Towns of historical charm
This March the Sijing Town with a history of about 1,000 years was opened to the public after years of renovation and preservation that has given a face-lift to the ancient watertown's relic houses.
At the same time, towns in Songjiang launched various tourism activities based on their own cultural backgrounds.
Sheshan Town launched the "Poetic Sheshan;" Maogang Town held a book festival in the rice paddies; Shihudang Town hosted the Farming Culture and Art Festival; Yexie Town kicked off its annual goat meat gala.
Today the Chenshan Grassland Music Festival in the Chenshan Botanic Garden has become a well-known tourism brand domestically and internationally, while the Guangfulin Cultural Relics Park and the Shanghai Shimao Elf City Theme Park have become must-see tourist destinations for travelers to Songjiang.
Accommodation facilities such as Hilton Shanghai Songjiang Guangfulin and Guangfulin Prime Hotel Shanghai have put into operation.
In the first half of this year, the total tourism revenue in the district reached 8.8 billion yuan, an increase of 162.78 percent from a year earlier. The number of tourists received was 10 million, an increase of over 180 percent from the previous year.