As a mirror? The images of contemporary Chinese cities we find on Google Earth tend to resemble each other as Michele Bonino (Bonino, 2014) observes in his paper Chinese cities and us, referring to Rayner Banham’s idea (Suzuki H., Banham R., Kobayashi K., 1985) that the most attractive feature of Eastern Asia, if viewed from Europe, is working “as a mirror” in which to look at themselves. And it is a position that supports the similarity that emerges at first sight by looking at the photos of the skyline of Shanghai and Chongqing. And yet it may be for many American cities and not, for which the “downtown model” with “skyscrapers” has won. Yet the stimulus suggested by the Turin scholar is relevant because it leads us to densely contradictory territories, which deserve some insight. The “mirror game”, indeed, if we consider the analysis proposed by Cesare de Seta in his L’Italia nello specchio del Grand Tour (Italy in the mirror of Grand Tour) (de Seta, 2014), is that according to which Eighteenth Century Italy is conscious of itself: “and to the formation of this conscience the greatest contribution has been brought by the foreign travelers through their direct experience.” Very different, de Seta tells us, is the individualist experience of Reisebilder (1826-31) by Heinrich Heine from those of Goethe’s Italienische Reise, such as “William Turner’s Italian paintings by the canvases of Canaletto”. Reflective individualism in the Nineteenth century is, in fact, different from the Eighteenth century vedutismo and even more from the Sixteenth-Century collective voyages where entire courts – such as that of the bishop of Bamberg – came to the Garden of Europe. Memory is formed through experience [...] the memory inherited by man is pre-existent in the ethnic group, states Leroi-Gourhani in the paragraph “expanding memory” (Leroi-Gourhani, 1977) of his treatise Gesture and Speech. Technics and Language. Memory and Rhythms. But what kind of self-consciousness contemporary Chinese megalopolis such as Shanghai and Chongqing would convey?
|Titolo:||The hybrid modernity of Shanghai and Chongqing. Two Chinese megalopoli along the Yangtze River|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|