Paris and Shanghai: A Tale of Two Cities
Dr. Gloria Tseng
This exhibit displays the dramatic changes experienced in two distant cities: Paris, France, and Shanghai, China. Paris in the early twentieth century was the center of French culture and politics. The same period in Shanghai was distinguished by the city’s status as a treaty port, resulting in an international but divided environment. Despite differences in culture and location, Paris and Shanghai each represented modernity in the West and the East, respectively. Yet, this progress did not help close the gap between the rich and poor in either city. In Paris, the gap in economic and social classes caused this divide. In Shanghai, the divide was often characterized by nationality. Foreigners were commonly successful businessmen and bankers, while native Chinese often lived in poverty. Historical images and a timeline are used to bring the stories of these two cities to life in this exhibit.
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