My name is Cody Ellingham, I am a photographer and nightcrawler from New Zeland. The aging and ornately beautiful ‘Shikumen’ lane houses are being torn down across Shanghai, and I set out on a mission to capture the historic streets before it’s too late.

I have embarked on a project to explore the disappearing communal Shikumen lane houses unique to Shanghai’s oldest districts, as part of his Shanghai Streets series.

More info: derive.tokyo | Instagram

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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boi 5 months ago

the contrast against the enormous city buildings makes it seem fake... amazing!

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The structures, partly inspired by the Chinese ‘Hutong’ style housing of the capital and heavily influenced by French and British colonial and art deco styles, were built in their thousands between the end of the 19th century and World War Two.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Locd_doc93 5 months ago

Thank you for the wall paper :D

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Horizon 5 months ago

This would make an amazing poster for wall art!! Love the juxtaposition of old and modern - the neon lights, like a throwback, which it really kind of is - my childhood with these colors. I love that you’re taking these photos! Save the history.

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In the old days, the city was split into three areas: the French Concession, the International Settlement, and the Laoximen Chinese district. Much of the former French Concession retains a European vibe – the terrace houses and tree-lined avenues could be Barcelona or Paris, but they are not. This is China, with its noisy meat markets, modified electric motorbikes, bundles of live wires dangling from rooftops, humming neon lights and a dense smog reflecting the changing city below. Card games and shops sprawling out onto the street give it a community atmosphere. Nowhere is this more clear than in the lane houses of Shanghai, the oldest type of which are called Shikumen.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Chris Miilu 5 months ago

Only an electrician could make a serious comment on all the wires strung on these homes. They look like unregulated dangerous wiring, tragic accidents waiting to happen.

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#5

Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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RaroaRaroa 5 months ago

In a country that has earthquakes, this doesn't look safe.

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The name Shikumen comes from the brick or stone gateway at the entrance to these communities. A sophisticated entrance meant a sophisticated family behind it, and it is these lane houses that make Shanghai. Almost all of the original nineteenth-century examples are lost, with the vast majority being post-World War One specimens. But even for these, time is running out.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Janine Randall 5 months ago

I guess there's no preservation for Historic Buildings? Although 1928 is probably not very historical for them

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Chris Miilu 5 months ago

Is electrification in Shanghai unregulated? If you want electricity, you can wire your house in a DIY project? This is insane in a crowded street.

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There is a distinct vibe walking through the lane house areas that are still inhabited. You hear the Shanghainese dialect pouring out of windows and many of the older people do not even leave the lane houses, everything they need is in the community. And for anything else, there are men who stand near the notice board who they can pay to go out to run errands. There is a sense of a time slip, which makes the scene of demolition more powerful. Some areas have become gentrified, cleaned-up, and made into boutiques, all of which lose the essence of what these places really are.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Dianna Slowey-Thomas 5 months ago

What happens to the people, businesses and families whose homes are being bulldozed for profit? How much are they paid for the loss of their livelihoods, family and community?

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Sterling Williams 5 months ago

I love this one. The roof will dump all the water directly down on the air conditioner !

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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MM 5 months ago

It's a scene straight out of "Blade Runner".

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Koalamonster 5 months ago

I love that. So much. The color of the wood. Color of the light under the awning. It makes it weirdly warm and cozy seeming even in such an open place.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Sterling Williams 5 months ago

The owner sweeps his part, by golly !

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#13

Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Koalamonster 5 months ago

Is that indeed someone's home?? Seems so weird to me. In a place that isn't really that isolated having your doors open like that just strikes me as odd. Honestly it is probably quite nice airflow wise and other than the photographer it doesn't look like many people are out.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Dianna Slowey-Thomas 5 months ago

An excellent juxtaposition showing the cold blue lights and stark future on one inside of the wall, almost resembling a prison, with the warm colors and signs of freedom on the outside, soon to be destroyed.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Sterling Williams 5 months ago

Excellent

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Koalamonster 5 months ago

It looks kind of like someone hung a large piece of string art on the building on the right and it's just kind of deteriorated and crumbled under its own weight. How can you tell what wires go to what buildings?

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Koalamonster 5 months ago

Love these doors. I do wonder if they used to have glass or something else when they were first put up. Looks like they were just replaced one at a time which gives it a neat kind of patchwork.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Miranda Noble 5 months ago

i love this photo!! it took me a bit of staring to know that those are legs & feet that look so ghostly!! I love this!!

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Darlene Michuk 5 months ago

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i like the two popcorn dispensaries

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Koalamonster 5 months ago

That's a cool garage set up!! I mean, they have to work outside, but if they live behind it they'd have a lot more room in their house, and otherwise I imagine it saves on rent. And with the gate and the doors it's probably pretty secure.

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Jon Wong 5 months ago

democracy! says the right board on the wall

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Photographer Captures Disappearing Shanghai Streets

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Viktorija Kazakeviciute 4 months ago

so messy and so cool...

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