The development of Qingdao has inevitably caused the demolition of not a few of the older neighborhoods around the city. Some of the structural removal and rebuilding has been partial, such as the eminent domain flattening of a corner of Badahu across from Zhonglian Plaza, while places like Bo Luo You Zi in Old Town are completely gone and now resigned to legend.
The buildings and parts thereof pictured here show a side of Shibei district that will also soon be viewable solely in historical documents – it’s being re-developed with shopping and residential towers (no shortage of those around), so the lower story buildings from the early and mid 1900’s will be knocked down. The area is adjacent to Computer City/Ego (Yigao) – check out the location map here.
Qingdao based photographers Lin Xun and Clay Army visited to record the sights of a bygone community in Qingdao. Of particular interest to the lens were basic things made of simpler materials, harkening back to a less frantic time, and the decay/eventual destruction of the things themselves in the final stages of this incantation or shape. The debris strewn all over the sidewalks and in the building shells seems to have been designed to discourage squatters – the buildings in question have been rendered uninhabitable.
One of the themes was the Chinese character 拆, written as ‘chai’ in pinyin, meaning “dismantle, demolish, tear, tear open, tear down, take apart, unweave” on the Google Translator. It’s an ominous symbol written countless times on buildings across the country as China modernizes and tears down the unwanted and/or unsalvageable old. This neighborhood has been at the heart of the Shibei residential community (Xiao Fei’s Grandma lived here!) centered around Children’s Park on Liaoning Lu for almost a century or more.
In memory of old Qingdao neighborhoods, for better or worse, till time do us part, it’s yesterday no more.