Colonel Kurtz’s nightmare might have been watching a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor, but ours is shopping. What an odious pursuit. Shanghaiist would rather have dental work done than get dragged through boutiques and malls — particularly in this city, where the footpaths are clogged with touts, bargain hunters and middle-aged women selling tea eggs.
Yet occasionally (about as occasionally as the earth is visited by Halley’s Comet) we enter a store which first wakes us from our slumber and then impresses us with its array of products. This happened just yesterday, at the Bridge 8 complex on Jianguo Lu (home of La Fabrique and a variety of retail outlets, offices and cafes).
The shop is POP Shanghai — a quirky little homewares joint selling everything from retro tin robots to avant-garde lemon squeezers, as well as furniture, clocks and the next generation of lava lamps. None of the stuff is particularly useful, but it all looks impressive. Probably because the owners have sourced their products from such illustrious designers as Eero Aarnio (responsible for the Ball Chair, pictured), Mathmos Lights UK, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Japanese company Dulton. Speaking of Japan, there is also a selection of slightly warped pieces of art by Yoshitomo Nara.
POP’s website is worth a look as well. There you’ll find a mission statement, some background about the owners and several pages of product pictures. And the accompanying music sounds like an outtake from a Secret Chiefs 3 recording session or a Mike Patton side project. Nice.
POP Shanghai can be found in Room 5108, Block 5, Bridge 8, 8-10 Jianguo Zhong Lu, near Sinan Lu. 11am-10pm daily. Tel: 5466-5108.