The back cover of yesterday’s Xinmin Evening News featured the photograph to the right accompanied by an article centered on Mr Ding, a worker who has been employed at Shanghai historic Jiangnan Shipyard for 42 years. The reason that the photographer wrote the article is because he finally got the chance, through a photography contest, to tour the limited-access factory that was founded in 1856. And the reason that the newspaper published the article is that the factory is set to be moved to a new location; the buildings are being repurposed to serve as logistics, administration and public service bases, and supermarkets for the 2010 World Expo Park.
But accessible today and, we assume, after the opening of the World Expo is the Jiangnan Shipyard Museum. It is located on the second and third floors of the company’s technical center, just a few blocks from the shipyard itself. Opened in 2005, the museum covers 1800 square meters and contains over 600 pictures, models and displays illustrating the shipyard’s output over its 151-year history. Last summer the Shanghai Daily published a podcast (with transcript) to guide visitors through the museum.
While it may not be possible to visit the shipbuilding yard, or Mr Ding and the actual ships after their relocation to Changxing Island in the mouth of the Yangtze River, the museum sounds like a fun summer outing and a way to relive the history of Shanghai’s shipbuilding culture.
The Jiangnan Shipbuilding Museum (江南造船厂) is located at 600 Luban Rd, Luwan District, just north of the Lupu Bridge. It is open Mon-Fri, 9am-11:30am, 1:00pm-4:30pm. The phone number is 6315-1818 x2439. Call ahead to confirm operating hours.
The Jiangnan Shipyard itself is located just east of the Lupu Bridge, at 2 Gaoxiong Rd.