Celebrities' former residences enrich Shinan's cultural ambience
The former residence of renowned Chinese geological expert Li Siguang in Shinan district, Qingdao. [Photo/Dazhong Daily]
Shinan district is the cultural heart of Qingdao, one of China's most known historical and cultural cities, and is home to the majority of the city's remarkable historical buildings as well as former celebrity mansions in modern times.
Shinan district features 58 of the 60 former mansions of celebrities in Qingdao that have been listed in the city's conservation plan from 2011 to 2020, according to official statistics.
Many notable writers and artists, such as Lao She, Shen Congwen, Ba Jin, and Hong Shen, lived on the district's Fushan Road in the 1930s, contributing to Shinan's rich artistic atmosphere. Most of these celebrities' former residences were built during the 1920s and 1930s and feature diverse styles that usually combined Chinese and Western architectural characteristics, as well as coastal elements.
The majority of the residences are located in Qingdao Bay, Huiquan Bay, and Taiping Bay, which are surrounded by mountains and face the sea. Due to their unique charm, the residences have become increasingly popular in recent years and are regarded as must-visit spots for tourists in Qingdao.
The historic mansion of Kang Youwei, a renowned scholar and political reformer of China's Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), in Shinan district, is hosting a Qingdao cultural celebrity exhibition. It was Qingdao's first fully culturally renovated celebrity's former mansion, and it has been open free of charge to the public for more than two decades. [Photo/Dazhong Daily]
The district's government work report for 2022 emphasized the local culture's inheritance and innovation, committing to make every effort to incorporate cultural components into economic and social development. "We have been working to enhance the soft power of Shinan district by organizing lectures and reading seminars to teach and inspire local residents," an official from the district's culture and tourism bureau said.
Encouraged by the government's endeavors, many locals have also participated in the development of Shinan's celebrity culture.
Liu Wu, who lives near a celebrity's former residence on Fushan Road, offers guides to tourists during peak tourism seasons.
He also created 42 drawings of local celebrities' former residences and opened a gallery for tourists to rest at and to admire his works.