Welcome back to another installment of Zine Store Hunting. We’ve explored New York and Hong Kong, now it’s time to dig into Shanghai, and show that it’s more than what people would call a Concrete Jungle. We have put together our top 4 photo book spots in Shanghai where you can catch a cool breeze in this sauna of a summer.
UNDEF/NE is a warehouse-turned-…everything? If you have ever visited the space, you will know there are a lot of things that could be. UNDEF/NE is actually a multi-functional space, known as an event/exhibition/workshop venue, as well as one of the best coffee places in Shanghai. Anchored as a community space for art, design, and photography, UNDEF/NE now has another identity called BROWNIE, which is a brand started by the owners aimed to simplify the relationship between photography and people by curating an international selection of photographs. Working with the founder of LOST magazine, BROWNIE also publishes BROWNIE magazine with a specific theme each season sharing photography culture. Although up north, it wouldn’t be out of the way to trek to UNDEF/NE, because you’ll have all you need for a great day there. Meanwhile, they are mad busy opening the BROWNIE store in Jing’an Kerry Center, launching on September 8th.
Located on Hengshan road, The Mix Place is a lovely addition to the streets of Shanghai. It’s a 3-story magazine and bookstore, dedicated to selling international publications with a specialization in books on visual art, movie, novel, design, and photography. Go upstairs to the second floor and you will be greeted with a wide selection of visual art books, covering design and photography. On the third floor is a selection of over 500 imported magazines from all over the world. You will also find designer treats for sale, as well as artwork on occasional display.
13 years after the legendary flagship store opened its doors in Milan, 10Corso Como launched it’s Shanghai location in 2013. High-end and high-concept have made 10CC such a revered luxury brand, as well as moonlighting as an art museum. It proves that where there is art, there will be art bookstores. Within the 4-story location, you can lose a day browsing designers’ lovely work, or you can actually find a treat for yourself on its top floor: the Book, Magazine & Cafe bar. The book section of the store is particularly sweet; stocking books and zines pertaining to worldwide arts, fashion, design, and photography. If you are a fan of fashion photography, immerse yourself in the visual and cerebral selection in 10CC.
Whoever said that good things come in small packages probably had the bookstore Closing Ceremony in mind. Located in the heart of the Shanghai Former French Concession on Wulumuqi road, Closing Ceremony was established by founders Xiao Peng and Yi Wan. The store is filled with unique high-quality small press and independent publishing. Most importantly, Closing Ceremony shares only photography. Before setting up the bookstore, the founders put out several issues on their photography publication, Same Paper, which seeks to present the new generation of Chinese photographers. Closing Ceremony is currently only open on the weekends. Go pay a visit to Closing Ceremony, and spend some quiet time with some good photo books on a lazy Saturday or Sunday.
These days we spend the majority our time in front of a screen. This is exactly why we started our photo bookstore hunting series – to appreciate the quiet hours that we have free, well-spent in quality bookstores and traveling with carefully selected books! Enjoy!