Art at the Edge

Renée Reynolds reviews The Phoenix Years

On a sunny early September afternoon in 2014, I arrived at the steps of a spired building on Nanjing West Road in central Shanghai. First known as The Sino-Soviet Friendship Building and since renamed the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, the grand hall was set to host a highly anticipated (and sold-out) International Photography Exhibit – and a friend who was “Almost there!” had tickets.

Waiting alone on the Stalin-era steps, I was beginning to wonder if I was in the right place. Where were the people?