SHANGHAI TRIP – 11th Day – 17 Sept 2007

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Mr Zhang Ren Fong is our 1st interviewee today. He is the grandchildren of Zhang Yuan Ji who brought the concept of making Educational Toys to Shanghai Commercial Press in late Qing Dynasty. I knew Mr Zhang Ren Fong’s father, Mr Zhang Shu Lian 10 years ago. We always kept in touch and visited him every time when I was in Shanghai. Mr Zhang Shu Lian always encouraged me to continue my research in history of China made toys and hope I can fulfill my dream one day. I had fulfilled my dream to open the 1st Shanghai Toys Musem in 2005 but unfortunately Mr Zhang Shu Lian has passed away in 2004 after I visited him in Sept 2004. I was very sad during that time and still hope he can hear my voice in somewhere around another world.

I was excited to meet Mr Zhang Ren Fong again after many years. He looks great. He told me he might be coming to Singapore next year with his wife. So hope to see him again in Singapore.

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Mr Zhang Yuan Jii – Grandfather of Zhang Ren Fong

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This is where Mr Zhang Ren Fong and family stay since 40s. (Mr Zhang’s daughter is now staying in Singapore)

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Michael is preparing the camera.

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We start to interview Mr Zhang.

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Thank you, Mr Zhang. Hope to see you again soon.

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After the interview with Mr Zhang, we are going to look for the location of GREAT CHINA CELLULOID MANFACTURING COMPANY which was established in 1911. The location where we go now is one of their sales offices in 30s.

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We finally located the place.

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When we reached the place, someone are playing “Ma Jong’ in the early morning. Can’t imagine a middle aged man is even wearing a pajamas??? ( 🙂 DON”T HE NEED TO WORK?? ) They seems uncomfortable when they saw us and asked us who we are?

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Michael is explaining to two women that I am from Singapore. The reason why I am here today is doing the filming about old Shanghai childhood and doing the research in the history of Shanghai toys. We also told her that the location where we stand now is a CELLULOID TOY SALES OFFICE in 30s. As expected, they don’t know about this.

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One of the woman suddenly tell us, although she doesn’t know there’s a CELLULOID TOY sales office in this lane, but she played CELLULOID DOLL when she was young.

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We show her a CELLULOID DOLL and ask her whether is this type of doll she played when young.

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The old lady is so excited and share her stories with us.

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Thank you for the interview, Madame. Hope to see you again in my next trip to Shanghai.

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Our next stop is looking for a CHILDREN’S STORE which locate at Zhe Jiang Road in 30s. (Zhe Jiang Road is near Nanking Road)

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As expected. We can’t have any information about this CHILDREB’S STORE but suprise that it’s a TOY STORE in 2007.

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Next stop is looking for a CHILDREN’S TOY STORE at NANKING ROAD in 1970s. It’s a 3 storey building, familiar to many Shanghainese if they born in 1950s and onwards. Today is the authorised BEIJING OLYMPIC SOUVENIR’s SHOP.

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After that, we go to another CHILDREN’S TOY STORE at NANKING ROAD in 30s. Today is a SHOPPING CENTRE.

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The old CHILDREN’S TOY STORE at NANKING ROAD in 1930s.

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We are going to the next location which is a WOODEN EDUCATIONAL TOY MANFACTURING COMPANY at one of the building at Nanking Road in 40s. Today, the building is no longer there. (The NEW SHOPPIN MALL is coming soon.)

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Our 2nd interviewee is a lady who worked at Shanghai Toys No.7 Factory. (Shangahi Toys No.7 Factory is a factory which manfactured soft toys and dolls from 60s until 90s, they are now specialised in making Teddy Bear for overseas clients)

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Mr Pan and his uncle are our last interviewee for today. I knew Mr Pan more than 10 years, he is one of my best friends in Shanghai. When he knew about my purpose of the filming, he asked his uncle to share his story with us.

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1 Comment

  1. Mr Zhang Shu Lian must be happy & proud of you if he can hear you in another world.
    It’s a very warm day meeting good friend’s family members!


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