The White Cloud Taoist Temple, Shanghai

The White Cloud Taoist Temple, Shanghai



In the summer of 2006 I spent a lot of time working and travelling in Asia. After several weeks in Beijing I went to Shanghai, where I spent a month working on an exhibition at Shanghai Museum, then travelling on to Taipei in Taiwan, and to Tokyo in Japan, before heading back home, via Shanghai once again. In that first month-long stay I did a lot of exploring on foot and consequently I got to know Shanghai very well. I’ve since been back on a number of occasions, each time getting to know the city better. It’s definitely one of my most favourite cities in the world. I have many magical memories of travelling in China. I hope it’s not too long before I get a chance to go back at some point.

Recently, while leafing through a short diary I kept of that summer stay in Shanghai, I found a brief account of a visit I made to the White Cloud Temple (白雲觀 Baiyun Guan), a Taoist temple, the construction of which dates back to the late 19th century. The presence of Taoism in Shanghai itself though dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1386 AD). The temple stands not far from the Huangpu River, located in the area of the original Chinese walled city, which predated the ‘International Settlement’ that grew up around it from the late 19th to early 20thcenturies.