Over Christmas of 2013 I had the chance to travel to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, where I spent one week exploring the city - walked 75 km - and take a few timelapse scenes, the best of which are combined in this video.
Shot with Olympus OMD EM-1, various lenses and Dynamic Perception Stage One / Merlin Head.
With its futuristic skyline and sprawling network of streets, subway lines, and highways, Shanghai represents not just China’s unbridled dynamism, but also the rapidly maturing global economy. The bustling city of Shanghai, however, holds a further, complex and equally exhilarating narrative nestled at the feet of its towering skyscrapers. ‘Walk in Shanghai’ tells the story of the lively, multifaceted and above all else, very human experience unfolding at the street level of this massive city.
To guide you through the streetscape is JT Singh. As he leads the viewer on his curious adventure through central Shanghai, he glances around corners, weaves through crowds, and with a barely perceptible pause here or an impulsive turn there, stumbles into the unhinged entropy that flows through the hidden alleys, accidental views, and captivating scenes embedded in the city’s vibrant street life. The peculiar reversal of the city’s movement against his own distinguishes his story from that of the other 24 million people taking 24 million walks in Shanghai. It’s through a heightened focus on one man’s seemingly unstructured journey that we discover the ultimate protagonist of this story: the transcendent power of using your legs for discovering a city.
‘Walk in Shanghai’ is only an introductory tour of Shanghai's urban streets. The remaining story of Shanghai’s suspense and beauty can only be experienced in person, and through using your legs as the main mode of transport. Shanghai in particular is a great city for walking as its downtown maintains its extensive walkable neighborhoods through the historic preservation of its urban fabric. Above all, JT Singh’s playful artistry is a celebration of the beauty of walking in cities. A visceral pleasure made possible by walkable and human scale urban environments. Walk on!
Watch also JT Singh's previous co-directed short film of Shanghai: "This is Shanghai" vimeo.com/63635193
JT Singh is a globally renowned media artist and expert on emerging cities at JT Singh Labs (jtsingh.com), a unique design and technology studio specialized in city branding. His team executes experimental digital technologies + Economic strategy + Art initiatives to help cities engage with their global context. JT Singh and team employs many strategies in its work for cities and regions, including enhancing local cultural economies, tourism and trade, developing international presence, and attracting foreign investment.
JT has advised official city leaders in North America, Asia, and Europe, including Toronto, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Fuzhou. His creative work and intellectual contributions have appeared in numerous international publications, including BBC, Time, National Geographic, CNN, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Quartz, Mashable, China Daily, The Guardian, etc.
JT Singh Labs is based in Hong Kong/Shanghai and originally from Toronto, Canada.