The Art Focus session at the Tou-Se-We Museum is being repeated to accommodate the waitlisted and overflow from July Art Focus.
With the exception of Shanghai history specialists and the curious wayward wanderer, even some of the city's local residents do not know about the small building inscribed 'T'ou-se-we Museum' (also known as Tushanwan 土山湾 Museum) on its red façade. The remnants of the former Spanish-styled compound of dormitories, classrooms, and workshops on the sprawling 5.5 hectares is now but a mere shadow which once housed, fed, and taught many destitute young Chinese boys.
While rich in history, the quaint and well-kept museum unfortunately possesses only a few actual artefacts produced during the period when the orphanage was instituted in 1864 until its formal closure in 1962. The craft school, which was distinctly tied to the identity of the orphanage, served a crucial social and artistic need in Shanghai during times of both political turmoil and commercial prosperity. By incorporating the evidence of recent scholarship, Art Historian Julie Chun seeks to re-address and re-evaluate the legacy of Xuhui's understudied history, which continues to remain relatively insular to the world-at-large.