"East meets west; The ancient coexists with the modern. Old Shanghai is totally fascinating. The Shanghai of the future is impossible to foresee". A modern city with an ancient body inside it, just like Nan Lang.
Nan Lang in Shangai
Listen to the story told by the author, Flavio Soriga
Shanghai is not only a city, it is not simply a city, if simple cities even exist. Shanghai is much more than most cities: big and complex as a nation with almost thirty million inhabitants, it is the second most populous in the world. It has a remarkable history traces of which it bears. Its enormous size can make you feel tiny, inebriated by its energy. Nan Lang is a quiet, reserved man who seems to harbour the energy of the city inside him, miraculously transforming it into a calm confidence in his gestures, words, and perhaps even thoughts. He is a designer, his home is full of objects, yet nothing seems out of place. Afterall to live in such a big, chaotic city in a state of constant change, one has to keep his surroundings under control as much as possible. Nan Lang describes himself as a modern man with the soul of an ancient man inside him. He is as timid as the puppy he recently rescued from the street. “My cat, in contrast, is a chatterbox”, he says, smiling. If there is one place where a modern architect with an ancient soul inside can be at ease today, it must be in Shanghai. “My neighbourhood is very beautiful, with the historic buildings that have amazing details. The location is also very convenient, since I can walk to work”. Nan Lang’s home has warm light, the air of a carefully crafted refuge. Of the many objects in his house, one above all others is of great importance to its owner: “This is the marriage certificate of my grandparents. I have framed it and I keep it in the house with me. It is a marvellous object to me because it means a lot and is part of my story”.
The stories of each of us start from a distance, even for those who were born and grew up in the same city as their parents and grandparents. In Shanghai, millions of stories that began elsewhere intersect and converge in its urban setting – a source of inspiration for designers who interpret lines, colours and materials to give form to furniture and garments. Ever since childhood, Nan Lang always loved drawing. He now owns a fashion brand, but has a multi-discipline approach to design. “I love interior design very much, creating spaces that make people feel at ease. I also work on graphic design, fashion, and installations. The tasks vary, and I really enjoy what I do. I love my life, and life in general”. The designer in the city that is constantly redesigned says “There is a very intense cultural life in Shanghai - performances, exhibitions, galleries. The city is very inclusive today. East meets West; the ancient coexists with the modern. Old Shanghai is totally fascinating. The Shanghai of the future is impossible to foresee”. A modern city with an ancient body inside it, just like Nan Lang.