|JG Ballard in Shanghai
The Ballard Family Home, 31A Amherst Avenue, Shanghai
In 1984/85 Canadian Professor Peter Brigg was teaching in Shanghai, and at JG Ballard's request, he took the time to visit and photograph what was left of the home JG Ballard lived in from 1930 to 1945, with time off for a few years at Lunghwa Civilian Assembly Centre, courtesy of the Japanese. See Peter's pictures, JG's hand-drawn map showing the location of the house, as well as JG's reaction to seeing the photos 40 years after leaving Shanghai. UPDATE: In February, 2007, I found the area where his house should be on Google Earth and sent the printout to JGB... he marked up the map showing his house and mailed it back! UPDATE, UPDATE: In June, 2007 I made contact with Andy Best, who lives in Shanghai a few blocks from JGB's old home. He took some fantastic photos and sent them to me. UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE: In September 2007 I travelled to Shanghai myself, met Andy, and explored JGB's house -- now a fancy restaurant! -- the Lunghua Airfield, Lunghua Camp, and the Amherst Avenue neighbourhood. Quest completed.
JG Ballard's Home Destroyed by Renovations
In the autumn of 2009 a few trusty spies visiting and living in Shanghai noted the restaurant SH508 had shut down and crews were assembling on the site. Over the next 10 months what remained of the house Ballard grew up in was gutted and rebuilt into a brand new brick structure, possibly a large private home. This section includes emails and photographs depicting the carnage as it progresses. Thanks to Andy Best, Dan Butterfield, Nick Darsley and George Cox.
JG Ballard's Shanghai Neighbourhood
In September of 2007 Shanghai resident Andy Best did a complete tour of the neighbourhood around Amherst Avenue, taking pictures of the old mansions, schools, colleges and cathedrals which would have existed during the 1930s when the young Jim Ballard roamed this area. He took 120 pictures and drew two great maps.
JG Ballard's Shanghai Haunts
After visiting JG Ballard's Shanghai home, I set out to take in other areas of the city mentioned either in Ballard interviews, letters and novels. Here's a collection of pictures taken by myself and Andy Best showing The Bund, Pudong, People's Park, the Lunghua Pagoda, Lunghua Airport, Country Clubs, the Peace Hotel and more. Comes complete with a short video.
Memories Of The Sparse Age: The Recollections of Lunghwa Civilian Assembly Camp Internees
A number of British nationals all survived incarceration at the hands of the Japanese in the Lunghwa Civilian Assembly Centre outside of Shanghai from 1943 to 1945. They shared the camp with the young JG Ballard and his parents, but only a few make reference to Empire Of The Sun. Still, fascinating stuff.
How I Salvaged a Brick from Lunghua's G Block and New Pictures of Shanghai High School
This all started in the Fall of 2008. I was cruising the web, following up on some JGB alerts, and I came across a blog written by one Greg Baines, a resident teacher at Shanghai High School, formerly known as Lunghua Civilian Assembly Centre...
An Hour with Desmond Power
In July of 2012 I met with Lunghua Civilian Assembly Centre internee Desmond Power at his home in Vancouver, Canada. Desmond was born in Tientsin, Hopei Province, China, in 1923, and by 1937 Desmond and his family were caught up in the Japanese invasion of China. By 1942 Desmond had missed all his chances to leave China via Shanghai, and like so many other "foreign devils", he was collected and interned at a number of Japanese civilian camps, including Lunghua.