‘In 1980 Jiang Zemin (fourth left, front row) led a delegation to Shannon, Ireland.
‘On the third floor in Building no. 8, the National Pavilions section seemed random. Ireland was among the few there, with a display called Shan-Zhen, based on a claim that Shannon (pop. 9,500) was directly behind the birth of Shenzhen. Well, that sounds like a fine new Irish fairy tale, like the Corrigan Brothers claiming Obama as Irish in 2018… but the Irish produce the evidence! Shannon was made a Free Trade Zone in 1959, and when Deng Xiao Ping unleashed enterprise in China, that was of interest. In 1980, Jiang Zemin, later to be president, led a delegation to Shannon, and there’s a photograph of him grinning proudly there to prove it. Shenzhen was declared a Special Economic Zone that very year. Irish practices AP+E and Urban Agency created a space within a translucent curtain to air community recordings from both places.’
Shenzhen Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale 2015, Review by Herbert Wright in Blueprint issue 344.
See a taste of Wright’s essay HERE. See the full text in Blueprint magazine issue 344.