Reason to Be Selected
Part of Taikang Road, Tianzifang is a traditional alley, originally constructed in the 1930s with shikumen residential houses. In 1998 the road was just a small street hidden in Dapuqiao District used as a street market. In September 1998 the local government started the project “Special Streets Construction”, which brought a new life to the road.
On October 28, 1998, a famous domesticcultural company settled in Taikang Road, starting the era of its role as an art street. Later several notable painters like Yifei Chan and Dongqiang Er opened their own studios there, giving the small street a reputation for art.
Around 2005 Tianzifang was specially zoned off from Taikang Road by neighboring art stores and studios. Then some local stores, tea houses, and some foreign restaurants came in.
It saw fast development from the beginning of 2007. Local people, foreign travelers, and even journalists came to investigate the small area, and praise quickly spread about this labyrinth of alleys.
Later more and more stores flooded in, interesting and different from the big malls in Shanghai. It finally got the attention of the New York Times, who spoke highly of it. Now the area speaks for itself.