Jacques Bellavance
in Cap-Chat


One City, Nine Towns

Municipal rest stop | 7 Rue Notre-Dame Est (Route 132) | Cap-Chat

Jacques Bellavance, Montreal, Québec | jacquesbellavance.com

Resorting primarily to photography to explore his mixed cultural identity, Jacques Bellavance has undertaken a through study of the city of Shanghai and of the immediate entourage of his family.

His photographs present a personal exploration both documentary and narrative that allows him to bring to light an aspect of his Chinese heritage, with which he is attempting to get back in touch.


One City, Nine Towns

Implemented by the municipal administration of Shanghai at the turn of the millennium, the initiative One City, Nine Towns was aimed at preventing the inevitable overpopulation of that city. Strongly inspired by the garden city concept of Sir Ebenezer Howard, this urban-expansion project proposed reproducing the finest attributes of other leading countries, the aim being to create fine and attractive spaces outside the downtown area. The following styles were decided on: German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, English, Swedish and Canadian – the last two obliged to adopt a Chinese influence after receiving fierce criticism for allowing a deliberate celebration of colonialism.

This project, initially designed to offer a unique lifestyle as well as to suggest a solution to downtown overpopulation, found itself involuntarily sabotaged by an aggressive speculative market. The towns ended up looking more like no-places whose architecture resembles backdrops for the wedding photographers who abound there at present.