I was visiting Zhou Zhuang, a water village about an hour driving from Shanghai. What I was imagined that I will find the old village with canals and boats. The old Chinese house always exciting for me. About a year ago I went to Melacca visiting the Baba and Nonya Peranakan house which give me the glimpse of very fine architecture.
The Chinese house usually made from woods with beautifully crafted. There would be several generations living in the house. Mostly about 1-3 generations. Sometime the owner has a wife and several concubines that living in the same roof. Shen's house built in 1742 in the early Qing Dynasty. Shen Wangsan was a millionaire from Jiang Nan China then settled in Zhou Zhuang.
The house clearly separated from male and female function. The living room attached with the most art of the owner can afford. Painting and poem for well known artist, painting from marble, finest furniture from best woods. The main room then connected each other with the void of garden. The last one could be the study room including opium bench - a commune chair to serve opium to the owner while he enjoyed the back garden.
I amazed with the simplicity of room arrangement. How the house just separated by the activities rather than how many people living in there. I went to the alley that indeed function like highway. I clearly remember the kungfu movie I have seen before. Just like that.
Please see the album at set of Zhou Zhuang