Following the success of the Yuz Museum's Rain Room, what’s the next photogenic place in town we hear you ask. Well, with a little bit of digging, we unearthed The Starry Gallery of Shanghai, a 3D museum hidden within Pier 16 on the Bund. This indoor space presents a dozen themed photo booths designed to get your creativity flowing while taking aesthetic snapshots.
Without further ado, let’s take a peek inside.
There are two types of booths here: purely photogenic, and interactive. For the former, there is a wisteria garden, a star gallery and a 'Vincent van Gogh house.' The most sensational option is ‘The Starry Sky 3.0,’ a 20-square-meter booth filled with dazzling fairy light to transport you to an interstellar dreamscape. When the color of the lights alternate, speakers also blast out orchestral renditions such as U2’s ‘With or Without U’ and Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D.’ Tacky? Yes, but you won’t regret the photos.
Inside the 'Starry Sky 3.0' booth
Then there are the interactive booths. Each of these is coupled with an instruction video, teasing the desired effect of your shot and how to achieve it. For instance, the ‘Big Small Room’ requires two participants to stand at either corner of the booth, so that the photographer can capture the deceptive scales from outside.
The 'Big Small Room'
Not to mention there are plenty more booths like this, incorporating mirrors or placing objects at specific angles to trick your perception of space: a ‘Sinkhole Gallery,’ a ‘Titled Room,’ and a ‘Big Feet Room’...You get the idea. Connecting these themed spaces is a 3D mural for even more photo opportunities.
The wisteria garden
3D mural of Bruce Lee
The Starry Gallery of Shanghai is allegedly the first space of its type to open in China. It’s a real-life Photoshop opportunity for some awe-striking, deceptive photos, and you will no doubt leave with a stellar album on the phone.
The maintenance level at the gallery is quite low. Given its underground location, ventilation is poor, and you may at times smell overheated polyester or a burning light bulb. The constant sound of soapy ballad music can be distracting, too. While most of the content here is PG, be warned there are a couple of murals depicting adults humor.
A trip to The Starry Gallery is the most fun when you visit with family and friends. The dazzling effects intended here can only be captured on camera, and you need at least another pair of hands to press the shutter, if not a whole crew to stage a silly shot together.
Where is it
Entrance to Pier 16 shopping mall
Despite its first-rate location on the Bund, The Starry Gallery is tucked away in an obscure spot within Pier 16 shopping mall. When you visit, follow the signs pointing to mall, until you spot a sunken plaza which is on the riverside promenade opposite the Bund Finance Center. Descend two levels below ground via the escalator, walk past the restaurants on your left-hand side, and you will see the 'Starry Gallery of Shanghai' kiosk at the end of the corridor.
[All images by Mandy Tie/Urban Family]