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iDEAL Cafe set to blend coffee with stories, art, writers
From:Shanghai Daily  |  2021-04-30 09:29

A NEW platform called iDEAL Cafe, which tells the stories of Shanghai coffee to the world, was launched at the opening ceremony of the Hongqiao International Coffee Harbor yesterday.

The organizer Shanghai Daily placed a “story mailbox” at the event taking place at the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trading Center in Minhang District to collect people’s stories about coffee.

Meanwhile, a new plan introducing art into local cafes was also released. It is co-organized by Shanghai Daily and the Shanghai Young Art Fair and supported by the Shanghai Technician Association’s coffee specialties committee.

One hundred works from young artists will decorate local cafes and make them “ideal cafes.” These works will form an offline “Cafe Gallery” and will be available for purchase. Part of the proceeds will be given to the cafes. Nine of the artworks are exhibited at the event.

The organizers hope residents will have better experiences when drinking coffee at local cafes, and believe this plan can create more diversified and flexible operation patterns and business modes for both the cafes and artists.

According to Wang Fang, director of the Shanghai Young Art Fair, the art fair has been committed to building platforms for young artists, and Shanghai Daily’s “iDEAL Cafe” project brings art closer to life.

“That’s consistent with the goal of the Shanghai International Artworks Trade Month, which is facilitating the public’s art consumption and improving the city’s culturalconnotations,” Wang said.

Zhou Fang, secretary-general of the technician association’s coffee specialties committee, said she believes that with the help of this plan, it will be easier for local cafes to attain decorations matching their own styles, which can improve their environment and increase their appeal to coffee lovers.

Moreover, a project called “Shanghai: Writers in Cafes,” jointly designed by Shanghai Daily and the Shanghai Writers’ Association, will soon be introduced to the public with documentaries and publications in which 30 authors from home and abroad will share their stories related to coffee. The authors include Sun Ganlu, Chen Danyan, Xiao Bai, Chen Qiufan, Zhang Yiwei and Millicent A A Graham.

Zhu Jiajian, head of Shanghai Daily, said Shanghai has more cafes than any city in the world. In Shanghai, a cafe can be not only a space for an ordinary person’s daily life, but also a place that provides a special perspective for people to see the city’s arts and humanities as well as historical stories. Cafes mix foreign and local cultures, and exhibit the inclusiveness and diversity of the city.

“We hope we can better illustrate Shanghai’s coffee culture, and witness the city’s innovation and vitality on its way to becoming an international consumption center,” Zhu said.

So far, more than 50 independent cafes in Shanghai have joined iDEAL Cafe.