1984 Bookstore & Café

1984 is a well-hidden bookstore and café in Shanghai’s Former French Concession known for its book selection and tranquil environment. It’s a quiet nook where one can work during the day, surrounded by independent publications and interesting books rarely seen in China. In the evenings it also plays host to a number of photo exhibits, cultural talks and lectures.


1984是一家以精选书籍和清幽环境为人所知的位于上海法租界的秘密书店及咖啡馆。它在白天是个适合工作的安静小角落,周围被独立出版物和中国罕有的书籍环抱。晚上这里会举办一些小型摄影展、艺术和设计讲座、以及哲学讨论会。

Yin Guo, one of the two co-founders, worked in advertising like many others in China’s post-80s generation. He then co-founded 1984 as a space to work, have casual meetings, relax with a few friends, and enjoy afternoons in the company of an eclectic and beautiful collection of books and objects from around the world.


殷果,创始人之一,他与这一代的中国八零后一样曾就职于广告行业。他和另一位创始人一起将1984打造成为一个兼备多功能且拥有来自世界各地的精美藏书和物品的空间,可用于办公、开会、和朋友放松以及享受午后时光。

Antique furniture, potted plants, cats, and old records occupy the two rooms and an outdoor area. Visitors to the bookstore include a mix of locals and expats, both young and old. When you enter the space, no one will greet you and sometimes it’s unclear who is an employee. Not everything in the bookstore is for sale or has a price tag. Yin says that they “wanted to create a space where people didn’t have to feel like a consumer. Sometimes old locals from around the neighbourhood will come in our bookstore just to reminisce what it was like to grow up in an old Shanghai house. It’s more about the experience, not shopping.”


空间始于2010年,其所在的两个房间以及延伸出去的室外区域里,你能看到猫、复古家具、植物以及老唱片,中外客人都有,无论老少。当你进门时,不会有店员跟你打招呼,有时你甚至会搞不清楚谁是店员。并非每样东西都是售卖品或拥有标价。殷果说“我们希望打造一个人们在这里不会感觉自己是顾客的空间。有时一些住在周围的老街坊会进来转转,回忆一下当年他们在这幢历史建筑里长大时的情景。只为感受一下过去,而非消费。”

It hasn’t been easy for the café to have its Orwellian name in the five years of its existence in China. Is it named after the year – or the novel? Or is there another meaning? Yin Guo tells us, “It doesn’t matter to us, as we’re not taking a political stand.” But regardless of where the name 1984 came from, Yin says, “It is a bit like writing a novel. Once you put it out into the world, it’s no longer only yours. It’s for the public’s interpretation too.”  The uniquely named café attracts counter-culture types, as much as it does selfie-taking schoolgirls.


在中国的五年里我们一直被与奥威尔联系起来并不容易,殷果说“它是代表年代?还是代表那本书?抑或是出于其它原因而得名?其实对我们来说并不重要。并不像别人以为的那样,跟那本政治小说1984有什么关系。” 然而关于店名1984的诞生,他说“就像是写一部小说,一旦你将其推行于世,它不仅仅是你的了,它也是公众的。”它吸引着反主流文化群体比如爱好自拍的在校女生。

Yin Guo and his partner want to start a second branch of 1984 and expand the concept as a library, public space, and forum for events. There will be a smaller and more curated selection of books. The focus will be more on independent publishers and small press. The cafe will also carry limited selections of hand-crafted items and stationery from friends.


他与合伙人都希望开设1984的第二家店并将其概念延展至图书馆、公共空间以及活动聚会。届时将会减少文学类而更倾向于策划方面的书籍。侧重点将会是独立出版物和小众刊物。咖啡馆的部分将延续限量版手冲系列以及来自朋友们的文具品类。

“I could have gone down the usual route: work at an agency, become a creative director, eat at a new place for lunch, drink at a new place after work. That was the original path that I was on,” Yin admits. But instead he quit in 2007 to start his own studio. Many unstable years followed, but together with his friends he was able to create 1984 while still doing commercial work to pay the bills. “It’s a labor of love. We’re not in this for money.”


“我本可以继续承受那些程规,”殷说,“在公司里工作,成为一名创意总监,在新的地方吃午餐,下班后找个新的地方喝酒……就是那样的轨迹。”相反的,他还是在2007年辞职并开设了自己的工作室。经历了几年不稳定的状态,在保持着商业项目以补给开支的情况下,他与朋友合作创立了1984,“我们所花费的精力都是出于爱,而非为钱。”

Address:
11 Hunan Road (near Wukang Road)
Xuhui District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China

Phone: 3428 0911
Hours: Daily 11am~10pm

 


地址:
中国 上海市徐汇区
湖南路11号(近武康路)

电话
: 3428 0911
营业时间: 每日早上11点至晚上10点

Contributor & Photographer: Jia Li


供稿人与摄影师: Jia Li