The new Chinese Cinema is raw, young and proud of its low-budget character since the digital revolution. Welcome to Destination Shanghai is an excellent example of this. In colourful tableaux and with a controlled post-MTV style, Andrew Cheng investigates and reveals the subcultures of Shanghai, now the richest and most lively city on the Chinese mainland. The result is far removed from the image of China and of Chinese film, from Zhang Yimou to Jia Zhang-ke, we know today. Cheng is part of a generation that cheerfully produces its own films, entirely outside the official film institutions.Based on several loosely linked characters, Cheng provides an alternative series of sketches of the sexual subcultures that are blossoming on the fringe of the world of the nouveau riches. The first character is a male prostitute; then follows an actress playing up to the camera, odd couples, the melancholy son of the actress and his sick puppy. The Chinese big-city jungle now looks pretty much like ours. Fragments from several lives are presented in an unusual, often theatrical and yet realistic way. With simple means, Cheng manages to evoke a convincing melancholy and a sense of alienation.