Mathias Guillin is a French renowned professional photographer and history fan who has been working in Shanghai since 2005. His photographies are mostly about architectures, and landscapes but he also does some portraits and knows how to play with light !
Mathias is passionate about architecture and loves the modern Shanghai as much as the historical and old Shanghai: He loves spending time "pushing doors" and exploring the unknown and always has his camera or his drone with him!
Mathias likes to show people treasures of Shanghai through his creative vision and to surprise them the same way he was surprised when he discovered all these secrets and archives.
What made you want to become a walking tour expert and how was your first tour?
A friend of mine was organizing this kind of tours and knew me as knowledgeable person about Shanghai history. He asked me to support him as he was having a group of 60 persons for a walking tour. So my first tour was a group of 20 students in the former French Concession. Quite a challenge to keep such a group interested and focused!
What would be the magic recipe of a perfect walking tour ?
Good weather, curious and open minded guests, lucky encounters along the way, doors opening as we face them...
What can people expect on a expert tour of Shanghai?
Discover the backside of Shanghai.
What’s your favorite legend/story related to Shanghai?
Watch the movie "Empire of the Sun". The story of that young boy getting separated from his British parents as they try to escape the Japanese invasion and his life in Shanghai at war brings tears to my eyes at the end of the movie. His original house still exists at the outskirts of the Former French Concession
What do you love the most about China ? And the least?
Everything is possible / the reckless driving.
What was the most memorable thing that ever happened to you during a tour ?
There is a beautiful house that I sometimes visit in the old town, an old couple lives upstairs and renovated in the most modern way their apartment. They let my guests and I visit their place once. I returned to the place quite a few times and always get greeted warmly by the couple when I get to see them. A few months ago, the lady had prepared some rice cakes and insisted to give me some as I was passing by. Very touching !