Tuesday, July 06, 2010

ShangHai World Expo - Singapore & China Pavilion Part 2

After the Singapore Pavilion visit (read the blog post here!), we went to the China Pavilion. For the ShangHai World Expo, the visit to the China Pavilion is a must! After all, the host country will definitely put up a fantastic pavilion to showcase what it has to offer to the world.

The structure of the China Pavilion is an interesting one (see the the red colour structure with lots of horizontal beams). It is shaped as an inverted pyramid shape, or in Chinese it is known as '斗冠', that has its origins in ancient Chinese structures. It is the tallest building among the different pavilions.

Once the visitors are inside the China Pavilion, this Dragon Boat sculpture will be amongst the first items to wow the visitors. This exquisite dragon sculpture is craved from a single piece of redwood, and its valuation is in the range of millions of dollars. I understand that it took years for the master craftmen to complete the work. Heh I wonder if they will display this Dragon Boat near the river for the coming Dragon Boat Festival.

The exterior feel of the China Pavilion has ancient origins but the displays inside are nothing ancient, and in fact encompass a lot of technology applications to excite the visitors.

The featured video showcasing the development of China over the past few decades is impressive, and denotes the cultural / societal changes via the story of a Chinese family. The starting scene is that of a family having dinner, in a 1960s setting (i.e. traditional utensils and large group of family members having a dinner) but the later scenes include the wedding of the grand daughter who has grown up to be a beautiful woman clad in western style bridal dress. Changes are indeed rapid for China over the past 3 decades.

I'm also impressed by how they utilised technology to bring to life an ancient painting. There is this huge video wall where the ancient painting of a festival scene (QingMing) is animated to show characters moving around, in both daylight and night time. Yes I took video shots and these two below are the video walls for this "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival" or " 清明上河图". The entire 'painting' is 130 metres long and about 6 metres tall, which of course is an amplified version of the original painting.

They have other video walls (but not as impressive as the riverside scene), and here's the one depicting the concept that all the people are living harmoniously under the same roof.

Other then the videos, another interesting featue of the China Pavilion is the short rail ride within the pavilion! Via the ride, the visitors are shown how the Chinese build the bridges (both traditional and modern ones) and the different types of the bridges. The ride will pass underneath some of these bridges and also some colourful tunnels decorated with sculpted models of Chinese cities.

Overall the China Pavilion is definitely an impressive visit, and the ShangHai World Expo is also a memorable event for visitors to ShangHai. The only drawback is the waiting time and the various long queues. Any visitors should plan before going to the Expo to choose the pavilions they are interested in.

See related: - ShangHai World Expo - Singapore & China Pavilion Part 1

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