China: Shanghai expo

Written by  //  October 31, 2010  //  Arts and culture, Canada, China, Cities  //  No comments

expo website
Canada at Expo 2010 Shanghai

 
China holds closing ceremony for Shanghai World Expo
(Xinhua) The closing ceremony of Shanghai World Expo 2010 is held at the Expo Cultural Center in the World Expo Park in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 31, 2010. The 184-day Shanghai World Expo concluded here Sunday. The even drew the participation of 246 countries and international organizations, and attracted more than 73 million visitors, a record high in the Expo history.
10 May
Malcolm Moore: Shanghai Expo: Where will the visitors come from?
(Daily Telegraph) The Shanghai Expo had a good weekend.
On Saturday, visitor numbers rose above 200,000 – more than double some of the paltry attendances of the opening week.
Perhaps in celebration, the live graph of visitor numbers on the Expo website suddenly returned. It had been taken off-line after the attendance fell below 90,000 last Wednesday.
However, it is becoming clear that 200,000 is going to be the upper limit of attendance, unless the Shanghai government starts ordering coachloads of students and pensioners to visit.
6 May
(The Economist) CHINESE officials said the opening of the World Expo in Shanghai on April 30th would be simple and frugal. It wasn’t. The display of fireworks, laser beams, fountains and dancers rivalled the extravagance of Beijing’s Olympic ceremonies in 2008. The government’s urge to show off Chinese dynamism proved irresistible. For many, the razzmatazz lit up the China model for all the world to admire. More
Shanghai World Expo throws open doors
Shanghai, May 1, 2010 (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of people flooded into Shanghai’s World Expo Saturday at the start of a six-month showcase of culture and technology seen as the latest sign of China’s growing economic might
3 May
Dispatch from China: Shanghai Expo … zzzz…
(Foreign Policy) Maybe Shanghai will get substantial bang for its buck, in terms of future business or international clout. But most of China is tuned out.
BBC Shanghai Expo’s opening fireworks
The Shanghai Expo has officially opened with a massive half-hour fireworks display on the city’s riverfront. (with video)
30 April
Shanghai Expo 2010: Tight security as city prepares for opening see photos
World leaders to attend launch of $50bn event which, say human rights groups, has also brought crackdown on dissent
(The Guardian) After eight years preparing, Shanghai is launching the biggest Expo so far with a lavish show of lights and fireworks.
Hu Jintao, China’s president, is hosting leaders including the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the European commission president, José Manuel Barroso, amid intense security in the eastern Chinese city. The South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, and North Korea’s top official, Kim Yong-nam, are also attending.
Almost 200 countries are participating in the multibillion-pound Expo, which opens its doors to the public today. An estimated 70 million people – mainly Chinese – are expected to visit in the next six months.
The Shanghai Expo 2010 features everything from palm trees from Saudi Arabia to Rodin sculptures from France – perhaps a bid by Paris to rival Denmark, which has brought its Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen harbour. Tourists will ride up to the roof of Switzerland’s pavilion on a chairlift, while the Netherlands’ “Happy Street” has miniature buildings set on what appears to be a helter-skelter.
26 April
Shanghai World Expo set to open
SHANGHAI (AP) — Visitors to Shanghai’s World Expo say organizers have plenty of kinks to iron out before the event — the biggest-ever World’s Fair — formally opens on May Day. “Three big suggestions for fixes: space, time and mindset,” the Shanghai Morning Post said Wednesday in the closest China’s state-controlled media came to criticizing the Expo’s first seven-hour trial run, involving 200,000 people. Visitors said they were disappointed with the food, the long lines and the limited number of pavilions open by the time they finally got through security checks and into the vast Expo park. “Before I went, I was mentally prepared that it would be very crowded, but it turns out I underestimated,” said Ding Yangshen, a 64-year-old retired engineer, who visited the park with his wife using trial-run tickets from his government-worker son. The Expo, which runs May 1-Oct. 31, showcases the latest in concepts for “Better City, Better Life” in pavilions from practically every country and many international organizations, cities and big corporations. Some 70 million people are expected to visit, and organizers have said they will limit the number entering the park on any single day to 600,000. (27 images)
Chinese pavilion rekindles debate over copycat reputation.
SHANGHAI – Call it coincidence or just another example of China’s “shanzhai culture,” but people are starting to notice that the signature Chinese pavilion at Expo 2010 bears more than a passing resemblance to the Canadian pavilion at Montreal’s Expo ’67.
24 April
Canada’s Expo pavilion nearly overshadowed by Dashan
(CanWest) … As the crowds wait to get into the Canadian pavilion, Cirque artistes will be buzzing around and through the lines, playing out one of the four new skits the Montreal circus troupe devised specially for Expo.
After just a few days of trial runs, it is emerging that queues are going to be a major problem. Even when the daily numbers have been strictly controlled, people are waiting in line for about 45 minutes to get into the fairgrounds and up to an hour to enter some of the pavilions. They are already grumbling about it, too. Cirque’s idea to amuse the crowds while they wait [Hardly the Cirque’s idea – this was pioneered at expo 67 and inspired by Disney Land] may just put Canada’s pavilion high on everyone’s must-see list.
23 April
Send in the clowns: Canada at Shanghai’s world’s fair

By Alan Hustak
Too little thought has been given to Canada’s national pavilion at the World Exposition in Shanghai, opening May 1.
Whatever one may think about the previous Canadian government’s decision to take part in the Shanghai World’s Fair which just opened as yet another showcase for the totalitarian Communist regime, once a sovereign nation has signed onto to an agreement it is customary that it is an obligation on future administrations of whatever party. It is not like the Olympics. This is a state commitment to put Canada’s best foot forward.
Shanghai is, after all, on the other side of the world. The tangible effects of participating in a world’s fair are difficult to gauge, and there aren’t that many votes to be gained at home by putting Canada’s best foot forward in Shanghai. So the government has fused entertainment with culture and has given over the whole thing to the Cirque de Soleil.
The Cirque is highly regarded for its slick international salesmanship, but a world’s fair is, as The Globe and Mail’s architecture critic Lisa Rochon reminded us, supposed to be “an Olympics of architecture and art.” At World Expositions, the national pavilion itself is supposed to be an exhibit – the most obvious examples being Mies Van De Rohe’s German Pavilion at Barcelona in 1929 and Buckminster Fuller’s U.S. Pavilion at Montreal in 1967, both of which are still standing.
Canada has produced crowd-pleasing architecture at previous Expos; ingenuity that was not only dazzling but emotionally engaging. Think of Vancouver architect Bing Thom’s seductive pavilion at Seville in 1992, with its zinc façade and cool turquoise courtyard of shimmering mirrors and light. It was so highly thought of by the Spaniards that it is the only international pavilion from that fair still standing in Seville. Thom, in fact, is so highly regarded that he was selected by the Chinese to represent Canada and to design the master plan for the Shanghai fair.
But Heritage Canada hired the Cirque du Soleil to manage things instead – not to perform, mind you, but to execute the program and design the pavilion.
2 April
Defending the USA Pavilion
And no, the Shanghai World Expo is not just a trade show.
Contrary to what reporter Adam Minter wrote recently in his article, “A Sorry Spectacle: The Uninspiring Saga of the United States’ World Expo Pavilion in Shanghai,” the design and execution of the USA Pavilion has been not only impressive but inspiring.
8 March
A Sorry Spectacle
The uninspiring saga of the United States’ World Expo pavilion in Shanghai.
On May 1, Expo 2010, the largest and most expensive world’s fair in history, will open on 2.5 square miles of prime Shanghai riverbank for a six-month run that its hosts hope will help bolster the city’s global reputation. Although largely overlooked by the American public, Expo 2010 has not been overlooked by the U.S. secretary of state’s office: For more than a year, Hillary Clinton has spent considerable time and effort raising private money to pay for the construction of a U.S. pavilion to showcase American technology, culture, and achievement to the event’s expected 90 million international attendees. Unfortunately, this particular effort at public diplomacy has faltered repeatedly; the behind-the-scenes saga may best be remembered for allegations of nepotism, frictions with the Chinese government and Expo organizers, and a mediocre, uninspiring pavilion design.

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