The Shanghai World Expo was open to the public in May 2010. Among the exhibits representing various countries from all over the world, the China Pavilion is perhaps the most impressive in size as well as content. China, the host of Expo 2010, has made a monument to their citizens and the progress they made.
The first thing that strikes visitors is the sheer scope and scale of the pavilion. The main building, painted the same brilliant red of the Forbidden City, is three times as tall as any other structure at the exposition and houses over 15,000 square meters of exhibition space. Dubbed as “The Crown of the East,” it is constructed in the traditional Chinese Dougong architectural style which dates back more than 2,000 years.
The central feature of this design consists of a series of massive interlocking wooden brackets that are layered in an elaborate system of columns and crossbeams. The six layer roof is comprised of 56 mammoth brackets that represent the 56 ethnic minorities living in China. Requiring more than two years for completion, the unique pavilion forms the shape of a huge oriental crown that symbolizes traditional Chinese culture.
The core theme of the exhibit, Chinese Wisdom in Urban Development, encompasses a comprehensive blend of historic achievements and modern technological advancement. Through the use of everything from ancient artifacts to state-of-the-art video, the pavilion tells the story of the Chinese enthusiasm for building better cities and planning for the future.
Inside the China Pavilion, visitors are welcome to discover the rich and varied elements of Chinese urban culture. One of the most promoted features is an animated enlargement of Zhang Zeduan’s famous 700 year old painting, “Along the River During Qingming Festival”. The cheerful scene represents the quest for urban planning that encourages social gathering and cultural development.
The displays cover thousands of years of urban culture, bringing many of China’s most precious national treasures together in one place. Among the most anticipated of these are the Terracotta Warriors collection and the Qinling bronze chariots. Other famous artifacts include the drum of Marquis Yi of Zeng and the Ming Dynasty Qiu Ying manuscripts, along with numerous stone carvings and bronze sculptures.
For the tens of thousands of guests who visit the China Pavilion daily, the exhibit offers the opportunity to share the Chinese vision of future urban evolution. At the same time, visitors experience it all in a glorious setting that celebrates China’s magnificent past achievements and contributions to human society.