Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Part 1)

World’s Expo 2010. It would take a week to experience it in full, and at least that long to give it justice in words. Instead, I had several members of the group each share their experience at a pavilion of their choosing.

We started off in a group but it soon became apparent that a cluster of 10 was too large and indecisive to get in maximum sight-seeing. Paige, Krista, Chantell, and I headed for the UK pavilion, which resembled a large pin-cushion. Forty-minutes later we had mastered the art of line shuffling and were walking into the mouth of the urchin-like structure. What exactly a structure built with crystal tubes says about the United Kingdom’s culture is hard to say, but it makes for an awesome sight. The inside is lit entirely with natural light brought in from the tubes. Each tube contains a seed visible from the inside of the structure, thus the name of the Seed Palace. Attendants appeared to be explaining the structure, or possibly reciting the complete works of Shakespeare. Since they ere only speaking Chinese it’s anyone’s guess.  –Nate

Namesakes of the Seed Palace.

The Seed Palace from outside.

The Mongolian pavilion was especially interesting to me from both a cultural and a scientific standpoint.  Dominating the interior of the pavilion was an enormous spherical dinosaur egg (appropriately enough for the subject of our research).  The centerpiece of the display within the egg was a replica of the famous Mongolian “fighting dinosaurs,” two eighty-million-year old skeletons preserved in a struggle to the death.  Encircling the dueling dinosaurs were other fossils and fossil casts, including the original fossil bones of Mononkyus, a bizarre one-clawed, bird-like dinosaur.  Outside of the egg display were other displays relating to Mongolian history and culture.  I enjoyed looking at a yurt, a traditional Mongolian dwelling.  When I sat down in one of the two ornate golden chairs on display, a Chinese man walked over and snapped a picture, probably amused by the incongruous sight of a westerner seated in a chair fit for a Khan.  Other highlights showcasing the epic sweep of Mongolia’s grasslands and deserts were a video showing the future development of a new city in the Gobi, and a mural of scenes from Mongolian prehistory and history.  Overall, I thought that Mongolia’s pavilion did an excellent job of transporting the visitor to a country that preserves beauty and energy unchanged since the time of Ghengis Khan.  –Danny

Mongolia give us our fist glimpse of Asian dinosaur eggs.

 In my opinion Hungary was one of the most interesting exhibits.  The outside of the building was made of glass and had tubes filled with water and bubbles.  Through that you could see long square poles which were hanging from the ceiling and not anchored to the floor so you could push them and they would move. In the center of the display they had shorter square poles and they had different colors lighting the rim of the poles.  Those poles would move up and down at different paces.  The middle display was a large example of a new geometric shape.  This shape was inspired by a turtle which always can get right side up.  This shape will always find its center of gravity no matter how you set it to rest.  In other words it always ends right side up.  In one of the corners they had some replicas of the shape which we could play with and it was very interesting to put the shape in as many positions that you could think of, but it always went to the same position.  –Krista

Hungary shows off its Gömböc.

How does one describe La Pavillon France? To do it justice, I have to start by explaining the entry. When we walked up after slogging our way through a crowd moving at an absolutely glacial pace and a winding line easily three quarters of a mile long, we came upon a series of stainless steel plates all painted in black and white with the faces of children. It’s not enough to call them children, they displayed a range of emotion, but more than that, the paint was dripping gloppy and dripping in such a way that these children looked like nothing short of post-apocalypse zombie victims.

The horror of the entrance aside, the rest of the pavilion exuded a distinctly… well… French air. I must give them credit, though; the very first display inside the arch was a brand new, top-of-the-line, Citroen Metropolis hybrid sedan. It was hematite grey, sleek and mind-numbingly sexy. There was a trampoline they weren’t letting anyone use and a bush trimmed into the shape of sitting dog with glowing red eyes billowing thick mist like some creature from the abyss. A three story tall escalator led to the top of the pavilion, opening into a tall, wide, dimly lit corridor which spiraled its way back down to the ground. Along the way we passed an impressive display of glass spheres, ceiling suspended tubes painted inside with cartoonish depictions of life in Paris, a fully operational restaurant kitchen preparing authentic French cuisine, and a video display of France’s future plans for development (which are frighteningly “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”). An entire wall was devoted to French artwork from across multiple centuries taken from the Louvre and put on display (both paintings and sculptures) whilst yet another wall was devoted to a living advertisement for Louis Vuitton; the diamonds “were entrancing and the dancing was a la-men-ta-ble MESS!” And kudos to those of you who catch that reference. Ultimately, the pavilion left us with sort of a sense of… je ne sais quoi? Regardless, if all else of La Pavillon France is forgotten and if you take NOTHING else away from this rant, remember this… we will never forget the terror of The Zombie Children. – Jordan

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4 Responses to Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Part 1)

  1. Aunt Patti says:

    I love all the experiences you all have had so far and am so proud !!!
    Hi Jasmine…in CO. now doing sis’s graduation. Thinking of you..Have Fun !!

  2. Aunt Patti says:

    Can’t wait til the next post ! …..Is this a culture shock for most of you?

  3. Steve Bury says:

    Chantell, Sounds like your all having a great time:)

  4. Sharon Falkenstein says:

    This is an experience of a lifetime! Congratulations to all of you!
    Krista, can you post a picture of Gonzo? 🙂

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