Expo 2010: Spain Pavilion Impresses With Creative Power
With more than 150-year tradition, the World's Fair has evolved into a magnificent gathering of world cultures and creativity. Deemed by some to be the Olympic Games of creative industry, the on-going Shanghai World Expo, which is the largest installment in history, provides the grandest stage for the 237 participating countries to showcase their creative, cultural and economic power.
One of the standouts is the rich-cultured Spain, with its national pavilion being proven to be one of the hottest in the Expo Park, having attracted over 5 million visitors. The hottie has put on a sensational showing of creativity and culture in Spain.
FLAMENCO OVER WICKER BASKET
As hot as she is, the pavilion, which looks like a flowing furbelow of a flamenco dancer, is one of the largest national pavilions at the Shanghai Expo and the world's first wicker-weaved structure.
A hand-weaved wicker building "dressed" in more than 8,000 wicker panels in brown, the Spain Pavilion may leave you an unforgettable impression once you catch sight of it. The simple yet memorable facade is resembling a flowing furbelow of a flamenco dancer, or a cloud in the sky, or, to be more "down to earth", a giant wicker basket.
Wicker weaving is a tradition in both Spain and China and the pavilion is like a bridge connecting the two nations.
"Spain has a very long history in making wicker-weaving products," said Benedetta Tagliabue, the chief designer of the Spain Pavilion. "We know that China has that kind of handicraft too. So we thought this was something we had in common."
The gifted Spanish female designer herself has a passion for Chinese cultures and the Expo becomes an opportunity for her to make attempts of blending the two cultures. She conveyed the Spanish heritage beautifully through the architectural language, a language that transcends both borders and races.
"Spain is a nation of vitality and passion," Tagliabue said. "So our design is to put those Spanish spirits into the structure, and the Spanish-style flow of motion must be reflected."
Among all the highlights of the Spain Pavilion, what impressed this journalist the most is the live flamenco dancing. This fiery display takes place on the same stage that hosts a six-minute film, which is a mixture of nature, passion, sports and arts, designed to explore the "origin" of Spanish culture. Surrounded by a three-dimensional huge screen, visitors may well feel the shaking of the floor when a horde of galloping horses runs by, blending the real with what looks real.
With the well-composed background music and real-life sound effects, the gorgeous scene created a stunning feel that this journalist had never experienced in any other pavilions, no matter it is the lavish Crown of the East or the luxurious Sensual City.
Here at the Shanghai Expo Park, creativity and culture matter.
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Zhenyu Li is a World Expo 2010 registered journalist.