Thursday, July 8, 2010

World Fairs and the Shanghai Expo 2010

Let's begin with a bit of history ... The names "World's Fair", "World Fair", "Universal Exposition", and "Expo" have all been used to refer to the various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom in 1851 under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations".

Photo (1) : Crystal Palace, London in 1851

It was supposedly the brainchild of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, and was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. As such, it influenced the development of several aspects of society including art and design education, international trade and relations, and even tourism. It became the precedent for the many international exhibitions, later called "World's Fairs", which were subsequently held to the present day.

The second World's Fair, held in 1855, was in Paris. The third went back to London in 1862. Subsequently it was Paris (1867), Vienna (1873), Philadelphia (1876), Paris (1878), Sydney (1879), Melbourne (1880), etc. In 1970, it was held in Osaka, Japan. I remember because I was there as a child with my parents. The last few Expos have been held in Hannover, Germany (2000), Aichi, Japan (2005) and Zaragosa, Spain (2008).

Last month I had the opportunity to spend a day at the Shanghai Expo 2010. We got there just as it opened at 10am. Most of the expo is on the Pudong side, with a smaller section on the Puxi side (Pudong and Puxi represent respectively the areas to the east and west of the Huangpu, the river that cuts through Shanghai).

Photo (2) : Map of Shanghai Expo 2010

Overall a very impressive showcase, with throngs of people visiting.  I reckon this could become the most visited Expo ever! Here's a selection of photos from our day at the Expo ...
Photo (3) : At the China pavilion (I didn't go in as the queue was about 4 hours long)

Photo (4) : I love the architectural designs !

Photo (5) : At the Malaysian pavilion. Negara ku .......

Photo (6) : Some shots with the Malaysian dancers performing outside

Photo (7) : This is the Singapore pavilion, supposedly shaped like a music box

Photo (8a) : This realistic looking tree roots lie within the Cambodia pavilion.

Photo (8b) : The Kingdom of Cambodia pavilion

Photo (9) : G'day mate, here's the Aussie pavilion

Photo (10) : With colleagues in the Estonia pavilion

Photo (11) : In front of the Latvia pavilion

Photo (12) : UK Pavilion

Photo (13) : With a colleague outside the Cisco pavilion

Well, there are obviously many, many more pavilions and sights that I won't be able to show ... so if you do have a chance, go visit it yourself. The Shanghai Expo 2010 is open until the end of September 2010.


Anonymous said...

Nice pictures of the Shanghai Expo. Good for a short family trip?

Anonymous said...