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Design and concept of Taiwan pavilion for Shanghai Expo revealed

2009. 15 December

by Rachel Chan
( The design and concept of Taiwan's pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 was officially revealed Tuesday in Taipei, with high-ranking officials from the expo's organizing committee coming to promote the much-anticipated event.

The Taiwan pavilion, which is designed by renowned Taiwanese architect Lee Chu-yuan, features a theme revolving around nature and soul.

The outside structure of the pavilion resembles a "sky lantern" or "Kong Ming lantern, " which people fly during Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival to pray for happiness, safety and health. It is a steel structure covered with smart film, a new kind of smart glass technology that adjusts to light under electric pressure to switch between a transparent and a semi-opaque state.

Hanging down from the roof of the Taiwan Pavilion is a gigantic globe made of a panoramic light-emitting diode (LED) screen, which will display projections of Taiwan's natural and cultural images.

Lee said that while the 20th Century world expos empathized on technology civilization, the 21st Century expos should be focused on the spiritual and soulful aspects of human beings.

Wang Chih-kang, chairman of the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC) -- which is in charge of the Taiwan pavilion project -- said that Taiwan's participation in the 2010 World Expo is of special significance, as it will be the first time in 40 years that it was invited.

Taiwan had not participated in world expos over the past four decades because the country is not a member of the Paris-based Bureau of International Exhibitions. It was blocked from becoming a member of the Bureau due to opposition from China, which considers Taiwan a part of its territory and objects to Taiwan participating in groups whose members are normally countries. With improving relations between Beijing and Taipei, however, Taiwan received invitation from China on May 21 this year to take part in the event it is hosting.

Wang noted that the construction of the Taiwan pavilion is going according to schedule, with the exhibition hall's steel structure completed on Dec. 10. It took less than four months for workers to finish the pavilion's steel structure, since construction started in August, according to Wang, adding that the exhibition will be installed by the end of March and trial operations will start in April.

Zhong Yanqun, a deputy director of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai Executive Committee, was among a delegation of the Shanghai Expo organizing committee who attended the ceremony to officially reveal what the Taiwan pavilion will look like.

With 137 days to go before the Shanghai Expo opens, Zhong expressed great confidence in the event, saying that the construction and preparation work are going smoothly and that the event is expected to attract a record 70 million visitors.

"I sincerely invite people from Taiwan to visit the 2010 Shanghai Expo," Zhong said. "As the event’s emblem is trying to represent, the expo will not only serve as the platform for cultural exchanges, but also a special occasion for people from around the world to gather joyfully together."