The main issue is about: Where is the idea from? Is it representative of China after all? Many posters dig out the Japanese pavilion for EXPO '92, Sevilla, Spain, designed Tadao Ando. So, where are the both inspired from? Is His inspiration from Ando? Or is Ando's from Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.) in China?
What we are interested in that no matter the architect He or the debaters on abbs, swamped in opticality again.
Comment by Yan known as ID Bendangwuren on ABBS
The competition of the pavilion undoubtly results in a typical Chinese way. As a citizen, maybe we could just think this as clownery and have fun.
For me, the most important focus is not about which real project did Mr He Jingtang copy from. Actually, he might willing to think about what is the tradition of China to be represented as the Government asked for. He also want to escape from the symbolic way of representing Chinese culture. By merging contemporary material and way of constructiong, he did this. (Although the name is Crown of the East, the original idea is to build a morden appearance of Dou Gong (corbel bracket). Ironically, the abstraction of traditional wood structure of China leads to an Japanese sytle inevitably. Wow, maybe Mr He himself didnt aware of that. Isn't true that Japanese people copied Chinese stuffs long long time ago, then made them into more abstract and practical way, which is now widely known as JANPANESE STYLE? Like karate is a typical Japanese kongfu which is copied from Chinese kongfu by simplifing all the looking-good techniques.
Till now, could we say that when we Chinese want to explain our tradition in modern western way (since we are also in modernizing by the western techonology and culture), we suddenly find that our neighbor Japan has already done that in very mature and successful way, plus, this has been known widely as Japanese tradition for the world. Thus, could we still boost this as our tradition by only symbolize the traditional Chinese style? What is the real tradition we had before, and what is we still have now? The issue becomes is the image of old China is the tradition or is the way of represetation means the traditional thinking of China, can we go out of just showing the image of tradition in western way? Neither the way nor the result is known as Chinese tradition. In this sense, do we still have tradition or could we find our new tradition?
It's kind of funny that recently, Chinese government control the public media to show hostility to Japan just the opposite to what they said 20 years ago. The primary goal is to divert domestic social complainment to outside of the country. Thousands of brainwashed Chinese young people expectedly become anti-Japanese generation. It is sacastic that the Chinese pavilion is now in clearly Japanese style. Hard to say what kind of public condemnation could be.
After all, it is still a very bad design. However, from another point of view. The project could be an very good irony. It not only shows the metaphorical meaning of Chinese society (Crown could mean we are still under the imperial power of the biggest communist partry), but also emerge social participation of Chinese sytle critisism, it might be a good chance to make "better city better life" in era of postcommunism.