expo 2005 photo essays
- weekly report from the World Exposition in Aichi, Japan

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Week twenty-three (August 28, 2005)

A trip around the Global Commons (Part 2)

In a previous update, I started my small virtual tour of the so-called "Global Commons", the six areas of the Expo that house the foreign countries' pavilions. Here are the remaining four Global Commons.

After Global Common 2 (The Americas) we arrive at the first part of the European representation at the Expo. This is the Global Common where I work. Right in the center is the large structure of the German-French building which is constantly under siege by visitors aiming for the immensely popular German pavilion and restaurant. A few other European countries, mostly mediterranean, are also located here, with some odd candidates like Libya thrown in. Italy and Spain in their large pavilions are showing off with stylish presentations, while Bosnia or Bulgaria pale in comparison. Apart from that, the Common 3 is somewhat unatmospheric.

· Global Common 3 (Europe I)

Countries in Global Common 3: France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Libya, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Morocco, Jordan

French-German building

French-German Common House

· French and German pavilions and Common House

French-German building

French-German Common House

French-German Common House

LVMH exhibition space (France)

Immersive Theater (France)

Immersive Theater (France)

Experience Drop (Germany)

Experience Lab (Germany)

· Italian pavilion

Italian pavilion

Chocolate car (Italia)

Sicily display

Design display

· Spain pavilion

Hexagon facade (Spain)

Don Quixote literary space (Spain)

Harvest of Paradise (Spain)

Harvest of Paradise (Spain)

· Bulgaria pavilion

Bulgarian pavilion

Facade detail (Bulgaria)

· Tunisia pavilion

Tunisia pavilion

Traditional living space (Tunisia)

· Turkey pavilion

Turkey pavilion

Turkey pavilion

· Greece pavilion

Greece pavilion

Greece pavilion

· Morocco pavilion

Morocco pavilion

Bulgarian pavilion

· Other pavilions

Jordan pavilion

Croatia pavilion

Main hall (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Carpet floor (Libya)

The next Global Common is the largest of all but also the remotest location from the main North Gate. It is also feels the most uninteresting and uncomfortable place of the Expo. Oddly, it hosts many of Germany's direct neighbours (Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Holland). Russia is also to be found here, at the most distant corner of the Expo, close to the Expo Dome, which can be written off as another weak attempt at luring visitors to this hinterland. Nothing really exciting here, many pavilions' presentations are quite haphazard, such as Romania or Ireland. The Netherlands pavilion is also quite a disappointment after their great presentation at the Expo 2000.

· Global Common 4 - Europe II

Countries in Global Common 4: Caucasus Pavilion (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), Nordic Pavilion (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden), The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Romania, Austria, Ireland, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Poland

Expo dome

Global Common 4 event space

· Caucasus pavilion (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia)

Caucasus pavilion

Self-centered view of the world (Azerbaijan)

· Nordic pavilion (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden)

Nordic and Belgian pavilions

Nordic pavilion

· The Netherlands pavilion

Netherlands pavilion

Dutch floor movie

· Czech pavilion

Wooden pole facade (Czech Republic)

Water piano (Czech Republic)

· UK pavilion

England sign (United Kingdom)

Garden (United Kingdom)

Leaf shaped outer walls (United Kingdom)

Bionics display (United Kingdom)

· Russian pavilion

Tornado power plant (Russia)

Tacky billboard (Russia)

see also Week 26.

· Other pavilions

Portugal pavilion

Swiss pavilion

Romanian pavilion

Austrian pavilion

Ireland pavilion

Moebius loop (Lithuania)

Poland pavilion

Ukraine pavilion

I must admit that I have come to appreciate the African representations at the Expo only recently, even though they are located very close to where I work. Because the African countries are herded together in two big hangar-like buildings, the country presentations are very condensed and it's easy to overlook complete regions of Africa. However, that also means that every trip into the joint African pavilions is very rewarding since you can discover new details in every corner. Apart from that, Egypt and South Africa are also located here, next to the NEDO and Robot Station pavilions, which comes off rather awkward.

· Global Common 5 - Africa

Countries in Global Common 5: Egypt, South Africa, Africa Pavilion (Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe)

· African joint pavilion

African joint pavilion

African warehouse

Africa pavilion map

Superhero statue

· African sculpturing

Wooden statue craftsman (Africa)

Building contractor (Angola)

Wooden statues (Angola)

Statue (Mali)

· African shops

Souvenir stand (Africa)

More shops (Benin & Cote d'Ivoire)

· African pavilions

Senegal pavilion

Wall display (Sudan)

New Chad pavilion

Worshipping giraffes (Chad)

Gabon pavilion

Benin pavilion

Ethiopia and Dijibouti pavilions

Kenya pavilion

· South Africa pavilion

South Africa pavilion & event space

South Africa pavilion entrance

· Egypt pavilion

Egypt pavilion

Mummy exhibit (Egypt)

Finally we arrive at Global Common 6 and have almost traversed the whole Expo area. This Common hosts most of Southeast Asia and also Oceania (Australia and Newzealand). The most outstanding pavilions are Australia with a great bar and restaurant and a nice presentation and of course the great Singapore pavilion (my favorite). Also nice: Laos and Vietnam, and Thailand, which had to be completely overhauled a few weeks into the Expo after Thai visitors deemed the presentation not worthy of their country and complained (no joke).

· Global Common 6 - Asia II

Countries in Global Common 6: Thailand, Indonesia, Pacific Islands Pavilion (Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu), Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia

Global Common 6 overview

Global Common 6 entrance

· Thailand pavilion

New Thailand pavilion

Parade boat (Thailand)

· Indonesia pavilion

Indonesia pavilion

Dragon statue (Indonesia)

· Pacific Islands pavilion

Pacific Islands

Pacific Islands

Kiribati merchandise (Pacific Islands)

Bad-tempered masks (Pacific Islands)

· Vietnam & Brunei pavilions

Vietnam pavilion

Brunei pavilion

· Cambodia pavilion

Cambodia pavilion

Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

· Lao pavilion

Lao pavilion

Temple (Laos)

· Philippines pavilion

Philippines pavilion

Wooden Maze (Philippines)

· New Zealand & Malaysia pavilions

Newzealand pavilion

Malaysia pavilion

· Singapore pavilion

Singapore pavilion

Library (Singapore)

Herbs gallery (Singapore)

Mascot lion (Singapore)

· Australian pavilion

Australia pavilion

Platypus (Australia)

Nature wall (Australia)

Movie pillars (Australia)

· Next week: Day of Reckoning