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