With 4590 sq. meters, the Chinese Pavilion will be the second biggest at Expo Milan 2015. Dedicated to the theme "Land of Hope, Food for life", the pavilion will stress the need of harmonious coexistence between man and nature. The Commissioner General of the pavilion, Mr. Wang Jinzhen tells us about Chinese agricultural civilization, visitor experience and cooperation objectives.
BIE: The theme for the Pavilion of China is "Land of hope, Food for life". Why has China chosen this theme and what messages will it convey?
Mr. Wang: China has chosen this theme to showcase efforts made in terms of efficient use of resources, food security and food quality. The main message we want to transmit is the importance of harmonious coexistence between Man and Nature. The Chinese culture gives great importance to this harmony, which coincides with the concept of sustainable development today. "Land of hope, Food for life" will allow us to present the richness of our agricultural civilization and look into the future. We want to insist on the importance of land as the source of grain, soil, freshwater and the ocean, and reveal its intimate relationship with food production, survival and the development of human beings.
How will this theme be translated inside the pavilion?
The pavilion will be divided in thematic areas that will allow the exploration of Chinese agricultural civilisation and philosophy: Heaven, Earth, Human and Harmony. These sections will allow us to present the significance of traditional elements such as the lunisolar calendar, explain the syncretism between man and heaven, present the diversity of Chinese land, insist on the hard work of the Chinese people, showcase modern agricultural techniques and uphold the crucial necessity of reaching a balance between man and nature.
Digital technologies, holographic projections, LED optical fiber, film and all kinds of multimedia tools will create an interactive experience for the visitors.
Could you tell us about the design of the pavilion?
Harmony between man and nature is at the heart of the design. On one side, the pavilion is inspired by a city skyline, symbol of Man, and on the other, the shape of the roof will remind visitors of a natural landscape. Mixing tradition and modernity, the pavilion will re-visit architectural trademarks such as the Chinese gable and hip roof to create a bamboo-covered roof that will bring natural lighting into the pavilion and reduce energy consumption. Around the pavilion, a 1000 sq. m. garden will symbolize the "Land of Hope" with crops, plants.
The design of the Pavilion is conducted jointly by the leading design team of China Tsinghua University and Beijing Qingshang Environmental & Architectural Design Institute Co. Ltd,
There has been communication on the hybrid rice that will be presented in the pavilion, could you tell us about it? What other projects will be showcased in the pavilion?
Over the last 30 years, great achievements have been made in the development of rural economy. For instance, food has undertaken a historical turn from long term shortage to overall balance and surplus in abundant years. China has successfully resolved the problem of eating, relying on its own strength and feeding 21% of the world population with 9% of land. The development of hybrid rice by academician Yuan Longping has been a major contributor to China's food demand, which is ever growing.
Many other elements will be showcased, such as food traceability from Shanghai, tea culture from Fujian Province, tofu from Anhui Province or dietary nutrition of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties from Henan Province.
China is currently organizing Expo Beijing 2019 and creating the World Expo Museum. How will you use Expo 2015 to promote these events?
Expo Milano 2015 provides a precious opportunity to communicate on the museum and on the Beijing Horticultural Exhibition. We will set up a promotional stand for Expo 2019 inside the pavilion and the Beijing Expo Bureau will send a working team to Expo Milano to study the organization of the event. The World Expo Museum will benefit from the Expo as it will be able to start curating exhibits from Milan 2015. Some rare and precious items will be reserved and donated to World Expo Museum. The Chinese pavilion will also help the museum during the Expo to organize seminars and forums around the concept of World Expos.
In addition to its national pavilion, China will also be present in the Expo through the Vanke pavilion and a corporate pavilion. Does China see the Expo as an opportunity to develop new economic ties with Italy and the rest of the world?
Of course, we see Expo as an opportunity to enhance economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation with Italy and other countries throughout the world. For the first time at Expo Milan, Chinese companies will be present through their own pavilion. The Vanke and China Corporate United pavilions are conceived as integral parts of the Chinese pavilion and we will encourage over 10 provinces and cities as well as companies to hold activities during the event in order to enhance international cooperation.
Agriculture represents about 10% of China's GDP, what do you expect from Expo Milano in terms of exchange of best practices and new cooperation projects in the agricultural sector?
By participating to the Expo, we will learn from the experience and best practices of other countries and we hope Expo Milano will play a significant role in strengthening international cooperation ties. Different governmental departments related to agriculture and food will organize rich and colourful events. They will also organize symposiums and activities to stimulate cooperation.