Monday, October 04, 2010

Shanghai Expo 2010 and something more

I can not believe that it is already two weeks ago the last time I wrote in this blog. So many things happen in these last two weeks: I went to Shanghai for a short business trip (three days only) an also to Stuttgart, also for professional reasons. And I had a huge amount of work to do… And no time to take care of my stamps and my blog. Too bad.
Today I would like to write about this short trip to Shanghai. Can you imagine that since its official opening, I have been to Shanghai already twice without any free time to visit the Expo. This is really a pity. I could just the Expo site from the taxi driving me from the airport to the hotel and back to the airport. On the other hand I have been told that there are so many people visiting the Expo that you have to queue four hours before visiting one pavilion.
Some of my colleagues in China who know that I’m interested by postage stamps and who also know that I could not visit the Expo had the very nice idea to offer me a presentation pack containing a set of stamp and souvenir sheet about the Expo. I would like to share it with you today.
First of all here is the cover of the presentation pack, which is more like a book in fact, of the size of an A4 sheet.

Four stamps issued on the 21st of January 2010 are included in the pack. It contains one instance of each single stamps and one block of four of each stamp. On each page there is also a small text giving information about the subject of the stamp.
The first stamp pictures the Expo Center that integrates among other functions the press center. Through extensive usage of new energy, technology abd materials, the Expo center can be considered as a green building.

The second one pictures the very nice and very popular China pavilion, one of the landmarks of the Expo. The main structure of the pavilion is called the crown of the East and is inspired by the concept of an oriental crown. Its roof is made of traditional “dougong” which are interlocking wooden brackets that were widely used between 770 and 476 BC (the Spring and Autumn Period). The pavilion represents the taste and spirit of Chines culture.

The third stamp pictures the also very nice Performance center where live performances can be seen.

Finally the fourth stamp pictures the Theme pavilion which is reusing the concept of paper folding for its design.

Inside the pack there is also one souvenir sheet containing one large stamp. The sheet pictures an aerial view of the Expo site.

As you can see these stamps do not picture actual pictures of the site but computer generated images.
This set is the third set of stamps issued about Shanghai 2010 and it commemorates the 100 day countdown of the opening of the Expo.
On the first of May 2010 another stamp has been issued to celebrate the opening of the Expo.

On all stamps can be seen the logo of the Expo.

This logo is inspired from the Chinese letter meaning “world” and represents three persons hands on hands like a family.

During my last stay in Shanghai, if I could not visit the expo, I nevertheless decided to try a new experience. I went to a Post office to send a letter to myself. With some difficulties (my Chinese is very limited ;-) ) I succeeded to explain to the postal clerk that I had a letter to be sent to France. I was expecting that he would show me stamps but instead he took my cover and asked me to pay. I left the post office a bit disappointed because I was sure I would get the letter with a printed label as it would happen in France now.
Finally, few days after I came back to France I was surprised to receive this letter.

Not only I got the cover with stamps, but with four stamps! Surprising that that guy took the time to stick four stamps on my cover, no ? It seems that he had some difficulties to make them all fit on the cover!
The stamps are belonging to a set of four stamps issued on the 15th of January 2008.
The set pictures woodblock New Year Pictures of Zhuxian Town. Zhuxian town is located in the Henan Province. The production of woodblock New Year painting began in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and reached its prime in the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Zhuxian Town's woodblock New Year painting is a representative of the folk art in the Central Plains and has had far-reaching influence on the New Year paintings of other regions. The names of the stamps are "Door God," "Sanniang Teaches Her Son," "Back from a Fruitful Trip" and "Legendary Heroines."

Something else to be noted, the stamps seem to be printed on a paper that contains some textile fibers! I could not really find information on this feature, so if one my readers has some more details on these stamps I would be happy to hear from him (or her).

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