Last time I came to Shanghai, my attention was triggered when, going back to the airport, I saw a funny red statue on the right side of the road. I wondered what it was, but as my Chinese is rather limited ;-) I could not ask to the taxi driver. Here is a picture of the statue I saw (the picture is from the web, this is not a picture of the actual statue I saw but another copy located somewhere else).
As you know, I am curious and I kept in mind a note to try to find out. Yesterday, when I arrived in Shanghai I spent some time trying to get some information about the latest stamp issues from China. And by this, unexpectedly, I found the meaning of the red statue!
On the 28th of April 2011, the Chinese postal administration has issued a set of two stamps commemorating the International Horticulture Expo 2011 that is held in Xi’an from the 28th of April until the 20th of October.
Xi’an, the capital city and political, economic, and cultural center of Shaanxi Province, and one of the sub-provincial cities of the People’s Republic of China, is situated at the center of the Kuan-chung Plain, south of the Weihe River and north of the Qinling Mountains. You can learn more about the Horticulture Expo on the official website.
Here are the stamps.
The left stamp pictures the emblem of the expo. The emblem of the expo is a pomegranate blossom. It embodies a series of "concentric-ring" petal shapes of increasing complexity. Each of the rings have a polygonal shape that corresponds to an important Chinese principle.
- The innermost polygonal shape of the pomegranate blossom is the triangle, which looks like the Chinese character meaning "people". And people – together with nature – are the two bearing pillars of the expo's central theme.
- The second ring is a four-sided polygonal shape – a quadrangle – that symbolizes the ancient city walls of Xi'an.
- The next polygonal one is a pentagon, symbolizing the five principles of “fengshui” that represent balance and harmony in all human endeavors.
- The final, or outer polygonal shape, is the hexagon – the characteristic shape of the snowflake – the snowflake being one of many forms that water takes, water in turn being the basis of all life on planet earth.
The second stamp pictures the mascot, which is the statue I saw! The mascot is a stylized human-like figure whose oversized head is a pomegranate that ends in a shock of "hair" – a flower, albeit, a flower that looks like a daisy.
A mystery has been solved ;-)