05 November 2011

About Batman and other Chinese characters

"Lonely Planed Mandarin Phrasebook". Image via amazon.com

If you think about China, what comes first to your mind? Which icons represent the Country in our western collective imagination? The "Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook" summarizes our idea of "Chineseness"with: a rickshaw, a bike, taijiquan, the Forbidden City and... Rem Koolhaas' CCTV headquarters. The CCTV building (blessed by fire in 2009) can be considered iconic architecture in one of its purest forms.

Skyscraper-bulimia. Shcreenshot from a R. Koolhaas' presentation.

Skyscraper-pastiche in the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum. Image by jesabele

In fact, China (not differently from Dubai) seems now very fond of iconic buildings, collecting patchwork- or collage-skylines. As one can easily imagine, the results are often both interesting and dreadful. In Shanghai some examples of this skyscraper-bulimia can be: "the Batman", "the Chinese pot", "the bottle-opener" and "the upside-down duck" (a sort of Venturian reinterpretation).

"The Batman". Image by Ol.v!er [H2vPk]

Shanghai Art Museum
"The Chinese pot". Image by iferneinez

Shanghai_2011 05 30_102
"The bottleopener". Image by HBarrison

The Urban Planning Museum
"The upside-down" duck. Image by Augapfel

The "venturian" big duck. Via wikipedia.org

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