following a discussion recently with a friend on the subject of olympic games identities and the amount of reaction they tend to generate, i got to thinking about similar types of identities, such as mascots for the world expo which, somehow, seem to ‘escape the music’ more than their olympic counterparts, take haibao the shanghai expo’s one, for example:
Created from the Chinese character ” 人,” which means people, the mascot embodies the character of Chinese culture and echoes with the designing concept of the emblem of World Expo Shanghai. Using the Chinese character as the mascot of an international event is an innovation.
Hair: the hair of the mascot is like the wave of the sea, which represents its open character and stated the character of its birth place Shanghai.
Face: its cartoon expression shows its confidence and friendly character.
Eye: big, round eyes show his anticipation of the city.
Blue: the color shows its latitude and imagination, which represents the rising and potential China.
Body: its round body represents a well-off life, which is also lovely and cute.
Fist: he thumbs up to show the appreciation and warm welcome to the friends from all over the world.
Big feet: he stands steadily on the big feet and embraces the world with big arms, which shows China have the ability and faith to host a successful Expo.
The structure of Chinese character , in which two strokes support each other, manifests the concept that a good life should be created by all the people. The world should be supported by “people,” and people should have harmonious relationships with nature and society, so that the life in cities would be better.
The mascot will surly become the lucky symbol and cultural remark of Shanghai Expo.
say what?… that’s a lot of words to describe a rather simple and generic character, but one which still managed to cause some controversy after all…
the website above also point to some of the other recent examples like ‘fluvi’, ‘cicorro’ and the truly bizarre german expo’s one ‘twipsy’, i quote: …a multi-coloured creature: with a large mouth, a big nose, a plant for left arm, an human hand for right arm, a man’s foot and a woman’s foot… well quite
some quite famous people have even been tempted to devise these weird creatures in the past, which also doesn’t seem to have helped improve the general inclination to make generic or frankly odd little creatures
the point being that they are all to my mind absolutely dreadful, the majority are rather ham-fisted attempts at representing the country or spirit of the event with a cuddly character and if anything they remind the most of the fact that the world expo has become a commercial event and perhaps one that is way past it’s ‘sell by’ date…