Hamburg Sinology

The dense and wealthy north German metropolis of Hamburg appears to be fairly bursting with people who are both interested and invested in China.  I was able to attend two events there yesterday.

1. “Lingang New City: Between Surrealism and Function,” an exhibition of work at, and by, the renowned Hamburg architecture firm gmp.   The firm was contracted to design a new city outside of Shanghai, and the construction of the project  is currently nearing completion.

This struck me not only as an aesthetically pleasing exhibit (and what else would one expect from a German firm?), but it reinforced for me the serious competition that exists in China for such firms and the almost limitless potential for opportunity with which such firms regard China.  This occured most strongly to me when standing in the firm’s vault of miniature wooden models of previous projects.  By and large, the projects undertaken for Europe involved grafting something new onto something old, such as the redesign of the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin originally conceived by Albert Speer.  However, Chinese projects took place on a practically blank canvas.  Here the imagination of the architect seems less burdened by existing structures or budgets.  This freedom in many cases has resulted in some monstrosities (the  variety of pseudo-European kitsch villas near the Shenyang airport being a good example) but also can result in potentially classic structures if the planners have the leeyway and the creativity.  And it appears that Hamburg architects in particular will continue their string of successful contracts for work in China.

2. A lecture by the dynamic Gerd Boesken entitled “China’s Green Great Leap Forward?”

Chinas Grüner Sprung nach Vorn? 

Das starke Wirtschaftswachstum in der Volksrepublik China ist nicht ohne Folgen für die Umwelt geblieben. Sind die hoch gesteckten Ziele der chinesischen Regierung im Umweltbereich erreichbar? Welche Chancen bieten sich Firmen für eine Zusammenarbeit im Umwelttechnik-Bereich? Der China-Experte Dr. Gerd Boesken wird am 15. Juli 2009, um 19.00 Uhr im Elbe-Zimmer der Handelskammer Hamburg auf diese und andere Fragen eingehen.

Die Vortragsveranstaltung ist eine Kooperationsveranstaltung des Juniorenkreises der Chinesisch-Deutschen Gesellschaft e.V., des Taiwan-Freundeskreises Bambusrunde e.V., des OAV und der Handelskammer Hamburg.
More thoughts on this lecture  and its multiple meanings in a subsequent post.


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