10/15/08

No. 1 Village in the World, China

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Here's an interesting project in China's Jiangsu Province, the Huaxi Village, or "Number one village in the world." This has been a large undertaking by the government which has increased the population of 16 villages from 2,000 people to 30,000 people. The story is, the farmers got rich somehow and decided to show off by building replicas of international architecture icons (sorry, I don't buy that story). Various architects are turning this into a kind of world wonders museum.

This phenomenon in Asia of replicating international monuments seems like a sincere attempt at reaching out to other cultures that have fascinating iconography, but which they don't understand well. Do they consider, for example, the irony of having the statue of liberty perched into the air facing Tian'anmen Square? Definitely not.

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