Haibao

One more year and World Expo 2010 Shanghai will open it’s doors to the public. ‘Better city, better life’ is the official claim and almost 200 countries are expected to make their contributions (Germany sends Hamburg, partner city of Shanghai and Bremen. US is not confirmed yet.).
Such a major event needs not only a visual and a claim but also – a mascot!
And mascot for Expo 2010 is… : Haibao! a blue grinning creature with some retarded Elvis-bad-hair-a-do.

Design Desaster? Funny Fake? Cute Creature?

Design Desaster? Funny Fake? Cute Creature?


Haibao

The picture shows Haibao at the offical Expo store (Nanying Xi Lu) in it’s spring attire. If you think Haibao looks like a Father Christmas going berserk you are wrong: this is Haibao in traditional China costume with fire crackers (fire works is what Chinese REALLY love!).

So why is it that a bunch of old guys chose this childish, somewhat-80ties, trivial and not at all future-headed creature for such a remarkable event? I don’t no either. But note that lots of Chinese love puppets with hudge Betty-Boop-innocent-eyes and big-headed-Hello-Kitties or baby-ape-Monchichis. And Haibao has it all. And hey, like it or not – city streets are massively cluttered with Haibao… you better get used to it….

Others point out the stunning resemblance to Gumby, an American Kid-TV character of the 50ties. Blue big-eyed Izzy Olympic mascot might also been an inspiration… Or is it just a funny blue dancing condom? May be a dollop of spit?

Wu Yongjian, a professor at the College of Digital Arts with Shanghai University, is the creator of Haibao, which literally means the treasure of the sea (hai). According to Shanghai Daily, the professor wanted something new… “A large number of mascot designs to express Chinese culture were inspired by images of pandas, monkeys and dragons, etc,” says Wu. “What I did was try to find another way to interpret China, a more abstract way.” It says he draw the Chinese character 大 dà (big) on a napkin in his favorite café… and basically put some eyes on it… Later, the story was changed and the character 人 ren (person or people) is mentioned from than on.

Haibao at a street corner

Links
World Expo 2010 Shanghai
World Expo year-long countdown starts today!
Gumby
Olympic Mascots Atlanta 1996 Izzy
Haibao idea born in a cafe

Haibao everywhere

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. […] Haibao […]

    Like

  2. Actually, as a Chinese, I feel so sad that they choose so supid a symbol for the even. it’s too rough and lack of design. you know nowdays there’re too many excellent local designers in China, so the reason of choosing haibao maybe some black case work. accually most of the people around me think haibao is unsuccessful creation, even absurd.

    Like

  3. Thanks for your comment! I agree… And be assured I will also write about some good designers and excellent art work in China…
    Stay tuned 😉

    Like


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s