A few words about the condition of modern architecture in China. There are some beautiful buildings in the Middle Country – Commune by the Great Wall, Shanghai World Financial Center and National Grand Theater in Beijing are among my favorites. Many of world’s best known architects design in the PRC because it’s one of the few countries on Earth where money is no object. Even their wildest dreams might come to reality when a client is a wealthy Chinese businessman, not to mention the Communist Party of China. The election of Beijing as the host for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games forced the government to build some of the now-famous constructions such as the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, or the Beijing National Aquatics Center.
One can tell that Chinese strive to remember their heritage. Whether they know what’s there to remember is a different story, but they want to convince themselves and tourists (most of which are Chinese by they way) that they do. Material proofs of China’s glorious past are being painstakingly renovated and rejuvenated as you read my words. The thing is – I just can’t stop thinking that years of so-called communism broke the bond between modern people and their ancestors. Cultural Revolution may have left some of the historic monuments intact, but times when people were aware of their meaning and importance seem to be long gone.
Shanghai might leave you with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is a vibrant and colorful city with hundreds of stunning places to visit. It overwhelms at first, but once you get used to it, exploring it becomes a fascinating experience. On the other hand, Shanghai strives to keep its beautiful ancestry intact, but things there went too far to get back on the right track. It was left on its own with many problems like pollution, crime rate, overpopulation and traffic congestion. It was a fascinating and unforgettable experience to visit Shanghai and feel its vibe for a few days, but I imagine that living there might be tough.