Expo 2019 Beijing will be the next International Horticultural Expo to be organised, following Expo 2016 which recently closed in Antalya, Turkey. In an interview with the BIE, Peng Hongming, the Deputy Secretary General of the China Flower Association, discusses China’s history with Horticultural Expos, its pavilion at Expo 2016, and the aims and themes of Expo 2019 Beijing.
China’s Huayuan Garden was a major contribution to Expo 2016 Antalya; did it help attract international support for Expo 2019 Beijing, and what sparked the interest of visitors?
First, we took local conditions into account and used major ways in building classical Chinese gardens to shape an exquisite layout, delivering a profound artistic conception. When entering China’s Huayuan Garden, visitors caught sight of an artistic rockery. Then, the winding paths on both sides led them to some quieter places. Wandering in this garden, visitors could shape virtual scenes through the real ones and feel the magnificence of Chinese gardening art.
Moreover, native Chinese plants and Penjing, including peony, moso bamboo and yacca trees, were skilfully cultivated in this garden, as well as abundant cultural elements. This demonstrates the achievements of the modern Chinese flower industry and the pursuit of harmonious co-existence between human and nature.
As a demonstration of developed Chinese horticulture, China’s Huayuan Garden has enjoyed praise and affection from visitors worldwide. As a major contribution to Expo 2016 Antalya, it helped us attract more participants and visitors to Expo 2019 Beijing, which will fully demonstrate the connotation and unique features of Chinese horticulture.
Expo 2019 Beijing will be the second time China holds a Horticultural Exhibition. Are there any lessons to be learnt from Expo 1999 Kunming?
As the first A1 Category International Horticultural Exhibition to be organised in China, Expo 1999 Kunming is a good example that we can learn a lot from.
Based on the overall view of the Expo site, architectural style and planning, Expo 1999 Kunming has been honoured on the domestic and international levels for its cultural-fusion, harmonising traditional Chinese culture with international culture.
Expo 1999 Kunming made great achievements in terms of both investments and participation by following the mechanism of national supervision and coordination, provincial promotion and city-level implementation.
After Expo 1999 Kunming, the whole Expo site and the facilities were retained and were run for commercial operations. Meanwhile, the flower industry has enjoyed an extraordinary development by taking this historical opportunity for promotion and marketing.
What will be the main thing that visitors take away from Expo 2019 Beijing?
The theme of Beijing’s Expo is “Live Green, Live Better”, and it will have five sub-themes: Green Development, Horticulture in Life, Harmonising with Nature, Education and the Future, and Home of Hearts. While these sub-themes are independent from each other, they are also closely inter-connected.
As an international event where many countries of the world will participate, Expo 2019 Beijing will, through the development, communication and promotion of the theme “Live Green, Live Better”, demonstrate the common desire for a green lifestyle. The theme will raise people’s awareness of the horticulture industry, human life and health and draw people’s attention to the creativity and development of horticulture while facing the reality and endeavouring to build a better future. With the joint efforts of the Organiser and the Participants, Expo 2019 Beijing will make people aware that the harmonious co-existence and co-evolvement of human beings and nature will constitute the material foundation for a better life. This will lead to a change in attitudes towards life, encouraging people to adopt a green lifestyle, to explore the function of horticulture in health, to promote the quality of life and, more generally, to live better lives.
Through its promotional effects, Expo 2019 Beijing will enhance awareness of a green and healthy life, and encourage people to seek better lives. This process of awareness and practice will take full advantage of the platform of world horticulture. It will deepen people’s understanding of world horticulture, facilitating exploration at this new stage of world horticulture, reflecting on a new way to integrate horticulture into green life. It will create a brand-new model of green homes and of an ecological civilization by guiding people’s understanding of nature and paving the way to adapting to nature, by showing respect to life and adopting a healthy lifestyle, by cherishing nature and setting the heart free.