China Creativity (China Soft Power )
Beijing Olympic Opening/Closing Ceremony comments   
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       This page's Chinese version was printed in <United Daily> , Taiwan 

China's creativity can be judged from Beijing Olympic Opening/Closing Ceremony, because China used nearly unlimited national resources (ps1) on the big show,  mainland Chinese contributed numerous ideas to perhaps the most significant night in modern China history.


However, the show is not creative.


The interesting part is WHAT Beijing speaks, not HOW it speaks.  


(Pic. right: comment article's printed in FecoNews Magazine in Europe, being distributed to world cartoonists organizations )

comment Olympics article wass printed in FecoNews Magazine, being distributed to world cartoonists organizations

  (1) Chinese Creativity -  How Beijing said ?

A fighter plane passed by the torch platform and  "fan out" (extinguished) Olympic flame in Sydney 2000 is a cartoon, a paper boat in 2004 Athens Olympic is a cartoon, a funny weight-lifting in London's propagandistic application film for holding 2012 Olympics is a cartoon idea, even shooting an arrow to ignite Olympic fire in Barcelona needs to apply cartooning sharp-wits.

In contrast,  Beijing's big show is bit boring, slow-forwarded,  the impressive sight and flawless precision of Beijing Olympic opening ceremony came from hard-working labor rehearse, and totalitarian (collectivism).    We saw discipline, perfect order, human beings like stage-properties (ps2),  but short of joyous atmosphere, clever thoughts and creative designs.

The night's maestro Zhang Yimou declared footprints in a large painting-scroll stepped by 204 nations' athletes is world greatest & very unique behavior-arts, however, about 20 years ago, Chicago Institute of Arts created a similar stepping US national-flag arts.   The Beijing team already admitted they were under huge pressures in creativity.

Quite some Hong Kong and Red Chinese media applauded Li Ling, a 6-time Olympic medalist, soared through midair, flied on eaves and air-walked on walls just like Chinese Kung-Fu in the movie “Crouching Tiger & Hiding Dragon”, to light the cauldron.      However, the audiences can clearly saw the legendary gymnast was hanged & protected by steel wires (just like some "Behind the Scene" TV programs), so as to become less involved in the drama.   Media so-called “breath-taking”, “fatal dangerous ”action, is not as real as any circus flying trapeze show.   Besides, the “world-wide torch relay” symbol has already been used in Athens Olympics.    Extinguishing the Olympic flame in closing ceremony has not excited most Chinese in HK and Taiwan.

Beijing's trying to say something, but not in witty, creative terms.

Beijing needs Olympics, Olympics need cartooning.


     if  anything  inside  tiny  little  details   ? ?

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, show performers, drum hitter

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, show performers, drum hitter

  Intimidating army warriors ?  or marionettes ?

Southern News (largest in China) remarks : "understand fou?, understand?" (ps: the drum "fou" is kind of a "question-mark" pun,  ps2: "drum" is opposite to "peace",  ps3: some question fou drum occurred in history )

    Western saying : wounded bears, more dangerous!?

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, movable type wave

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, movable type wave

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, movable type wave

 Movable Type wave, up and down  (the show seems to be last bit long)

   look like many twin-towers collapsing?

 China Macau magazine cover, city buildings view


★★  (2)  China's Strategy - What Beijing Said ?

A large article in <The China Times> of Taiwan concluded China is "docile" and "tame" to western world,  however, another  column-article in Taiwan's influential news, < the Liberty Times>, commented China's making up its new empire/imperial ambitions.

<Apple Daily>, most popular news in Taiwan, comments that the opening ceremony is full of "Terracotta Warriors in Qin Dynasty/Empire ",  Another article in <China Times> states  that those are safety/harmless "puppet".

Why dose it lead to contradictory views ?  

Moreover, other Taiwan's newspapers critics comments include "vanity", "inferiority complex", "flattering", "adulation", "slavishness", "falsification", "human-manipulator", "scare to loss their head for standing the ground " etc.  ( please click to read Chinese version article - comments on Olympic ceremony )

All these may be resulted from visual communication.    Some commitment (like "peace") can be precisely delivered by words, but image arts (even a flawless precision) convey elusive message -  can be decoded in various ways.

What's China really trying to say (if any)?  why did China communicate in this way?

According to Advertising theory(ps3), visual image is an excellent way to send a message when you probably would not want to spell it out explicitly -   the elusiveness may leads to a success because  :



1    It enables the images to suggest a message that could not be expressed more openly.

2    The ad's lack of a straightforward message may have added to its appeal by enticing viewers to try to decipher the various allusions that are contained in its images.    The audience would arrive at the implied message on its own, and that this message would make more impressions.

3.  The ad's elusiveness also generated extensive discussion by media commentators, thus creating even further interest in its interpretation.

4.   An advantage of visual ad. is imply something in pictures to avoid the consequences of saying it in words,  the verbal claims tend to be held too much stricter standards of accountability than whatever are implicit in the pictures.

5.  Through a drama,  viewers usually won't set up defense psychologically, so as to easily get involved and be persuaded by messages contained in the drama.

6.  To test world's response.

and so on.



Apple's 1984 commercial was a good example, although only aired once, everybody discussed and asked who's that monitoring people's tyrant.    Is Beijing's Olympics big show a good example too?   

Many analysis (or guess) have already been made, based on tiny little details.

Some Taiwan's media commented Chinese performers are Terracotta army warriors, some others think they are just marionette/puppets.
Some media comments movable Chinese Char. printing-type wave is adorable, some people may feel those blocks even look like New York twin-towers ... (also because that program was unusually long)
The big show included several Confucius' sayings,  however, Communist Chinese government seems not yet totally follow Confucianism assertion - "To criticize those emperors, first of all, despise them !", "followers first, leader last", etc.

Perhaps, most curious thing is :
Why are those traditional fou-drum hitters look so intimidating?  what are those red lines?  blood stain or bloodily cross ?

Has any one deciphered it  ? 

The show seemed tricky, not creative.


Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, puppet show

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, puppet show

 Marionette-show performers have red-line on their heads too

 Pull-the-strings show, not appeared in NBC (USA)

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, peace symbol

Beijing Olympics Opening ceremony, peace symbol

Beijing Olympic opening ceremony, Chinese movable type wave

live dove was seldom used since some 're burn in Korea Olympics

the artificial dove is changing...

 NBC interprets the Char. as "Harmony", not "peace"


Beijing's propagandistic application film for holding 2008 Olympics

Beijing's propagandistic application film for holding 2008 Olympics

Beijing's propagandistic application film for holding 2008 Olympics Beijing's propagandistic application film for holding 2008 Olympics

 (1) most important images in Beijing's propagandistic application film for holding 2008 Olympics
(2) different from the official emblem definition
(3) Taiwan media mentioned this film moves many western people, perhaps China loves to move them again by similar way.




北京奧運  開幕典禮

My another article commenting Beijing Olympics Creativity (Comparing Beijing with Athens, Barcelona and Sydney) was printed in <the United (Daily) News>, one of largest news in Taiwan. (aug., 2008)



        China Creativity (China Soft Power ),  Beijing Olympic Opening/Closing Ceremony comments   


Ps 1:  Beijing spent 10 times money than Athens .
 hail cheers shouts responded to “curtain fall” was added upon Western media's requests : more human-based, more “messy”! .  
photo frm TV - NBC...