China Pavilion Architect Celebrates in his Underpants

He Jingtang, architect of the China pavilion at Expo 2010 (Shanghai World’s Fair), on how he celebrated the crowds that turned out to view his building on October 1:

“I especially chose underwear with the China Pavilion logo today to express my happiness.”

As quoted (quote of the Expo, if you ask me) in Shanghai Daily, 2 October 2010.

[UPDATED TWO HOURS LATER: I posted this item quickly, a few minutes before I had to board a flight. Now, after a couple of hours to contemplate Mr. He’s statement, something occurs to me: where can one buy underpants branded with the China pavilion logo? I’ve been at the Expo literally dozens of times, visited a very large percentage of the gift shops (including the one devoted to selling Expo flip-flops), and I’ve yet to see any sign of China pavilion underpants. Quite frankly, instinct tells me that whoever is in charge of licensing China pavilion goods would view branded underpants as lagging in the national dignity that the China pavilion is supposed to convey. So:

  1. Mr. He is not being truthful about his underpants, or;
  2. Mr He has access to a supply of China pavilion underpants (knock-offs???) otherwise unavailable to the public, or;
  3. There’s an Expo store selling China pavilion underpants and I want to know where it is.

Anyone who can help with the last point will be credited in this space, and gifted something of value.


  1. I can see the humor in this but isn’t there a tradition of wearing lucky underwear in China? Seriously, during Chinese new year I know people who wear red underwear to ward off evil spirits. Maybe the translation was bad.

  2. I’m struck by the photo. When did you take that? Looks like it was before the Expo opened.

  3. Clara – people who are born in the same Zodiac year as the one celebrated in the new year wear red underpants as part of the Chinese tradition for good luck.

    This year, the Year of the Tiger, when I celebrated 24 years of age, meant that I was bombarded with red underwear from my relatives. I don’t think it has much to do with good luck and the Expo.

  4. Moe Squito – Frankly, I’ve begun to doubt whether Clive Grout actually exists.

    Regular Readers: Clive Grout is the Canadian architect who designed the USA pavilion. Aside from a brief interview in which he acknowledged that he fully intended to build a bland building, he has not been heard from, nor photographed, since being over-paid for the commission.

  5. Adam, the thing you have to understand is when you become an architect of something as loved as the CHINA PAVILION at the EXPO… you can get certain things. An apartment in Xujiahui. Good service at an “Old famous restaurant” in downtown and RED China Pavilion Underwear. Isn’t China Amazing!

  6. lol…you don’t need to register a brand before making that kind special underpants.

    as someone mentioned above, wearing red underpants is a Chinese thing, although i’ve never done it my whole life.!

    I found it quite funny , although its an old post.

    way to go!

Comments are closed.