The Global Mall in Taiwan and the "Big Ball"

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We recently went to the new Global Mall and what we have come to call, “the big ball.”  This big ball, made in Taiwan, is a round display that was all the rage way back when it went on display in Shanghai where it caused quite a stir.  No one had seen anything like it.  Now, years later, this round display is in a purpose-built building that is part of the Global Mall complex.

The Taiwan Pavilion

The Global Mall is one of the most interesting, if not strangest malls I’ve ever visited.  There are odd spaces that have become stores, and it somehow all makes sense.  But there are hardly any customers, since it is so new.

The Taiwan Pavilion

This part of the mall is a 2-floor structure.

The Taiwan Pavilion

This is the start of the show.  For some reason, the designers want to give you the feeling of being in space.  So, visitors are supposed to step on these pads and look at themselves in the corresponding monitor across from them.  The monitor adds a space suit to the display, so it (supposedly) looks like you’re wearing a space suit.  With each one of us carrying 2 bags, neither Hui-chen or I felt like doing this.  So we just walked past the pads and into the next room.

The Taiwan Pavilion

More blue lights and LEDs.

The Taiwan Pavilion

There was a (Chinese language only) presentation of what we were about to do.  There was a graphic of the ball display (shown above) and a walkway where we would be going in a few minutes.  I found the access panel on the wall very distracting, and wished they had a regular screen instead of just showing this on the wall.  Anyway, shortly thereafter a graphic came on and said that photography was not permitted inside the display.

The Taiwan Pavilion

I took this photo inside the ball display!  The presentation was an animated short film that began in space and then went down to Taiwan, and featured many famous and beautiful places and animals in Taiwan.  Being on that bridge in the middle of the ball with moving pictures all around can be a bit unnerving but incredibly cool at the same time.

The Taiwan Pavilion

After the film we went down a floor and walked over a bridge to where the ball display is located.

The Taiwan Pavilion

This is what it looks like directly underneath the ball display.  As you can see, the density of the LEDs varies over the surface of the display (something I never realized when looking at it from across the street).

The lantern makes it’s way up the display….

The Taiwan Pavilion

Finally reaching the higher-density areas.

The Taiwan Pavilion

I noticed a band of lower density higher up the sphere.  But when you look at the display, it doesn’t seem any different from top to bottom.

The Taiwan Pavilion

Outside the glass was a shallow pool of water.

The Taiwan Pavilion

Now this side seems uniform.

The Taiwan Pavilion

One last look and it’s time to leave.

The Taiwan Pavilion

The Taiwan Pavilion

All photos by MJ Klein

 

MJ Klein
Former field engineer MJ Klein now lives in Taiwan, and writes articles that primarily feature photographs of travels of MJ and wife Hui-chen, plus daily goings on in the bustling island nation of Taiwan, and other places in Asia. Articles feature people, culture, food, situations and sometimes the trials and tribulations of traveling in places such as China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos and of course Taiwan.
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