» Archive for 25 May 2008
I’ve left the land of kimchee for a world of almdudlers. I’ve arrived in Berlin, Pan Pan, Liu Zhizhi and myself. Our mission is to curate a show for Beijing on German design, young, fresh designers. We’re having as much fun as those almdudlers you see on that empty bottle.
Japanese grocery store, mass market shopping has at last made it to China’s capital. How sweet it is!
Obsessive-compulsive fans of home-living simplicity are raving: at long last Japanese minimalist design store MUJI is opening in Beijing. Logo-free is MUJI’s calling card, and you can find unobtrusive office, bathroom, home supplies, and clothing are finally at the fingertips of Beijing designers and art types seeking for unclutter work spaces. The (visually) understated excitement begins is located in new shopping mall Dayue Cheng located in Xidan, just across from the main gate of the Xidan Shopping plaza.
Inside the same mall, find UNIQLO, best described as the Japanese “Gap.” Their selection of rainbow-colored cotton separates are spectacular, as well as mass-market trendy dresses, polo shirts and khaki pants. Their jeans come in sizes up to waist 31, and can be hemmed for length. Uniqlo is also well known for their incredible selection of designer printed t-shirts, the selection here is heavy on manga-esque characters, although you won’t find anything pre-boxed with toys included.
3030 New Graphic Design in China is a panoramic view of China’s new generation of graphic designers packed in a little book. Representatives from around the nation are present, and make subtle claims on a “Chinese aesthetic” with new designs notions ranging from notions of character typography, “play” on characters, experimenting with traditional bindings, and the reincarnation of nostalgic papers, textures, and other motifs from the 80s (in the case of this young generation).On the whole, the group collected here shows an inclination for white space and blocky abstract forms; perhaps their manipulation of the English alphabet and words reveals a willingness to experiment with shapes and form that push the medium further than a native speaker might dare.Perhaps the books greatest selling point: the inspiration of seeing this highly productive group of designers experimenting with styles in a nation where the mere notion of graphic design and advertising are so new. Many art academies boast graphic design programs that are less than a decade old, and represented here is a group of the first graduates and the pioneers of the field on the mainland.With a rich vocabulary of historical-cultural references, the designers featured in 3030 New Graphic Design in China are at no loss to use the typical “Chinoiserie” that once distinguished works from mainland China. Happily, despite some tropism, many of these China born-bred-educated graphic designers are showing great promise for achieving distinctly unique, yet international styles. This book is a decent reflection of them, although by no means a reflection of what you will see streetside. With any hope, that will change in the coming years.For more images and an interview with the editor, visit PingMag