Chinese Design Today

This week sees the opening of London’s first ever major selling show of Chinese design, which uncovers some wonderful eastern creativity.

Shao Fan, King Chair, 1995-2012.

Source: Courtesy of Themes and Variations

Shao Fan, King Chair, 1995-2012.

The show, entitled Chinese Design Today, will be exhibiting work from 11 contemporary Chinese designers, many of whom have never exhibited work outside of the Far East.

Jia Li, Memory Stool, 2012.

Source: Courtesy of Themes and Variations

Jia Li, Memory Stool, 2012.

Among the beautiful pieces that caught our eye are Zhang Zhoujie’s daringly futuristic coffee table, part of Triangulation Series collection, which uses triangles, mathematical logic and strategic engineering to form these minimalist pieces.

Zhang Zhoujie, Coffee Table SQN5-T, 2012.

Source: Courtesy of Themes and Variations

Zhang Zhoujie, Coffee Table SQN5-T, 2012.

Li Lihong takes a similarly bold approach, though executed in a wildly different way to Zhoujie. Lihong’s work uses contemporary Western capitalist iconography, and marries it with a distinctly Chinese aesthetic. The result? Things like this McDonalds ‘M’ sculpture, featuring waves drawn in a traditional Chinese style lapping at its big, shiny yellow feet.

Li Lihong, China - McDonalds, 2009
Li Lihong, China – McDonalds, 2009

A piece that would perhaps be more suited to the home than the gallery is this cute chair by Gu Yeli, a graphic design graduate form Donghua University-turned designer and multi-media artists.

Gu Yeli, Antique Chair Revisited, 2012.

Source: Courtesy of Themes and Variations

Gu Yeli, Antique Chair Revisited, 2012.

Representing ceramics is Fiona Wong Lai-Ching, who creates works that look to explore the links between contemporary and traditional Chinese culture. This has seen her fashion works such as medieval-inspired winged costumes, referencing the traditional Chinese burial suits sported by nobles of the Han dynasty after death.

Fiona Wong, Gold Orchid, 2008

Source: Courtesy of Themes and Variations

Fiona Wong, Gold Orchid, 2008

Chinese Design Today runs from 8 November- 8 December at Themes & Variations, 231 Westbourne Grove  Notting Hill, London W11

Robe by Chen Qing Qing
Robe by Chen Qing Qing

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