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China Design Now

Portland Art Museum
Portland OR – Oct 10-Jan 17, 2010

Ma Ke, Wuyong collection

Ma Ke, Wuyong collection, Paris Fashion Week (2007), fashion designs [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 10-Jan 17] Shu Lei

Chen Shaohua

Chen Shaohua, poster for the 1992 exhibition, Graphic Design in China [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 10-Jan 17]

Guangming, Smart-City

Guangming, Smart-City (2007), model [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 10-Jan 17] CJ Lim/Studio 8 Architects Ltd

China's economic reform of the last two decades has opened the door for private enterprise, creativity and individuality. The result is a burgeoning design culture with a distinctive Chinese identity. Borrowing from tradition, reinventing global trends and adapting to the needs and pace of a changing culture, China Design Now focuses on work from three urban centres: Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing. The travelling exhibition was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

With its young population, Shenzhen has become a mecca for graphics and the visual culture of urban youth. A significant collection of graphic posters clearly shows Western influence on commercial product design, while in others, Chinese characters have been manipulated to create dual meanings. Young artists have brought their sensibilities to bear on the product design of toys, skateboards, Nike sneakers, T-shirts, and zines.

In Shanghai, the growing middle class has led to a rising interest in fashion and interior design. Lu Kun is one designer who has revived the cosmopolitan glamour of 1930s Shanghai with his modern haute couture designs.

As a result of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, an influx of innovative and visionary architecture and urban planning changed the cityscape. At the entrance to China Design Now, visitors are greeted with a 180-degree video panorama of the Beijing skyline. Models for existing buildings like the National Swimming Centre and China Central Television Headquarters (CCTV) are exhibited alongside plans and models for future sustainable developments such as “Smart City,” where organic farming will be done in vertically stacked hydroponic systems.


Allyn Cantor

Ji Ji, Hi Panda

Ji Ji, Hi Panda (2006), moulded acrylic [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Oct 10-Jan 17] Pole Design

 Sun, Dec 13, 2009