Our inaugural exhibition, 'From Made in China to Designed in China', maps the shift from the perception of China as the home of low-cost manufacturing to a growing awareness of its flourishing design culture. Our exhibition gives an insight on the innovative new forms emerging across current design in Architecture, Arts & Crafts, Furniture and Products and of course, it highlights the imaginative exploration of Materials central to this new design culture.
Over the last 12 months, the curators have explored, researched and sought out the many rich variants of new Chinese design culture from the new global cities of Beijing and Shanghai, to the economic powerhouses of Jiangsu, Sichuan and Zhejiang provinces. The exhibition presents a unique window on established designers, undiscovered new talents and the very latest in outstanding design work.
The new Chinese design is an innovative hybrid of traditions, cultures and material forms, a collision of old and new, of East and West, of the craft-based and the conceptual. As former Chinese Ambassador to the UK Fu Ying suggested, “Each Chinese designer is rooted in Chinese history and traditional culture, which has inspired but also confined the designer.” Every designer knows that limits provide creative openings, and the works on display in From Made in China to Designed in China show a generation of designers creating unprecedented forms and objects born from the creative friction between the traditional and the contemporary.
The work on display is emerging at the intersection of the old and the new, that is both rooted in Chinese culture and re-shaping it in bold new directions. The show highlights not just the changing forms of Chinese design, but how the material form of design is changing wider notions of China itself.