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Design Miami

As we open the doors to our latest event, Deputy Curator Violet Wang offers insight on the Chinese design landscape

Today, Design Miami launches its first major event in Asia: Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai. Produced in collaboration with Made in House, the program—presented both IRL and online—features a curated selection of exceptional historical and contemporary design objects drawn from galleries and designers both within China and around the globe. In celebration of our debut, we sat down with Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai Deputy Curator Violet Wang for insight into the Chinese design landscape and local exhibitors on view over the next 10 days.

Deputy Curator Violet Wang. Photo © Shen Siyuan; courtesy of Violet Wang

“While the collectable design scene in China is relatively young,” Wang says, “the designers and galleries shining in this space are a force to be reckoned with. In particular, the contemporary design work being made today is quite strong, and in fact stands on the inheritance and rediscovery of the essence of traditional Chinese crafts, culture, and aesthetics. That connection endows these current works with illuminations of China’s thousands of years of history, not only materially but also spiritually. In some ways, the diverse collectable design scene you see in China now extends from the same origins as traditional crafts—looking for and honoring our roots, imagining the future, and reflecting on our present identity by telling stories of today’s fluid world in motion. I believe all these elements are visible in the pieces we’ve curated for this special exhibition.”

Metamorphosed by A.A.Murakami (of studio Studio Swine), 2020. Photo © Pearl Lam Galleries

Together with Curatorial Director Aric Chen, Wang has invited a large selection of exceptional Chinese exhibitors to participate. As she tells us, “We’re especially proud to include representatives of the Chinese design scene who are driving the discipline both locally and internationally. For example, PearlLam Galleries, which launched in the 1990s and now has locations in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, was the very first gallery dedicated to collectible design in China, and has always pushed boundaries. The gallery will present pieces by international conceptual designers and artists A. A. Murakami (aka Studio Swine), Ni Zhiqi, and Danful Yang, as well as work by Enrico Marone Cinzano.”

Cell 1 by A.A.Murakami (of Studio Swine), 2020. Photo © Pearl Lam Galleries

Meanwhile, Wang says, Art & Deco Gallery Shanghai’s presentation “will retrace the origins of modern design in China, by presenting Shanghai Art Deco furniture collected over the past twenty years by famed artist Ding Yi, who is also the founder of Art & Deco Gallery Shanghai. Audiences will be offered a window onto the historical context and urban memory of Shanghai Art Deco–which originated in the West at the beginning of the last century, yet grew unique cultural roots in Shanghai—and its role as ongoing inspiration for contemporary design.”

Shanghai Art Deco rosewood five-drawer cabinet with crane pattern and rosewood square table with inlaid gall wood, both 1930. Photos © Art & Deco Gallery Shanghai

Other highlights include the latest collection by the 2021 Loewe Craft Prize winner Lin Fanglu, presented by Art + Shanghai Gallery. “In her new serial work, Love Under the Hammer,” Wang explains, “Fanglu pushes herself even further, expanding on earlier work to create an exciting series that tells a story of female power.”

Light and Hammer No. 3 by Lin Fanglu. Photo © Art + Shanghai

Similarly, “Xiamen-based sculptor Jiang Sheng has pushed his popular work to new heights, and installed a three-meter-plus, site-specific Buddha intended to restore a sense of ritual and sanctity in people’s inner worlds.”  And “on the lawn space outside, famed artist Yang Zhenzhong redevelops his important, recent work, Exposure F, with a miniature landscape in bluestone. Inspired by the Japanese Dry Landscape Garden and set in the western-style environment outside the venue, the installation—presented by Rén Space—constitutes an interesting dialogue between Chinese and Western landscape aesthetics.”

Artist Yang Zhenzhong's site specific Exposure F, presented by Rén Spa. Image © Design Miami

Other local and regional presenters include Objective Gallery, Neri & Hu Design and Research Office, Li Naihan, and MadeInGallery (all Shanghai), as well as Gallery Sohe and André Fu Living from Hong Kong and Haozhenhan from Jingdezhen.

Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai is open now through November 14th at No. 1 Waitanyuan in Shanghai.This event is presented in collaboration with the generous support of our valued partners. Special thanks to Poliform, Feng J, Louis Vuitton, Louis XIII, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, ElectroX, Perrier-Jouë, and Tai Ping Carpets. ◆


Ongoing news about the show will be shared via Wechat/ Design_Miami. Discover and shop the exhibition in 3D starting November 6. Follow us! QR code here:

Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai