China is huge. China is becoming topical. Yet China remains mystery to most people in the West. 'Made in China' has become a familiar tag, but the spectacular creative energy in modern China is barely known. During the last twenty years, the Chinese have rediscovered their pre-socialist past and begun to combine their own traditions with global influences to produce a cultural rebirth. At the heart of this lies a new culture of design.
This exhibition will take you on a journey along China's coastal cities to experience the country's creative landscape. The journey starts in the far south, where graphic designers in Shenzhen began to explore new directions in the early 1990s. Next we move up to Shanghai. Here consumerism and urban culture have combined to produce astonishing fashion and lifestyles. Finally, we travel to Beijing, where monumental architecture for the Olympic Games is transforming the skyline of this ancient capital.
China Design Now explores China's dreams and hopes over the last two decades, from individual designers to the nation as a whole. It is our hope that this exhibition will bring contemporary China closer to you.