15 August ─ 1 November 2015
This exhibition produced in association with the Helsinki Festival presents a comprehensive selection of Chinese designers and artists. Both craftsmanship and old Chinese traditions are combined in contemporary Chinese design. Unconventional techniques and materials make everyday objects interesting – a chair is influenced by the art of folding paper and a bicycle frame can be made of bamboo. Chinese design astounds the viewer with its wide range and versatility, and its ingenious combinations of old and new.
Rapid economic development in China during the past decades has created an excellent foundation for contemporary Chinese design. Work in design proceeds from Chinese starting points, combining old and new and making use of sustainable materials.
According to a crude classification, Chinese design falls into two stages: the period of high-quality ceramic wares for the Imperial Court and the era of cheap Made in China products. The Artifact Beyond exhibition expands this one-sided image to display a wide range of contemporary Chinese design. The featured designers represent the self-confident “Generation Me”, the product of China’s one child policy, for whom everything is possible – also in design.
The Design Museum exhibition displays a carefully selected range of both familiar everyday objects and less-known items. Chinese furniture, light fittings, jewellery and new innovative products present present-day Chinese society to viewers. While referring in various ways to ancient traditions, the exhibits also tell of the dynamic China of today.
The exhibition is part of the Helsinki Festival’s Focus: China programme presenting a large array of Chinese contemporary culture and arts in Helsinki.
The exhibition is curated by the Center of International Cultural Exchange, School Design of the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China, College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University of China and Design Museum.
In co-operation with: Design Museum, Helsinki Festival, Aalto-University, College of Design and Innovation Tongji University, China Central Academy of Fine Art, Centre of International Cultural Exchange and Chinese Ministry of Culture.