Friday, 16 May 2008

China Design Now

This exhibition at the V&A has been designed to explain more about Chinese culture and life in the run up to the Olympics. It is based on three different cities in China and aims to describe their cultural landscape. The exhibition opens with a display of graphic design from Shenzhen. One of my favourite pieces was a book made of acetate sheets each one of which has part of a Chinese character on it – is it not until the pages all lie on top of each other that the text can be read.

Fashion designers from Shanghai showed some interesting designs, unfortunately shown on black mannequins which did not show the black dresses to advantage. There were some lovely chiffon scarves and dresses.

The last part of the exhibition focussed on the new architecture of Beijing and include a very effective video aerial tour of the city. The architecture is stunning and much of it very lacelike but not all of it is Chinese – many of the projects are being designed and built by international construction groups. The exhibition was very good and gave a good idea of life in modern China.

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