ACROSS CHINESE CITIES – CHINA HOUSE VISION
Official Collateral Event of the 2016 International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia
VISUAL DESIGN & Printed Matter: by Sans Practice
Editorial direction and all texts by Beatrice Leanza, curator Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision
For Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision we realized a set branded items and printed matter to accompany this unprecedented show.
With direction of overall visual design by Shenzhen based SANS Practice, the items include tote bag, key-shaped usb, a foldout map with content and texts about the exhibition, flyers and mini cards. SANS (三思) was founded in 2010 by Yijing Xu and Neill Mclean Gaddes, a pair of thinkers and practitioners engaged in strategic design from Shenzhen. The practice values execution as much as presentation and consultation; integrating ideation, planning, design, implementation and evaluation into a cyclic process for clients ranging from SOE’ s involved in property and cultural development, to media organizations, curators and architects.
The same visuals where applied all throughout the exhibition.
SEE ALSO ::
Ca’ Tron, Santa Croce 1957 – 30135 Venezia
May 26 – September 23, 2016
Open daily 8:30 – 19:45 // June: open every day // July- September: Closed Saturday and Sunday // Closed: August 1 – 22, 2016
For the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale, we are presenting the second installment of Across Chinese Cities, an international program ‘promoted by Beijing Design Week (BJDW) since its launch at the 2014 International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia with Across Chinese Cities – Beijing.
The 2016 exhibition Across Chinese Cities – China House Vision, an official collateral event, curated by Beatrice Leanza (BJDW) and Michele Brunello (DONTSTOP Architettura), stems from the House Vision project, a Pan-Asian platform of multidisciplinary research and development started by designer Kenya Hara and Sadao Tsuchiya for Japan in 2013. House Vision is an exploration in ‘applied futurity’ in the realm of domestic habitation exercised by match-made teams of architecture practices and industry-leading companies from various sectors for the actualization of visionary conceptions of ‘home’ responding to extant urban challenges, lifestyle transformations and human needs.
Across Chinese Cities – House Vision features for the first time the body of research so far produced with a team of China-based architects and experts from various innovation-driven industries. It addresses the wider cultural and historic implications affecting the role and habitat of architecture practice in today China as increasingly impacted by environmental factors, shape-shifting demographics and generational segmentation.
The show renders manifest the contextual phenomena – economic, urban, social – that inform the research trajectories, motives and conditions behind 12 architectural proposals by reflecting on the implications of rethinking ‘habitation’ beyond the strict confines of the ‘private’.
Participating architects (in alphabetical order): Approach Architecture Studio, Atelier Deshaus, Atelier FCJZ, Atelier Fronti, AZL Architects, Beijing Centre for the Arts (In collaboration with Kengo Kuma, Winy Maas and Au Yeung Ying Chai), B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio, Crossboundaries Architects, MAD Architects, NEXT Architects, Trace Architecture Office, URBANUS, ZAO/standardarchitecture.
Promoter: Beijing Design Week
Organizer: China RedStar Design Award, CHINA HOUSE VISION Committee
Curators: Beatrice Leanza, Creative Director Beijing Design Week & Michele Brunello, architect DONTSTOP Architettura
Across Chinese Cities 2016 Guest City – Chengdu // Guest City Curator: Weng Ling
Exhibition Design: DONTSTOP Architettura (Michele Brunello & Marco Brega) & Omri Ravesz Studio (Team: Giorgio Donà, Caterina Fumagalli)
Visual and Graphic Design: SANS Practice
Exhibition Sponsors: Lenovo Group, SunShine 100, I-Space, CITIC BookStores
Institutional Support: Unesco ICCSD, Sino-Eu Innovation Center, Beijing Centre for the Arts
Technical Provider (Furniture): QM Furniture
More info soon here and at the ‘under construction’ www.acrosschinesecities.org as of mid May!
See you in Venice soon.
SEE ALSO ::
”IDEAS in ACTION” in SHANGHAI ART&DESIGN 2016 ¬ TRANS-DESIGN
January 10 – March 15, 2016
West Bund Art Centre, Shanghai
Curator: Beatrice Leanza
Exhibition Design: reMIX Studio
Participants: 2×4 / Alexander Åhnebrink / Alvaro Catalan de Ozon / Anaide Gregory Studio / Atlas Studio / 白塔寺再生计划Baitasi Remade Project / 中央美术学院 -工业设计系Central Academy of Fine Arts – Industrial Design Department / 曹璞Cao Pu / 大木设计事务所DAMU Design / Studio Eva de Laat / From余杭融设计图书馆 & Pinwu 设计工作室From Yuhang – Rong Design Library & Pinwu /郝振瀚Hao Zhenhan / 黄明健Huang Mingjian / Instant Hutong-Studio Ramoprimo / LAVA Design Agency / 樂建筑 Le Architecture / LCD – Laboratory for Creative Design) / OPENDOT / 众建筑People’s Architecture Office / 临界工作室reMIX Studio / Studio S.W.I.N.E. & Andrew Friend / 清华大学 – 工业设计系Tsinghua University – Industrial Design Department / YEAH! Archkids
IDEAS in ACTION is one of four core thematic exhibitions constitutive of the 2016 Shanghai Art&Design biennale, hosted in the 8000 sqm space of the West Bund Art Centre (a reclaimed hangar once used as an airplane repair shop).
Ideas in Action brings together multidisciplinary projects linking conceptual and practical strategies of design enactment that mobilize extant relations of production, inheritance and place into new conformations. The exhibition aims at offering a critical look at forms of integrated thinking found, inspired by or echoing across contemporary scenarios of change in China that span from object-to-city making by way of rerouting connections across the social, cultural and spatial givens of uneven or unattended frameworks of development. While their specificity of investigation is expansive in covering from urban and rural renewal to augmented methodologies of making, engaging craft-thinking and-digital knowledge or grassroots intelligence, a common denominator of positive value-making, co-actualization and a light-weight awareness of ethical like-mindedness, drives their action. The implicit premise to this assembly of positions is the recognition that design performs today as a ‘meta-project’ across disciplinary and systemic structures of both intangible and material nature, which must labour at the interplay of processes grounded in practical know-hows as much as empower culturally dispositional faculties of locational character. What draws shared significance to these projects is their dynamic positioning within generative networks of co-doing and combining of knowledge, their detouring within the remedial scale of actions that can rekindle broken or obsolete relations of production, inheritance and place into novel processes of mutuality and co-dependency. These practices advocate for design actions that are generated by a situationally shaped resourcefulness of humanistic and social engagement, while remaining committed to exploring the ideas and the technical boundaries that move the discipline towards new horizons.
The featured projects have been selected according to four analytical categories that portray distinct yet interwoven scales of operation. The categories are: Infrastructural Matrix, Growth Protocols, Infill, and Materiality & Objecthood. Although categorized according to these four subchapters, the selected projects are not so presented in site of the show, as the spatial narrative instead highlights their interconnections, as if extensions of a growing organism, laid along a ‘dynamic masterplan’ realized by Beijing-based reMIX Studio.
The works here featured here unpack the workings of systems of development traversing various spatial and material registers – from urban and domestic, to places and forms of production (from studio to factory; from digital prototyping to artisanal remake), and the communities that inhabit them, thus eliciting how designers are finding new ways of constitutive interaction against shrinking economies, socially divided contexts and degrading or disappearing cultural heritages.
These include: urban spaces, domestic spaces, spaces of production (from studio to factory), social spaces and communities, systems of production (from digital prototyping to artisanal remake).
As a dive into the first chapter, this section looks at specific projects that infiltrate orders of production (urban, industrial, social, architectural, etc.) by giving shape to novel solutions or simply poetic expressions emerging from within. These projects unveil what is unattended, invisible or underutilized by way of creative gestures turning those into new productive potential. Borrowed from architectural parlance, a strategic ‘infill’ is side-track thinking, it is a compounded approach that generates scalability out of extreme specificity.
These include: architectural projects, visual and graphic design, social design, industrial design.
This features programs that operate more specifically across the post-demographic scape of increasingly segmented user-and-consumer groups, devising new tools and systems to bring positive change to critical contexts, endangered or discarded constituencies.
These include: social design, digital and interaction design, product design.
MATERIALITY & OBJECTHOOD
The designers and creators selected for this section are more prominently working across material divides at the crossroads of new systems of ‘making’, rethinking traditional and artisanal forms and methodologies with the aid of contemporary technologies and skilling emerging as a result of changing systems of fabrication, distribution and ever more flexible and customizable possibilities of creation. Changing notion of aesthetic and material orders surface as a result.
Launched with a pilot effort in 2009, Beijing Design Week (BJDW) is co-hosted by the Beijing Municipal Government, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology, to nurture a culture of design in the Chinese context. With seven key sections – Design Service, Design Award, Design Night, Design Trade, Guest City, Smart City, and Design HOP – BJDW features hundreds of international exhibitions, public events and trading platforms as the leading design event in the PRC. While offering an expansive overview of China’s transforming design landscape, it serves as a laboratory for innovative perspectives that, from industry to academia, inspire and shape contemporary design discourse and practice.
Beatrice Leanza has acted as creative director and chief curator of the event since 2013.
”In its youthful four years it has grown into a city-wide showcase of hundreds of events covering 7 urban districts, totalling 362 projects with designers and organizations from over 30 countries in 2014. Taking up the creative direction of the event from 2012 offered both the thrill and challenge of shaping a positioning of relevance across the local and international design landscape. BJDW has ever since operated by establishing long-term cooperative frameworks with various stakeholders in the city’s development from governmental planners and educational institutions to companies and individual makers, offering a dialogical and physical arena for design solutions to be tested. A noted example, started in 2013, is the Pilot Program developed in collaboration with the historic district of Dashilar, which has contributed heavily in raising public and officials’ awareness to the contentious issues of urban renewal and preservation.
BJDW’s innervation in the built and social fabric of the city embodies an active engagement in nurturing while questioning the role and impact of design for the 21st century global city. Every year this contextual dialogue is rendered via thematic-driven explorations and calls for projects devised to test the boundaries of design knowledge within selected zones of the capital. This unique outlook has rendered BJDW a reference platform, investigating the widening economic and cultural implications of what ‘designing for China’ means today and tomorrow.
Various features have appeared on international media outlets over the past two years, including The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Figaro, Liberation/NEXT, Dezeen, Wallpaper, Core77, Metropolis, IDEAT, Surface Asia, T Magazine, Domus, Abitare, Disegno, The Good Life, Elle Décor Italy, among many others.”
BJDW 2015 runs Sept 24 – Oct 7.
For more information please use the contact page or see links on bjdw.org
MAKING FUTURES BEIJING
Contemporary Shifts Across Craft and Design
A Pop-UP Forum in Dashilar
September 27 – 28, 2014; 2 – 8 pm
Location: the MFBJ forum was hosted in an installation dubbed the Fly Tower (or Trapped Tower) designed by Benjamin Beller of BaO Architects, Beijing
Curated bv: Malcolm Ferris, founder and curator Making Futures UK (Playmouth College of Art) and Beatrice Leanza (BJDW)
Organizers: Beijing Design Week, Dashilar Platform and Plymouth College of Art, UK
Program Partner: Stellar Works
Supported by: The Danish Agency for Culture, Coletivo Amor de Madre
The digital craft elements in Making Futures Beijing are aligned with ‘Made@EU’, a two-year collaborative project between Plymouth College of Art (UK); the Institut d’ Architectura Avancada de Catalunya(Spain); and the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (France), and supported by the European Union Creative Europe programme
Making Futures: Beijing is conceived as a response to the Dashilar Craft and Design Pilot– the urban plan to promote one of Beijing’s oldest hutong districts as a creative craft and design zone. Complementing a series of collaborations between local craftsmen and contemporary designers established by Beijing Design Week, the project aims to bring Chinese and global perspectives into dialogue concerning the ideas and aspirations that underpin the overall Making Futures series. As such, Making Futures: Beijing will bring into focus research pertinent to the Chinese context and platform it as a contribution to international debate. Each day consists of two thematic ‘sessions’ (four across the two days) each of which is structured around a particular theme:
The Return of Craft?
Will extrapolate from current developments to explore whether we are (or in the near future will) experience a reappearance of small-scale production and consumption based on craft enterprises, design-to-make, and micro-manufacture.
Malcolm Ferris/ Think through Making
Chiwing Lo/design director, Kanjian Creations: The Wisdom of Traditional Chinese Crafts
Catherine McMahon (Atlas Studio) /researcher and DSL Craft Pilots series participant: Lightworks
Jacob Dreyer/researcher, writer: 100 Year Brands
[Stellar Works/MF BJ program partner]: The Possibility of Evolving
Will explore how craftspeople and designer-makers are proactively exploring socially and sustainably engaged projects through re-cycling, renovation and refurbishing and, increasingly, through closed-loop approaches associated with cradle-to-cradle design and make strategies.
Paul Mickelthwaite /course director, MA Sustainable Design – Kingston University: Make Unmake Remake – Sustainability and Design
Pil Bredahl/curator the Danish Craft Collection: Sustainability and the Danish Crafts Collection (CC18)
Instant Hutong (Stefano Avesani/Marcella Campa) /architecture and design studio (Beijing): RE-USE, Participatory Urbanism
Danful Yang/designer (Shanghai) : Exploring Chinese Traditions
Mauricio Arruda/architect and designer (Sao Paolo): Architecture and Design for Sustainability
Will explore whether and how contemporary approaches to craft and small-scale making can avoid ‘Disneyfication’ and make positive and authentic contributions to community identity, heritage and ‘place-making’.
Andrew Brewerton/Principal, Plymouth College of Art: Plymouth School of Creative Arts – A Case Study in Urban Regeneration
Zhang Lei (Pinwu studio) /designer (Hangzhou) and DSL Pilots series participant: Handmade in Hangzhou
Shikai Tseng (Poetic Lab) /designer (Taiwan): About Ripple and Bronze China Projects
Kim Charnley /researcher, writer: Urban Space as Vernacular process
Will consider advanced technological models of production, including digital print technologies, from craft and designer-maker perspectives, exploring their current and future potential to support artisanal micro fabrication and designer-makers.
Peter Oakley/Research Leader, Royal College of Art UK: The Future of the Digital and the Hand-made
Elaine YanLing NG/designer (HK) and and DSL Craft Pilots series participant: CLIMATOLOGY and NATUROLOGY
Zhang Zhoujie/designer (Shanghai): Digital Lab
Guto Requena/designer (Sao Paolo): The LOVE PROJECT EXPERIENCE
Justin Wang/founder Makers Carnival (China) and CEO Makers Space, Beijing:The China Makers Movement
Areti Markopoulou /architect and professor at IaaC – Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalunia (Barcelona): Personal Manufacturing – Perspectives from the Institute of Advance Architecture of Catalonia
Making Futures: Beijing represents one of the first attempts to gather China-based perceptions regarding the current and future performance of contemporary craft and designer-maker practices and to place these in dialogue with trans-national debate around these issues. It is intended that that the dialogue started in Dashilar will continue into the future, not least by a strong research strand dedicated to Chinese perspectives in the 2015 UK edition of Making Futures.
Making Futures is a Plymouth College of Art (PCA) research platform developed and curated by Malcolm Ferris. The platform consists of a bi-annual international research conference; a series of satellite exhibitions; an on-line journal that reports the proceedings as an Open Access archive, (ISSN 2042-1664); and a range of related staff and post-graduate student projects. The conference series has evolved across its three editions to date (2009, 2011 and 2013), into the foremost international event in its field, with a good reputation across global art, craft and designer-maker communities.
ACROSS CHINESE CITIES – Beijing [THE READER]
Concept and Editorial Direction :: Beatrice LEANZA
Editorial Assistants :: HAN Chang, ZHAO Ying, Claudia FENG
Copy editing and proofreading :: David Drakeford
Designed by :: LI Xibin and SUN Xiaoyu from D-T-Z-W Design Studio
Published by :: Beijing Design Week, June 2014
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Across Chinese Cities – Beijing, an official collateral event of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, THE READER is as complementary research tool inclusive of a rich textual selection from original sources excerpted from existing historical and critical literature, fiction, journalism, blogs and articles, in Chinese and foreign languages. Some of the Chinese texts appearing here have been translated in English for the first time. THE READER is oragnized in 7 thematic chapters referencing and complementing those articulating the show, namely:
The Outer and Inner City (on Architecture and Urban History)
Historic Industries and Commercial Ecology
The People’ Factor and The Real Estate of Things
The Pre-Olympic Conundrum (A City that was)
Preservation, Friend or Foe?
Communities and The Architecture of Relationships
Contributors included experts and participants to the exhibition:
Michele MATTEINI, Aric CHAN, Laura Trombetta PANIGALDI, Abitare China magazine, Approach Architecture, CAFA – Central Academy of Fine Arts, Matali CRASSETT, CYJO, Instant Hutong, Kenya Hara studio, LAVA design agency, Lumalu, Meta Hutongs, People Architecture Foundation, People’s Architecture Office, reMIX Architecture, SANS Practice, Varvara SHAVROVA, Standardarchitecture, Studio Ramoprimo + MDDM Studio, The DaZhaLan Project (CAO Fei and OU Ning), Jia Yong, MAD Architects, Michael YOUNG, HUA Xinmin, CUI Yong
MAKING COMMUNITY, NOT THE MAP NOR THE TERRITORY
Curated by Beatrice Leanza
Centre for Contempoary Chinese Art – Manchester
April 3 – June 3, 2014
Making Community showcases a selection of ongoing initiatives rendering a generative grammar of creative engagement with the spatial and social context of the Chinese capital.
This relational archipelago of interdisciplinary design practices is both premise and product of an evolving cultural predicament formulated by the mutually defining changes along the design-and-community nexus in the contemporary urban realm. Radically collaborative and open-ended, they are inherently shaped as metaphorical constructs of ‘speech and duration’ that reflect on the urgency for localized forms of intellectual and practical connectivity to amplify and enable solutions in the contested spaces of the city, for and with its constituencies. The exhibition is therefore not conceived as a static display of finished products, but as an ‘architecture of relationships’ informed by urban research and social agency engaged in the rethinking of existing topographies of knowledge production, and the creation of instruments for its dissemination.
A selection presented for the first time in an international context and originally featured during Beijing Design Week 2013, Making Community offers itself as a dynamic archive and a participatory device to open a conversational space around: design and cultural heritage, architectural preservation and urban revitalization, sustainability, up-cycling and environmental consumption, digital and artisanal fabrication, interactive and social design.The creative outputs range in open-source research platforms for urban innovation, digital and print publications, books, experiential apps, identity and branding, product co-design, documentaries and experimental videos, among others. Taken here as a case-study, BJDW plays out as a resounding system of creative communities, where territoriality and collectivity are continuous with its molecular formation as co-creation. It aims at forging a force field that can augment and expand professional perspectives into institutional agendas and public debate, to devise the tools and the awareness for ‘process’ to truly be emplaced as productive exchange on the micro-scale. As one of the core projects developing within BJDW urban ecology, the Dashilar Pilot project is here employed as a narrative dispositive of concrete solutions implemented through transcultural and cross-disciplinary interactions. Launched with the BJDW 2013 edition in close cooperation with the Dashilar Culture Investment, a governmental developer, it is an international call for ideas responsive to Dashilar historical area of densely populated alleys (hutongs), its aging infrastructure and endangered architectural and social landscape. An abridged presentation of resulting proposals serves here to contextualize the complexity of ‘transformation’ – a form of collective thinking involving the making of professional and social communities wired to institutional networking – as opposed to the complacency in political agendas of ‘change’. Textual and visual narratives caption each project with information about their initiators and contributors; relevant links to online platforms are provided for audiences to start forming an understanding of a Beijing-bound design landscape and part-take in an ever growing laboratory for innovation and self-engagement.
The exhibition set up and visual design are the work of SANS, a Beijing-based studio made of Neill Gaddes and Yijing Xu, who’s been involved in the development of the Dashilar Project since its inception, and contributed heavily in making the Dashilar Pilot series possible.
Participants and Projects:
Participants names refer to those of initiators, many of these projects are the result of multiple contributions which are credited in the documentation provided on site of the show.
A.M.I. (Appropriate, Mutate, Innovate), Audio Archecology & Concrete Flux (Tom Baxter and Solveig Suess), CYJO, Dashilar Pilot series: [Hutong Toilets (Michael Young), Pop-Up Canopy (Peoples Architecture Office), 2 Yangmeizhu (reMIX studio), Fringe Density (Urbanus), Rabbit Grandpa Zhan (metaLINGO), Modul’Hutong (Matali Crasset), Micro-Hutong (standardarchitecture studio), The Museum of Bicycle Parts (CAFA Visual Communication dpt), Scagnel (Luca Nichetto)], Design For the Real China, Hutopolis (Gianantonio Bongiorno, Eugenia Murialdo, Luis Aguirre Manso), Interactive Beijing (Fei Jun and Lulu Li), LAVA Design Studio, Meta-Hutong (Andy Bryant and Wang Shuo), MovingCities (Bert de Muynck and Mónica Carriço), SANS (Neill Gaddes and Yijing Xu), The Other Place, Wai Architecture Think Tank (Nathalie Frankowski and Cruz Garcia), Sander Wassink.
A selection of publication and books presented within the show will be also available at the CFCCA store: Concrete Flux magazine, LAVA Mobile Design Agency Newspaper, Hutopolis book, Abitare China HUTONG, special summer issue 2013, Pure Hardcore Icons publication.
Concierge @ The House of Leaves
September 24 – October 3, 2011
BJDW – Beijing International Design Week 2011
Design HOP | Dashilan’r, Beijing
For its participation to the first international Beijing Design Week, BAO Atelier stationed its project in the bustling neighborhood of Dashilan’r
, the historical commercial district of old Beijing right by Tiananmen Square, and house to the most cutting-edge, experimental program of BJDW.
The project takes cue from Naihan LI’s latest series of design works titled “The Crates”. Inspired by the volatile and exuberant spirit of a contemporary urban habitat like Beijing’s and its epic detournement of building construction, decay and regeneration, LI’s mobile creations accommodate with poetic comfort the moody impracticality of globe-trotting, ready-to-move lifestyles. Sofas, beds, bookshelves, workstations, and foosball tables pop out of their own shipping shell to form a unique spatial language which is whole with a ‘total’ concept of dwelling. Wooden crates become carapaces to contain the body, objects and the memories we carry with them. Situational freeplay and sculptural abstraction blend here to make room for a design practice which is intrinsically relational and open-ended.
On this occasion a brand new all-in-one Media Box was presented, including its mini-cinema, DJ deck, lights, karaoke equipment, multimedia screens and seating area.
Concierge is a curatorial inspiration developing from this design ensamble: the installation built inside one of Dashilanr’s old factory complexes materialized an inexistent part of the actual building dubbed “The House of Leaves“, a semi-private/semi-public residence located on the edge of the Fifth Ring Road in Caochangdi village (also home to BAO Atelier offices). Drawn upon an intimate image of both action and reflection, this serendipitous space represents an antechamber of no definite time or spatial confines, a public retreat and an interior garden activated by a politics otherwise known as ‘meeting’. Daily talk-shops, happenings and presentations are accompanied by impromptu performances and informal gatherings, with cocktail making sessions and live music. Events included among others: a scribbling, scrawling and mixing afternoon with WEN Ling (aka Ziboy), graffiti artist HE Cong and Leo (86/33 link); workshops organized in collaboration with the British Council, such as “Domestic Super Objects”, an experiment with everyday domestic objects to reveal their creative potential by designer Nelly BEN HAYOUN, and “Nuclear Tea Party You” by designer Zoe PAPADOPOULOU.
The Third Party: An Exhibition in Three Acts
November 11, 2010 – January 24, 2011
Platform China Contemporary Art Institute | Beijing, CN
curator :: Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design :: LI Naihan
The tripartite exhibition The Third Party (see The Third Party [curatorial]) explores the shaping relationships between narrative and aesthetic objects to foreground an inquiry in the realm of the ‘ordinary’ specific to the Chinese context. By juxtaposing different acts of description as represented in the work of a group of artists from across the country, the three portions of the exhibition place three different possibilities of narrative articulation. From the most intimate and solipsistic to the collective and participatory, they intend to break off the circuit of signification and knowledge between work and world, and rather expose the processes by which meaning is produced and attributed.
The exhibition is visually designed to present the works of the individual artists as self‐pronounced archival displays. While each act features a different group of artists, some of the works will varyingly evolve in the course of the three months or come to completion at an arbitrary moment in time. Responsive to the idea of the exhibition as a ‘field report’, one that escapes the structural preordering of objectifying analysis, a special architectural installation called The Beehive has been devised by LI Naihan. Constituted by units of hexagonal cardboard boxes variously repurposed to be adopted and adapted according to the works, The Beehive creates a deceptive information system that allows for the temporary arrangement of both things and the ‘emotional ecologies’ attached to them. It allows the works to drift in their own visual and material reality while making it possible for us to see them as disjunctions of a larger contextual narrative.
BAO office | Caochangdi village, CN
interior and furniture design :: NAIHANLI & Co.
In fact, it all starts with a leak.
Giuliana Bruno, Public Intimacy – Architecture and the Visual Arts
The House of Leaves is a three-story red brick building covering 560 sqm that comprises a private (or semi-private) apartment on its top floor, a working station (BAO office) on the second floor and a large public living room.
The house as an intimate image is ultimately an impossible space. It is a reeling archive of processes that keep on changing and being drawn towards the irrationality of depths and new beginnings, deprived, as it becomes, of the certainty of relative topography. In intimate spaces things are imagined and set in motion in timeless interiors, they are stretched between memory and anticipation, between the idlesse of thoughts and the intentionality of objects, bound to the dual function of reality and unreality. So of change and new beginnings. Or of meaningful in-betweenness.
We move back to where we were. Things have changed, the village has changed. It has gone from 场 [chǎng, cháng] – an open field, a generic space, a place of gathering, to 厂 [chǎng] – a workshop, a factory, a place of productive purpose. At least, the new signage off the fifth ring road says so. Caochangdi, once dark and subterranean, is now well lit and architecturally sound.
Somewhere between those two signs dwells an image of poetic comfort, an emotional retreat. On one side the open-endedness and idleness of freeplay — that primordial function of inhabiting that separates us from both past and reality, where things and time can be squandered, undone, dissipated; on the other, a site of function, a place of scheduled objectivity and self-awareness.
The House of Leaves sits amidst said confines. It takes its name from the genre-defining novel written by Mark Z. DANIELEWSKI. A typographically labyrinthine book tiered through multiple narrators and triggered by continuous détournements of filmic narrative, it is designed in an architecture of knowledge that both defines and defies itself. The book is a house, about a movie of a house, whose interior changes unexpectedly further and deeper than its exterior. As it’s been observed, it is impossbile to read The House of Leaves the same way twice. It is meant to be an impossible space, and it should be explored like one. What constitutes and builds throughout the act of reading is ultimately a private space of imaginific derangement where multiple cross-references leak from phrases to extruded paragraphs and page-long footnotes – the actual house arises from within the fractures of its building process.
Seemingly this House of Leaves appears as an architectural analogue of what we have set our practice to be ever since we founded BAO Atelier in 2006.
The Secret Life of Things in Chinese Art and Design
April 14 – 19, 2010
Salone Internazionale del Mobile – Milan Design Week | project of CDM 2010
Design Library | Milano, IT
curator :: Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design :: LI Naihan
catalogue design :: ourwork.is
Introduced within the framework of CDM 2010, the exhibition is conceived as a wondrous journey into contemporary object-scapes through the creative processes of a young generation of 30 Chinese independent designers, artists and studios as a way to explore both formally and conceptually the micro-fields of everyday life. These formal experimentations often resort to natural materials and textiles, paper, wood and bamboo, and to different ways for revisiting traditional techniques, formats and forms of image-making, therefore rethinking the way they continue to mediate a sense of proximity to the social, the subjective and the philosophical. In bringing together these experiences the present appears as an ahistorical shelter where illusion and artifice are granted an essential purpose that is to induce us in a state of suspended reading, “native in some way to the primary function of inhabiting” (G. BACHELARD). With the aim to create a connection to their original context of production the exhibition design transforms the darkened room at DesignLibrary into a theatrical stage-set drawn upon the floor plan of a prototypical modern Chinese household, a symbolic remake of a changed sense of domestic, private space in contemporary urban society. This built form realized as an abstract structure of white walls (polystyrene) and floor lines as seen in architectural drawings, is a calculated reproduction of an 80 sqm apartment with a small night garden. By wondering these rooms the visitors are taken into a filmic detour into the personal life and visual histories behind the designers while discovering the minutiae of everyday worlds in continuous change.
September 10, 2009 – October 11, 2009
Part of the 2009 Shanghai eArts Festival
DDMwarehouse | Shanghai, CN
curators :: Alex ADRIAANSENS, LI Zhenhua
exhibition design :: LI Naihan
09′ New Media Archaeology attempts to offer up new media realities happening at several time-cues in the past, the present and the future. This reality is revealed through several clues. One clue comes from the development of visual art after photography. Another is from the art forms influenced by the knowledge and technologies in different fields based on science of chaos developed in the 1960’s. 09′ New Media Archaeology intends to integrate new media art developments under these two main clues, and to implement further discourse, exhibition and discussion with such social topics as urban design, public education and concept integration. It is hoped that a new mode of development can be co-constructed beyond borderlines between artists, planners, organizations and universities from different countries, presenting the sources of these clues by establishing the past events of new media, determining starting directions through discussion of future events, and a platform for discussion can be provided through present exhibitions.
— from the event press release
visual identity, graphic & catalogue design
UBS Art collection three-part touring exhibition in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou)
The three exhibitions each presented a different selection of work assembled by Joanne BERNSTEIN, curator of the UBS Art Collection.
catalogues included ::
Moving Horizons –The UBS Art Collection: 1960s to the Present Day, NAMOC – National Art Museum of China | September 29 – November 4, 2008
Memories for Tomorrow: Works from The UBS Art Collection, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai | June 6 – July 20, 2008
Fact and Fiction: Recent works from The UBS Art Collection, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou | February 21 – March 22, 2009
The Opportunist: 100 Hours! Poetics of Delay, Neglect and Exclusion
Borderline Moving Images – Shanghai edition (unrealized project)
Special Edition within the framework of INTRUDE – Art & Life (Zendai Museum)
Shanghai & Beijing, CN
concept and curation :: Beatrice LEANZA
visual design :: LI Naihan
The special Shanghai edition of Borderline (see Borderline – Moving Images and The Opportunist [curatorial]) is designed as an information network revolving around a broadcasting unit, it is an experiential tool for motivating an alternative experience of space by way of time. With a total of 100 hours programmation (i.e., 4 days + 4 hours), The Opportunist will take up different forms of public interventions in both physical sites, “on air” sessions and the web. The proposal includes a dedicated webpage running literally as a time-machine where videos, articles and podcasts are uploaded at each corresponding hour per featured project.
The broadcasting unit is conceived as a self-sufficient structure for use in public spaces; fully equipped with radio and DJ deck, external LED lights and projection surfaces, this central hub would play host to a series of talks, live performances, screenings and music programs, thus becoming a connective node for physical and virtual communication with the city and online communities.
June 23 – July 1, 2007
various locations | Beijing, CN
The graphic project included visual identity and design for all communication material, posters, flyers, invitations and web. The festival published also a free independent journal chronicling all events and projects. The main visuals is inspired by Beijing City sprawling mobility, each character of the title Borderline
) is cut out of a simplified map of the city.
main organizers :: BAO Atelier & Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing
in collaboration with: Soho China, Ltd., 86/33 Link, Theatre in Motion, Chaos Projects
supporting institutions :: CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts), Beijing Film Academy, Goethe Institute Peking, Austrian Cultural Forum, Norwegian Office of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Belgium in China, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations (Mexico), Icelandic Art Center
sponsored by :: MinSheng Bank, Barco, Boloni Group, Intelligent Alternative
media partners :: Modern Media, Domus China, Time Out Beijing, Danwei.org, City Pictorial, City Weekend, Vision, Art&Design China
A Theory-Fiction between the Real and the Possible
Opening exhibition of Borderline Moving Images 2007
SoHo Shangdu Underground Parking Lot | Beijing, CN
:: Beatrice LEANZA
:: LI Naihan
artists :: Fikret ATAY, Johanna BILLING, Candice BREITZ, Mircea CANTO, Calin DAN, Claire FONTAINE, 高世强 GAO Shiqiang, Clarisse HAHN, Teresa HUBBARD & Alexander BIRCHLER, Jesper JUST, Mathieu LAURETTE, Melik OHANIAN, 欧宁 OU Ning & 曹斐 CAO Fei, 石青 SHI Qing, Ulla Von BRANDEMBURG, 吴文光 WU Wenguang, 张培力 ZHANG Peili.
design background ::
Through the ideal city, the grand socialist city, the modern city — the social, subjective and political space are represented.
The space design accommodates the narrative of the different video pieces into a constructed environment of ephemeral simulation, where the spatial qualities of certain Beijing urban tropes and structures of spatial signification, sociality, movement, will be juxtaposed to specific filmic stories. Seduction is a staged fiction that wishes to provoke how forms and processes of production ultimately surface while questioning the reception and understanding of cultural orders as reconstructed truths. In the underground site of SoHo Shangdu parking lot, the experience offered to the viewer and the challenge put on the works presented is that of reconsidering the way they expose themselves to each other (as belonging to diverse critical/cultural/information systems and subjective spheres) while restoring that minimum distance necessary for the latent meaning of the image to remain still and become a point of collective meeting and counter representation. In this sense the show also puts together filmic languages that are very distant yet articulates vivid coded systems within a hybrid environment. The participation of the public in the reading of the show is thus one based on displacement and surprise, unattended meetings with subconscious and alien “possibilities” of existence that the one dimensional media performance of the modernizing process often hides, yet perpetuates.
Nike & Beijing ’08 Olympics – Golden Team
January – October 2007
On the backdrop of the 2008 Olympics, an in-depth case study of local youth trends and sport culture through the lens of Nike’s star athletes, developing strategic creative formats redefining the brand’s positioning and its impact in contemporary urban culture. Production of research tools, multimedia and textual supports.
Contemporary British Art 1990-2006
15 December 2006 − 04 February 2007
Guangdong Museum Of Art | Guangzhou, CN
08 March 2007 − 06 May 2007
Capital Museum | Beijing, CN
editors :: Emily BUTLER, LIANG Junhong
publisher :: Cultural and Education Section, British Embassy | 2006
publication information :: full color images, 155 pages, English and Chinese
graphic design :: LI Naihan
“Aftershock tells the story of how the UK’s artistic landscape was revolutionized as a new generation of British artists injected a heady mix of controversy and glamour into the contemporary art world. As a result, the UK’s art market has enjoyed a spectacular resurgence, and popularity in exhibitions of contemporary art has soared, as witnessed in the runaway success of Tate Modern, London’s first museum of international modern and contemporary art which opened in 2000. Aftershock features eight works selected from the British Council’s own extensive collection of British art, in addition to major loans from public and private collections, and works lent by the artists themselves. It includes sculpture, painting, video installation, photography and works on paper, both early iconic works and new work made in the past year.” –excerpt from press release
Art from China, Japan and Korea
8 November 2006 – 11 February 2007
Catalogue of exhibition at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo | Turin, IT
curator :: Francesco BONAMI
Alllooksame? / Tutttuguale? is an exhibition aimed at emphasizing the complexity of the art scene in China, Japan and Korea from a Western point of view. Such an approach shows how difficult it can be for a non-Asian curator to set aside his prejudices and find a thread across the different identities of the three countries, which are already intertwined on a historical and linguistic level, but completely different, or even opposed, in terms of culture and creativity. The title, Alllooksame? / Tutttuguale?, was borrowed from an Internet site that was created by a young Japanese — partly as a joke, partly to celebrate the stereotype of “diversity at any cost” while underlining the significant difference between prejudice and racism.
—from the introduction written by Francesco BONAMI
participating artists :: CAO Fei, CHEN Qiulin, CHEN Shaoxiong, CHEN Xiaoyun, HU Yang, JIANG Zhi, KAN Xuan, LI Shurui, LIANG Juhui, LIU Ding, LIU Wei, LU Chunsheng, Qingyun MA, SHI Yong, SONG Tao, WANG Xingwei, Xu Zhen, YANG Yong, YANG Zhenzhong; AYOAMA Satoru, BAIK Hyunjhin, CHOI Ho Chul, GIM Hongsok, Im Gook, KIM Beom, KIM Kira, KOO Donghee, LEE Hyungkoo, LEE Yong-Baek, PARK Junebum, SO Young Choi; AKIYAMA Sayaka, FUKAYA Etzuko, KAKITANI Tomoki, KANEUJI Teppei, Manabu IKEDA, MAKOTO Aida, MORI Chihiro and SHOJI Michiko
author & editor :: Beatrice LEANZA
contributions by :: Gianni VATTIMO and AI Weiwei
graphic design :: LI Naihan
language :: English with Chinese translations
ISBN :: 988-99015-0-1
published and distributed by :: Timezone 8
A project stemming from the homonymous exhibition featuring Italian artist Andrea GOTTI and Beijing based sound-artist duo FM3 (Christiaan VIRANT and ZHANG Jian), held at B.T.A.P. (Beijing Tokyo Art Project) gallery in Beijing from January 26 – March 26, 2006.
It is structured into three main sections. Each of the sections is entrenched into a different reading speed, highlighted by the different devices used to express it (image, sound, text), as well as by shape, material and reading orientation.
The reading activity is lead through by three diverse time performances (circular, point-like and linear) as embedded in the architecture of the book itself.
The featured material consists of: photos (archival material of past journeys taken by Andrea GOTTI around China and relevant to the installation theme, a time-line of the work in progress of the featured installation, together with “pictorial” still-lives and GOTTI’s preparatory works), written files (the essays by the author blending critique and intellectual fiction; academic contribution and philosophical artistry from East and West are confronted in the pieces by philosopher Gianni VATTIMO and artist AI Weiwei) and sound files (a CD card embedded inside the book, cast in a 3 mm thick transparent acrylic sheet containing sonic architecture by FM3).
This book is an immersive reading tool that engages the eye, the ear and the mind. It is a playful and synaesthetic experience that breaks away from the common use of books as binding linear reading. It invites the reader to an interactive reinvention and deconstruction of its different parts.