Q&A on Chinese design from the New Yorker
The New Yorker interviews Jonathan Mak Long a young Hong Kong design student who has catapulted himself to the world stage with some clever designs for advertising.
below are the snippets I found most fascinating:
“Discussing Chinese design is tricky. On one hand, you have the cream of the crop—contemporary graphics effortlessly combined with just enough Chinese motifs to differentiate them from the West.”
on design and tea related gifts in China:
For example, while one might expect tea to be marketed as a product for personal enjoyment, high-end tea leaves are a popular gift choice for Chinese businessmen to maintain relationships with partners.
This is not exactly news, but there is perhaps a gradual shift away from the chintzy extravagance we have come to associate with the stereotypical Chinese rich person.
I have seen luxury products abandoning elaborate ornaments in favor of a more subtle, elegant look. The products remain symbols of prestige, and the purpose that the tea serves is still more pragmatic than Zen, but maybe the flaunting is taking on a more understated form, if such a thing is possible.
Some concluding questions:
“So how do we fit the good contemporary Chinese design work with the rest of the visual trash, if both types are shaped by our own culture? Are we defining taste as what the audience is receptive to or what they can tolerate? Or do we also consider the potentially trend-setting role of today’s emerging Chinese designers, when their visual sensibilities are so different from what the enormous market has been afflicted with?
read the entire Q&A from the New Yorker blog.
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