Every corner in Shanghai is full of artistic atmosphere in November.
ART021, the huge Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair is celebrating its 5th anniversary from November 8 to 12, 2017, showcasing a premier selection of modern art by 102 leading galleries from across the globe, taking place at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, supported by China National Arts Fund.
It offers a global platform for dealers, artists, collectors, sponsors, museums and non-profit organizations to share the exciting developments of contemporary art, fostering cross-cultural dialogue and stimulating creative thought.
ART021 is playing a leading role as a contemporary art fair in the Asian art market.
Prior to the fair, the organizers announced that they will open a brand new art fair in Beijing next year. From the first opening, they bring 29 to 54 and then to 104 galleries, the show gradually expanded to the North, which shows that the determination of positioning “small and fine” art fair has conquered the art market.
The compatibility of local art market in Shanghai is very large. There is not only a systematic collection of private art galleries, but also the mass spending power of mass arts, especially the degree of internationalization of art exhibitions is unmatchable by other cities.
It was clear that Shanghai Fashion Week aims to be the most influential fashion trade platform in Asia. Press, buyers and a lot of fashion fans crowded around the venues of the main Xintiandi tents and the independent Labelhood platform to see what China’s fashion forces have to offer.
There is a total of 93 brilliant shows for this Shanghai Fashion Week 2018 SS. The platform this year presented an excellent selection of Chinese and Asian designers with an international reach, as many have showcased their collections also at Fashion Weeks in London and Paris.
Xiong Ying, the chief designer behind Heaven Gaia, is known for making couture dresses for "China’s Spring Festival Gala". In this collection, Heaven Gaia aimed to revive the "Four Great Beauties", who gained their reputation not just for their looks, but also for their influence over emperors.
Hong Kong-born Minki Cheng is one in a long line of Central Saint Martin’s graduates making their mark at Shanghai Fashion Week. Minki is a really creative brand, that proposes a modern approach to design, playing with sartorial memories, experimentations on innovative fabrics and unusual materials.
Combining Chinese heritage and craft innovation, Angel experimented and integrated in SS17 collection boundary-pushing fabrics and new techniques like dissolvable embroidery fillings, creating multifunctional pieces that can be worn dozens of different ways, taking the principle of unisex to a new level.
The Fashion Week also featured fairs and showrooms: Mode Shanghai, On-Timeshow and Not Showroom, to name only a few, that gave the chance to numerous brands to show their creations to buyers and insiders.
There are countless people devote to every season of Shanghai Fashion Week, with many attentions worldwide. The future of Shanghai Fashion Week will continue to uphold the cultural awareness and cultural self-confidence, moving forward to explore more lavish and suitable for locals, leading the fashion industry and taking the role of convergence!
Shanghai Fashion Week is a biannual schedule of fashion shows, presentations and events. The streets of Xintiandi were packed with China’s fashion set, as the country’s biggest and brightest fashion week kicked into gear.
I’ve recently saw a post fromCulture Shock Tourabout ‘Hai Pai’ aka ‘Shanghai Style’ that really inspired me. The combination of Chinese and Western culture resulted in the birth of inclusive and an openness to diversity – Hai Pai.
Hai Pai is rooted in traditional Chinese culture, based on the fusion of the essence of Wu and Yue culture, from Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces, and absorbs to a lot of western culture. It embodied rebellion against traditional conventions and boldness in innovation.
One of the first expressions of Hai Pai, ‘cultivated’ by old generations till these days and shocking foreign newcomers, was adopting the habit of wearing…Pajamas! Proud Shanghailanders started wearing it outside to make sure everyone around noticed how stylish they were.
Another significant example of inclusive Hai Pai’s spirit was the transformation of traditional Qi Pao/Cheongsam. Influenced by western aesthetic standard, traditional Chinese Qi Pao was shortened and became more fitted. The new Qi Pao, originated in Shanghai, quickly took over the rest of China in no time.
The multinational crowd of foreigners gather at countless fashion events and fairs, bringing new designs and inspiration that locals embrace almost immediately.
After all, the city’s chic reputation, that took years of efforts to gain, could not be ruined in the eyes of foreign guests! The answer was ‘Why not? It’s Shanghai!’ Yes – whether you call it the Hai Pai, Mo Du, Paris of the East or even paradox. Hai Pai never ceases to make its own, bold, fashion statement and I consider myself lucky to be witnessing it!
Fabrics are some of the most important elements as you make your decorating plans.
They can set the mood and influence the way you feel.
Looking at fabrics can be a dizzying affair. Whether you’re outfitting a new outdoor collection, bringing a vintage side chair back to life, or looking for dramatic drapes to frame your windows, these fabrics will take your project to new and exciting heights. Check out our picks from the latest collections.
Far from your typical sailor stripe, these patterns bring energy to a space without overpowering. Designer Miles Redd proved its worth by using an awning stripe fabric to outfit the outdoor dining pavilion of a Bahamas vacation home.
Bright pink is certainly an unexpected choice for upholstery. But when contrasted with rich neutral tones like the stone-gray walls that set the backdrop for seating covered in Cowtan & Tout's Kazan fabric, the result is less precious and more punchy.
Let’s meet the 9 bright talents that have emerged from Parsons MFA Fashion.
Venus Lo’s "plastic-meets-workwear" collection of menswear inspired by hoarders, with clothes frilling and fraying around the models’ bodies. By inserting found pieces of fabric throughout her knitwear, the designer created a textural fabric that seems to bulge and bubble around its wearer.
Venus Lo 的男装系列《当塑料遇上工装》灵感源自拾荒人，以流苏饰边和磨毛效果的布料，布满了模特周身，通过在针织衣服里填塞进零散的布料，设计师旨在创造一种膨胀的泡泡的效果。
Amanda explored the physical, psychological and metaphorical baggage and abstracted into the symbolic plastic bag, which relates to labour and production, another issue in women’s rights. She wanted to explore the colour white in knit and recreate the feeling of plastic without using plastic. Shoutout to the sneakers, white Converse with New York-y phrases like "Have a Nice Day" either printed or written on the sites, which have instant retail appeal.
A true romantic at heart, Caroline Hu believes in the power of beauty and poetry to make us forget the difficult world around us. Inspired by Renaissance art, Caroline wanted to recreate the effect of brushstrokes through textile.
From Parsons MFA Spring 2018 Ready-to-wear collection, knitwear covered a large part of the show. Knitwear is innovative and experimental by adding fine handmade details and revealing asymmetry, deconstruction, dislocation or tear in design, like seeing a new transformation of the fabrics in many ways.
Let’s meet the 9 bright talents that have emerged from Parsons MFA Fashion.
Shizhe worked on the idea of a disappearing pattern. His enveloping menswear is somewhat comforting, having a schoolboy charm. The success of the collection can be attributed to her extraordinary pattern-cutting skills
Tingyue Jiang’s idea came from Chinese culture and the lives of factory workers. He brought those uneven stitches, that are usually found in the factories, to the forefront. His sense of colour stood for its subtle gradations in those degrading dresses.
Di Gao was inspired by Chinese architecture and construction, the main design philosophy being that every shape has a different function. She aims to apply these ideals to the body in movement. What might appear as very rigid and structural pieces, are actually light creations that can be altered by pulling a string which allows the pieces to transform in an instant.
Di Gao 受到了中式建筑风格的启发，每一种形制都有自己的功能，就是他的主要设计理念。她想通过运动中的人体将这一理念充分表现出来。看起来非常硬朗的结构感材质，实际上却非常轻巧，只需收紧一根带子，就能立马转型为另一种风格。
Parsons the New School for Design, with successful graduates like Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Yohji Yamamoto and many other high reputation designers, Parsons annual graduation show will be the attention of the entire fashion industry.
In recent years, there are more and more Chinese designers are gaining more exposure in Parsons showcase. The graduation show still balance the designer's imagination and ready-to-wear concept.
This year featured the small group of Nihl, Zoe Champion, Shanel, Shizhe He, Tingyue Jiang, Di Gao, Venus Lo, Amanda Brown, and Caroline Hu, with a prelude of looks by first-year students made in partnership with Swarovski.
今年特辑的小团体Nihl, Zoe Champion, Shanel, Shizhe He, Tingyue Jiang, Di Gao, Venus Lo, Amanda Brown, and Caroline Hu,与施华洛世奇合作，通过硕士一年级学生的作品拉开了序幕。
The show began with spectacular, hand-done beadwork on menswear by Nihl.
Then Zoe Champion’s trompe l’œil collection is inspired by her grandmother’s passing and the act of holding someone else’s clothes up to your body in the mirror.
"I am seeking to create an effect of 'false photographs' — to re-embellish already 'embellished' histories and lives." – Zhang Xiaogang
“我正在寻求创造”假照片“的效果 - 重新修饰已经”修饰“的历史和生活。” – 张晓刚
TCT today's art highlight: "Zhang Xiaogang"
Zhang Xiaogang (b.1958) is a contemporary Chinese symbolist and surrealist painter, based in Beijing, China. He studied painting at Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in Chongqing. His works focus on the aftereffects of China’s Cultural Revolution, and the meaning of family, history and individualism.
Zhang is best known for his Bloodlines series, inspired by his discovery of old family photographs, and reached international stature with the debut of his “Bloodlines-Big Family” series at the 1995 Venice Biennale.
Paintings in his Bloodline series are predominantly monochromatic, stylized portraits of Chinese people, usually with large, dark-pupiled eyes, posed in a stiff manner deliberately reminiscent of family portraits from the 1950s and 1960s.
In 2003, “A big family” from Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodlines series, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong for US$76,000. This same lot has been sold twice since its auction debut, selling for US$1.4 million at Christie’s London in 2006, and again for US$7.3 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2011.
In a span of only eight years, “A big family” series earned a return just shy of 10,000 percent, outperforming overall returns at auction for the artist as a whole, as well as the overall Contemporary market during the same time period. This sale marked the beginning of Zhang’s prominence at auction, which has made him the most expensive living painter among Chinese artists.
The Bloodline: Big Family No.3 from 1995 is arguably the most politically charged piece in the series, showcasing the iconic three-member family portrait; it is the only piece from the series to depict the Little Red Guard with the Chairman Mao badge and armband, making it of greater rarity and art historical value in comparison with other works; it was sold for 94.2 million HKD (12.1 million USD) at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Modern And Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale on April 5, 2008.
"On the surface the faces in these portraits appear as calm as still water, but underneath there is great emotional turbulence. Within this state of conflict the propagation of obscure and ambiguous destinies is carried on from generation to generation." – Zhang Xiaogang
“表面上，这些肖像中的脸，似静止的水面一样平静，但内心里有很大的情绪动荡，在这种冲突状态下，朦胧和模糊的命运，是一代又一代的传承。” - 张晓刚
According Arnet Analytics, the earliest Bloodlines works created (1990s) have outperformed works created in the 2000s; the Bloodlines works depicting big families outperforming works depicting pairs and single portraits.
Zhang Xiaogang and other artists from our previous posts (Fang Lijun, Wang Guangyi and Yue Minjun) are the 4 top-selling contemporary artists in China, later called the F4 (First or Fab 4) by industry insiders due to their high-profile deals at auctions.
As an art lover and art investor, I have collected his earlier artwork, Secret Chamber, 1989.
Fang Lijun (b. 1963), a Chinese contemporary artist based in Beijing, China, is one of the leading proponents of the early 1990s Cynical Realist movement. He studied printmaking at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where he was trained in the Socialist Realist style promoted during the Cultural Revolution.
Fang Lijun’s art is recognized through excessive appearance of “bald heads” and best known for a woodblock printmaking. His figures are often portrayed as disoriented, confused, out of place, reflecting on the state of the society post-1989 and the uncertainty felt by young Chinese people.
His work tackles the issues of human rights, morality, and political oppression through colorful, surrealistic imagery. His style has had considerable impact in the development of a contemporary avant-garde Chinese art.
One of his famous pieces is the 1991.6.1., a woodblock print depicting a bald-headed crowd beneath a larger head with an anonymous finger point to the sky. The print oozes in a strong sense of loss in direction, self-identity, and the feeling of general helplessness and hopelessness. The grey scale of this painting reflects the uncertainty as well as the strong emotion of people during this era.
His 30th Mary portrays an order of ascendancy of kewpie figures, each based on his own image. Executed with painstaking hyper-realism, the clouds formulate as a tempestuous funnel rather than a portal of billowing promise. Contrasted with the kitsch palette and pop rendering of the grotesque cherubs, Fang’s painting approaches the sanctity of ideological assurance with an empathetic cynicism.
"For a young age, people would only show us good things, and tried to cover up everything negative; yet, what creates that biggest impact on me are all things that came beneath goodness." – Fang Lijun
Fang has exhibited internationally since the early 1990s, including solo shows at the Kupferstichkabinett—Museum of Prints and Drawings, Berlin, the Today Art Museum, Beijing, the Shanghai Museum of Art, the Japan Foundation Asia Center, Tokyo, and the Galerie Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta. His works have been collected by the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Many works by Fang Lijun have been sold at auction, including 'SERIES 2 NO. 4' sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong 'Modern and Contemporary Asian Art — Evening Sale' in 2014 for 59,480,000 HKD ($7,664,766 USD).
At Shanghai this year, I had the chance to visit his work. The influence art bring to us is refined and refreshed, and the adventure to art is forever. There is no time to be bored in a real world as creative as art.