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‘Harmony in Design’ at London Design Festival

2018-09-18 10:58:46 Li Baiyu

The ‘Harmony in Design’ exhibition kicked off at Phoenix House London on Saturday, September 15th as part of the London Design Festival. This is the second time that Shenzhen Polytechnic has held this exhibition as part of the world class design festival, the previous one was part of the Milan Design Week in 2017.

A total of 42 sets of works (nearly 200 pieces) created by teachers and students from Shenzhen Polytechnic have been flown in, comprising of 36 sets of works in the form of wax printing, clothing, painting, industrial design, colored glaze, gold and silver inlay, jewelry, Song ceramic replica and 4 videos created with rendering software.

A set of clothes design

Harmony is at the core of traditional Chinese culture and can be considered as one of the most precious elements in the Chinese value system, which can be interpreted as the ideological concepts of conscientiousness, concordance, peacefulness and gentleness. In other words, different yet harmonious. As the theme of this exhibition, all of the artwork is intimately related to this idea. Artists and designers attempt to apply traditional handicrafts and oriental and western aesthetic philosophies to modern design.

Zhou Hanxin is one of the artists of this exhibition. His artwork, a set of ceramics including an inkstone and a tea set, combines traditional Chinese ceramic with modern-day life. He emphasized that the traditional Chinese study room was mainly equipped with Four-Treasures (brush, ink, rice paper and inkstone), but in order to make the study room become more functional, he has added a tea set so that the owner can also enjoy the tea while working. Furthermore, the works also integrate strong characteristics of Southern China. For example, in a set of tableware, there are three pots regarded as containing soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar. According to Zhou’s introduction, the design is based on dietary habits of the South where people are used to dipping food into sauce while eating, whereas in the North, people will add the sauce when cooking. Although falling into different categories, all of these works share the same value, 'harmony'.

A ceramic tea set, made by Zhou Hanxin

A set of tableware, made by Zhou Hanxin and his team

The exhibition intends to give the audience an unobstructed view of the culture in Shenzhen and of the spirit of collaboration of Shenzhen Polytechnic. According to vice-president of the School of Art and Design of Shenzhen Polytechnic, there were very strict standards for selecting works for this festival to ensure that every piece of work represents the best of members from the institute and are creative. The exhibition is aiming to gain new insights into the London Design Festival and also hopes that the world will have a better understanding about Shenzhen Polytechnic, Shenzhen and Chinese culture.

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