Luxury Brands Increasingly Calling On Chinese Artists To Localize Pieces
Recently, the German high-end furniture brand Domicil called on Chinese artists Xue Song and Pan Wei to put their unique design twists on three couches in preparation for their debut at the Germany International Furniture Fair in Cologne. Following a string of luxury-art partnerships over the past two years, which have seen companies produce items as diverse as Lu Hao’s cracked-porcelain Ferrari, Ai Weiwei’s Commes des Garcons t-shirt, and Prada’s Yang Fudong-directed short film, in an attempt to gain the attention of the increasingly lucrative Chinese consumer market, furniture makers are now looking to incorporate Chinese design elements. In recent months, the Chinese press has been more frequently discussing the idea of a “Chinese wind” (中国风) sweeping through the country’s interior design industry, with more designers using traditional materials like rosewood and bamboo, and throwing in the occasional Ming Dynasty-style wood bench for good measure.
The couch designs created by Xue and Pan reflect their artistic philosophies, Xue combining subdued colors and traditional calligraphy and Pan creating an abstract assemblage of Chinese red, sapphire blue, emerald and bright orange in trademark fashion. According to Sina’s Collection channel, Xue and Pan’s couches were a hit among the audience at the International Furniture Fair, standing out among more staid pieces.
While this is the first luxury-art partnership for Pan Wei, it is Xue Song’s second. Last spring, Xue collaborated with Ferragamo on a line of day bags, leather goods and a t-shirt imprinted with a painting of two tigers Xue created specially for the partnership.