Sotheby’s London Eyes “Designed In China”

“This Is Really Only The Beginning Of What We’ll See…From Contemporary Chinese Creativity”

Gui Ying, "Wood and Resin Chair"

With China now ranking as the world’s largest art and antiques market and the Chinese contemporary art segment continuing to grow both domestically and overseas, global auction houses are looking to build demand for Chinese designers worldwide.

Now through November 8th, Sotheby’s London — in its premiere international exhibition of China’s young emerging designers, scouted by British design curator Janice Blackburn — showcases 21 works, ranging from furniture and ceramics to jewelry and photography, created by the talents of the School of Design of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA).

According to Sotheby’s Asia Chairman Patti Wong, the London selling show, entitled “Unfolding Landscape,” gives a glimpse of how a younger generation of Chinese craftspeople interpret the country’s modern era and its traditional history, all while exploring new exploitations and manipulations of materials such as lacquer, resin and flowers. Highlights include Kong Fanfan’s “My Recycling,” a collaged traditional gown made from compact discs and their cases, and Huo Yijing’s “Colorful Tea Tray,” featuring a temperature-sensitive coating that changes color with the touch of a hot teapot or cup.

Liu Xiaoxuan, "String"

While “the talent pool from China is still small,” in Blackburn’s view, she notes that it has potential to grow as people uncover more young designers. As Blackburn added, “most Chinese perspectives have yet to be explored,”and “this is really only the beginning of what we’ll see being born from contemporary Chinese creativity.” Wong of Sotheby’s agrees, saying that tastes in China are evolving quickly, as are artists’ ingenuity. Lately, Chinese consumers have taken more of an interest in functional art such as furniture, according to Ms. Wong, which makes “Unfolding Landscape” that much more of a timely occasion.

Unfolding Landscape” is on show at Sotheby’s London through November 8th.


Art & Design, Market Analysis