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Chinese Design Today

post-Mao artisans forge a new future...

Chinese Design Today

Li Lihong is one of 11 exhibitors. His work takes Western icons of consumerism and branding, such as Disney and McDonald's, and puts a subversive, classical oriental slant on it – equally iconic yet subtle waveforms encroaching on the bold ceramics...

Li Lihong
China – Mickey Mouse, des. 2009
Ceramic
39.5 cm
Unique
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

You have five seconds to name a Chinese designer or artist. Go.

A cursory pat on the back if you came up with Ai WeiWei or Neri&Hu, bonus points for Li Wei, but take a huge bow if you managed any of the names featuring in the exhibition Chinese Design Today at Notting Hill’s Themes and Variations gallery.

With such a vast population, China of course has its share of artistic talent, but their work doesn’t often reach the Western consciousness, at least not unless they also happen to be a political dissident. This collection of furniture, textiles and ceramics gives a new generation of Chinese artisans a chance to show what they are made of.

Li Lihong is one of 11 exhibitors. His work takes Western icons of consumerism and branding, such as Disney and McDonald’s, and puts a subversive, classical oriental slant on it – equally iconic yet subtle waveforms encroaching on the bold ceramics. Another, Yang Ke, has a pop at the US with his spy planes, beautifully constructed from birds’ feathers.

It’s a selling exhibition (apparently the first major one of its kind in London), so take the chance to grab yourself a piece by the next artistic superpowers at the gallery until 8th December.

Chinese Design Today

Gu Yeli
Antique Chair Revisited (pink), 2012
Antique Chinese wood chair dressed in wool pompoms and ‘buttons’
97 x 52 x 40 cm
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

Chinese Design Today

Yang Ke
USA Spy Plane (F-22), 2012
From ‘Up in the Sky’ series
Golden pheasant feathers ‘plane’ in antique Chinese bird cage
Limited edition 1/3
H 104 cm
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

Chinese Design Today

Li Lihong
China – McDonalds, 2009
Ceramic
39.5 cm
Unique
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

Chinese Design Today

Shao Fan
‘King Chair – des.1995, no.53, 2012
Edition of 70
Catalpa and elm
105 x 114.5 x 59 cm
Courtesy of the Galerie Urs Meile Beijing
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

Chinese Design Today

Gu Yeli
Bench, 2012
Found Chinese wood bench and wool
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

Chinese Design Today

Caroline Cheng
Robe, 2012
Porcelain
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

Chinese Design Today

Yang Ke
UK Spy Plane (Harrier), 2012
From ‘Up in the Sky’ series
Peacock feathers ‘plane’ in antique Chinese bird cage
Limited edition 1/3
H 179 cm
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

Chinese Design Today

Li Naihan
Crate Dressing Table and Stool, 2012
Exclusive edition by Wuhao
138 x 142 x 70cm
Courtesy of Themes & Variations, London

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