Concierge / BJDW ’11


Concierge @ The House of Leaves

September 24 – October 3, 2011
BJDW – Beijing International Design Week 2011
Design HOP | Dashilan’r, Beijing




For its participation to the first international Beijing Design Week, BAO Atelier stationed its project in the bustling neighborhood of Dashilan’r, the historical commercial district of old Beijing right by Tiananmen Square, and house to the most cutting-edge, experimental program of BJDW.

The project takes cue from Naihan LI’s latest series of design works titled “The Crates”. Inspired by the volatile and exuberant spirit of a contemporary urban habitat like Beijing’s and its epic detournement of building construction, decay and regeneration, LI’s mobile creations accommodate with poetic comfort the moody impracticality of globe-trotting, ready-to-move lifestyles. Sofas, beds, bookshelves, workstations, and foosball tables pop out of their own shipping shell to form a unique spatial language which is whole with a ‘total’ concept of dwelling. Wooden crates become carapaces to contain the body, objects and the memories we carry with them. Situational freeplay and sculptural abstraction blend here to make room for a design practice which is intrinsically relational and open-ended.
On this occasion a brand new all-in-one Media Box was presented, including its mini-cinema, DJ deck, lights, karaoke equipment, multimedia screens and seating area.

Concierge is a curatorial inspiration developing from this design ensamble: the installation built inside one of Dashilanr’s old factory complexes materialized an inexistent part of the actual building dubbed “The House of Leaves“, a semi-private/semi-public residence located on the edge of the Fifth Ring Road in Caochangdi village (also home to BAO Atelier offices). Drawn upon an intimate image of both action and reflection, this serendipitous space represents an antechamber of no definite time or spatial confines, a public retreat and an interior garden activated by a politics otherwise known as ‘meeting’. Daily talk-shops, happenings and presentations are accompanied by impromptu performances and informal gatherings, with cocktail making sessions and live music. Events included among others: a scribbling, scrawling and mixing afternoon with WEN Ling (aka Ziboy), graffiti artist HE Cong and Leo (86/33 link); workshops organized in collaboration with the British Council, such as “Domestic Super Objects”, an experiment with everyday domestic objects to reveal their creative potential by designer Nelly BEN HAYOUN, and “Nuclear Tea Party You” by designer Zoe PAPADOPOULOU.

SEE ALSO ::

CDM 2011


CDM 2011 – Rizzoli Beijing

April 12 – 17, 2011
Salone Internazionale del Mobile – Milan Design Week
Pasticceria (Via Tortona) | Milano, IT


graphic project and media kit ::  ourwork.is

The catalogue for the CDM 2011 project was realized as a publication integral to the exhibition WoYou: Beijing & Shanghai Travelogues in Design. Conceived in the form of a travel journal, each of the 10 design projects were therein presented through individual stories where the research processes and narrative inspiration behind the creative work were featured in dedicated, richly illustrated articles.


The Third Party


The Third Party:  An Exhibition in Three Acts

November 11, 2010 – January 24, 2011
Platform China Contemporary Art Institute | Beijing, CN



curator ::  Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design ::  LI Naihan

The tripartite exhibition The Third Party (see The Third Party [curatorial]) explores the shaping relationships between narrative and aesthetic objects to foreground an inquiry in the realm of the ‘ordinary’ specific to the Chinese context. By juxtaposing different acts of description as represented in the work of a group of artists from across the country, the three portions of the exhibition place three different possibilities of narrative articulation. From the most intimate and solipsistic to the collective and participatory, they intend to break off the circuit of signification and knowledge between work and world, and rather expose the processes by which meaning is produced and attributed.

The exhibition is visually designed to present the works of the individual artists as self‐pronounced archival displays. While each act features a different group of artists, some of the works will varyingly evolve in the course of the three months or come to completion at an arbitrary moment in time. Responsive to the idea of the exhibition as a ‘field report’, one that escapes the structural preordering of objectifying analysis, a special architectural installation called The Beehive has been devised by LI Naihan. Constituted by units of hexagonal cardboard boxes variously repurposed to be adopted and adapted according to the works, The Beehive creates a deceptive information system that allows for the temporary arrangement of both things and the ‘emotional ecologies’ attached to them. It allows the works to drift in their own visual and material reality while making it possible for us to see them as disjunctions of a larger contextual narrative.


SUPERnatural! Shanghai


September 10-13, 2010
Shanghai Rockbund Museum | Shanghai, CN




curator :: Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design :: LI Naihan
special soundtrack ::  86/33 Link | Leo de B. & Thomas S.

The exhibition was originally presented within the framework of China Design Market 2010 jointly organized by Rizzoli Beijing and BIDC (Beijing Industrial Design Centre) as an official event of Milano Salone Internazionale del Mobile (Milan Design Week). It introduced for the first time on an international stage the work of a young generation of 30 Chinese independent designers, artists and studios. (see SUPERnatural! Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milano)

On the occasion of the 3rd anniversary of Rizzoli Beijing, SUPERnatural! will be featured anew as part of the celebration event hosted in the stunning architectural framework of Shanghai’s Rockbund Museum. With the aim of recreating a connection to their original context of provenience, the exhibition transforms one of the rooms in Rockbund’s YWCA Building into a compact museum of domestic urban scenarios. Showcased in three life-sized dioramas, these symbolic remakes juxtapose selected pieces by 13 artists and designers into a wondrous stage-set of private interiors onto a unique backdrop illustrated by artist CHEN Shaoxiong. By gazing through these windows visitors are taken into a filmic detour into the personal life and visual histories behind the designers to discover the minutiae of everyday worlds in continuous change, while accompanied by a customized selection of vintage tunes and ambient sounds assembled by Leo de B. & Thomas S. A sonic voyage through different decades, the compilation blends Chinese pop songs from 1930s and 1980s, with original western tunes ranging from vintage movie soundtracks to avant-garde pieces of yesterday and today.

The selected pieces include furniture, lights and products by Danful YANG, 多相工作室 DUOXIANG Studio, 姜晶 JIANG Jing, 李永玲 LI Yongling, NAIHANLI & CO, 林菁 LIN Jing, LING & COMMA, OHO-OHO, 湃设计 PEP Design, 萨日娜 SARINA, 石川设计 TOM SHI Design, 肖天宇 XIAO Tianyu and a special series of costumes by young fashion designer 张丹丹 ZHANG Dandan


Emporium


Emporium:  A New Common Sense of Space

November 4 – December 8, 2009
Museo della Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci | Milano, IT




curation :: Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design and graphic project :: studio dotdotdot, Milan
catalogue design :: LI Naihan

artists ::  AHN Doojin, AHN Kanghyun, AN Jungju, BAE Young Whan, BIRDHEAD (SONG Tao & JI Weiyu), GAO Shiqiang, HASHIMOTO Satoshi, Elaine W. HO for HomeShop, JUNG Yeondoo, KIM Gisoo , KIM Sangdon, LEE Wooyeon, LI Naihan, LIANG Shuo, MATSUBARA Megumi, MIN Ji Ae, NI Haifeng for ARROW FACTORY, NIWA Yotaro, QIU Xiaofei, Siren Eun Young JUNG, TANAKA Koki, MICHIKAZU Matsune for THE SHOP, XIJING MEN (GIMhongsok, CHEN Shaoxiong & OZAWA Tsuyoshi), YAN Jun, YANG Jun, KIMURA Yuki, KIMURA Taiyo

Emporium: A New Common Sense of Space exhibition catalogue, full color images and curatorial essay by Beatrice LEANZA. Customized lettertype for mail visual. Digital invitation and posters.

Selected for best exhibition design in ADI – Design Index 2010 as finalist for the Compasso D’Oro Award.


’09 New Media Archeology


September 10, 2009 – October 11, 2009
Part of the 2009 Shanghai eArts Festival
DDMwarehouse | Shanghai, CN


curators ::  Alex ADRIAANSENS, LI Zhenhua
exhibition design ::  LI Naihan

09′ New Media Archaeology attempts to offer up new media realities happening at several time-cues in the past, the present and the future. This reality is revealed through several clues. One clue comes from the development of visual art after photography. Another is from the art forms influenced by the knowledge and technologies in different fields based on science of chaos developed in the 1960’s. 09′ New Media Archaeology intends to integrate new media art developments under these two main clues, and to implement further discourse, exhibition and discussion with such social topics as urban design, public education and concept integration. It is hoped that a new mode of development can be co-constructed beyond borderlines between artists, planners, organizations and universities from different countries, presenting the sources of these clues by establishing the past events of new media, determining starting directions through discussion of future events, and a platform for discussion can be provided through present exhibitions. 

— from the event press release

SEE ALSO ::

Borderline – Moving Images


June 23 – July 1, 2007
various locations | Beijing, CN




art direction ::  Beatrice LEANZA & Pauline DOUTRELUINGNE
main organizers :: BAO Atelier & Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing
in collaboration with: Soho China, Ltd., 86/33 Link, Theatre in Motion, Chaos Projects
supporting institutions :: CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts), Beijing Film Academy, Goethe Institute Peking, Austrian Cultural Forum, Norwegian Office of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Belgium in China, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations (Mexico), Icelandic Art Center
sponsored by :: MinSheng Bank, Barco, Boloni Group, Intelligent Alternative
media partners :: Modern Media, Domus China, Time Out Beijing, Danwei.org, City Pictorial, City Weekend, Vision, Art&Design China

An experimental urban platform unfolding over the course of nine days, it takes as its area of investigation the interconnection between visual production and contemporary urban culture with a focus on video art and its multidisciplinary accounts. Conceived as a continuous narrative, the event moved every day into a new location within different areas of Beijing city, networked through public and private institutions, commercial and educational spaces including universities, galleries and art venues.

It featured an international program of both exhibitions and public programs such as talks, workshops, screenings, and live performances bridging perspectives from installation, short film, documentary, animation, performance and music, sound art, architecture and design.

Borderline‘s structure included three overarching sections: 2 thematic exhibitions, 6 days of Mobile Lab and night events. Full content on all events can be viewed at www.borderlinefestival.org.

(more…)


Seduction


A Theory-Fiction between the Real and the Possible

June 2007
Opening exhibition of Borderline Moving Images 2007
SoHo Shangdu Underground Parking Lot | Beijing, CN




curator ::  Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design ::  LI Naihan

artists ::  Fikret ATAY, Johanna BILLING, Candice BREITZ, Mircea CANTO, Calin DAN, Claire FONTAINE, 高世强 GAO Shiqiang, Clarisse HAHN, Teresa HUBBARD & Alexander BIRCHLER, Jesper JUST, Mathieu LAURETTE, Melik OHANIAN, 欧宁 OU Ning & 曹斐 CAO Fei, 石青 SHI Qing, Ulla Von BRANDEMBURG, 吴文光 WU Wenguang, 张培力 ZHANG Peili.

design background ::

Through the ideal city, the grand socialist city, the modern city — the social, subjective and political space are represented.
 The space design accommodates the narrative of the different video pieces into a constructed environment of ephemeral simulation, where the spatial qualities of certain Beijing urban tropes and structures of spatial signification, sociality, movement, will be juxtaposed to specific filmic stories. Seduction is a staged fiction that wishes to provoke how forms and processes of production ultimately surface while questioning the reception and understanding of cultural orders as reconstructed truths. In the underground site of SoHo Shangdu parking lot, the experience offered to the viewer and the challenge put on the works presented is that of reconsidering the way they expose themselves to each other (as belonging to diverse critical/cultural/information systems and subjective spheres) while restoring that minimum distance necessary for the latent meaning of the image to remain still and become a point of collective meeting and counter representation. In this sense the show also puts together filmic languages that are very distant yet articulates vivid coded systems within a hybrid environment. The participation of the public in the reading of the show is thus one based on displacement and surprise, unattended meetings with subconscious and alien “possibilities” of existence that the one dimensional media performance of the modernizing process often hides, yet perpetuates.
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Seduction


A Theory-Fiction between the Real and the Possible

June 2007
Soho Shangdu Underground Parking Lot | Opening exhibition of Borderline Moving Images 2007
Beijing, CN


curator :: Beatrice LEANZA
exhibition design :: LI Naihan

participating artists :: Fikret ATAY, Johanna BILLING, Candice BREITZ, Mircea CANTOR, Calin DAN, Claire FONTAINE, GAO Shiqiang (高世强), Clarisse HAHN, Teresa HUBBARD & Alexander BIRCHLER, Jesper JUST, Mathieu LAURETTE, Melik OHANIAN, OU Ning & CAO Fei (欧宁 & 曹斐),  SHI Qing (石青), Ulla Von BRANDEMBURG, WU Wenguang (吴文光), ZHANG Peili (张培力).

A constructed story-telling portrayed by the experiments of 17 international artists, Seduction is a theory-fiction inspired by the homonymous book by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, featuring diverse video installations, including documentary, experimental video, and footage appropriated from personal and public archival material, CCTVs, mass media, pop culture video-clips, cinema repertory, etc.

“On the backdrop of modernization and the inspirational economic leverage incited by the countdown to the Olympics, the changing relationship between politics and culture articulates within a process of experimentation which interrogates locality and its historicity against, on a side, the products of global consumerist culture, and on the other, the convergence of new models of spatial thinking and occupation, popular culture, social ‘neo-neo-tribalism’, corporate branding, viral marketing and hybrid libidinal economies. The perpetual nature of this predominantly visual production giving rise to new urban imaginaries speaks to the paradigmatic quality of fluid social networks, where communication is situational, metaphorically consumed in the digital time of internet and experienced in the superficial flux of moving images. Indeed the synthesis of global connectivity is not only challenging our sense of space, but also that of human presence within; while displacing the time of history in a one-dimensional media flow, it furthers brings into questions that of its immanent possibilities and “invisible” modes of existence. It is thus in the spatial convergence of our mental vocabulary/memory, one of compound narrativity and filmic character, and the digital tempo of contemporary hyper-production that opens up the measure for art to forge critical distance and innovative models of counter-representation.”