WòYóu: Beijing & Shanghai – Travelogues in Design
April 12 – 17, 2011
Salone Internazionale del Mobile – Milan Design Week
Pasticceria (Via Tortona 28) | Milano, IT
curator :: Beatrice LEANZA
catalogue design :: ourwork.is
Presented in CDM 2011 the exhibition takes the two international Chinese metropolises as backdrop for an imaginific journey through the quixotic and the ordinary, depicting imaginaries supplementary to those that widely circulated via the spectacles of the 2008 Olympics or the 2010 Expo. “WòYóu 卧游” is an expression that came to popular use in the end of the 19th century when a culture of new images, goods and attitudes entered Chinese cities therefore designing new meanings for urban realities. It refers literally to the habit of reading while reclined on a sofa or a bed [wò 卧], indulging into a private moment of creative leisure.
While the word 游 yóu translates generally as ‘traveling’— it is also often associated to the act of ‘playing’— it figuratively recalls the act of ‘travelling with your mind’, daydreaming of new worlds and adventures, and finds its origin in the ancient arts of traditional painters and literati, their extraordinary capacity to evoke distant geographies as popularized by the rich genres of travel literature throughout the centuries.
Acute observers and insiders alike, the 10 designers presented in the exhibition all live and work in China sharing the spirit of mercurial travellers – archeologists, spelunkers, innovative makers they traffic between past and present, their visual repositories and aesthetic languages to translate them into objects and forms inspired by a contemporary spirit of exuberant nomadism, where geographical and cultural confines blur and intersect.
The exhibition is articulated through a modular system of customized hexagonal units called The Beehive ©, at the same time archival and display structure. This lightweight sculptural body creates an abstract landscape through which 10 stories, like 10 chapters in an open-ended book, unfold in a series of individual stage-sets where products and projects covering a diversified range of design practices (from furniture to fashion) are accompanied by documentation in the form of sketches, texts, photos or videos providing an in-depth vision of the design process and context of work.
participating designers :: Monica BERTINI, Jovana BOGDANOVIC (INNOVO Design), INSTANT HUTONG (Marcella CAMPA & Stefano AVESANI), LI Naihan (NAIHANLI&CO), LI Yongling, LIU Feng (FUN Living), WOLFS & JUNG (Emmanuel WOLFS & Boyoung JUNG), WANG Hao, XIAO Tianyu, Danful YANG (XYZ Design), ZHANG Da
promoted by :: Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission
main organizer :: BIDC (Beijing Industrial Design Centre)
supported by:: Beijing Intl’ Design Week, Lenovo
co-organizer :: Rizzoli Beijing (RCS Media Group)