The first definitive book on contemporary Chinese furniture – Contemporary Chinese Furniture Design: A New Wave of Creativity was launched at YUAN MUSEUM, 798 Art Zone, in Beijing, on Sept. 14, 2019.
The first definitive book on contemporary Chinese furniture – Contemporary Chinese Furniture Design: A New Wave of Creativity was launched at YUAN MUSEUM, 798 Art Zone, in Beijing, on Sept. 14.
Written by Charlotte and Peter Fiell, leading authorities on the history, theory and criticism of design, and co-edited with Zheng Qu, founder of the China Design Centre, this 240-page book is expected to be published in the U.K. on Oct. 28, by Laurence King.
Contemporary Chinese Furniture Design explores how the "New Wave" of Chinese furniture designers are turning back to their cultural roots and revitalizing traditional forms, materials and techniques to produce interesting and exciting contemporary furniture.
It features over 400 exemplary works representative of the new wave of creativity in modern Chinese furniture design. Channeling the spirit of the Song and Ming dynasties, as well as other Chinese styles and themes, the designs express a 21st Century Sinocentric national romanticism.
The book includes interviews with leading Chinese designers and studios such as Chen Darui, Jerry Chen, Frank Chou, Hou Zheng-Guang, Hong Wei, Ma Yansong, Neri & Hu, Shao Fan, Shang Xia, Song Tao, Studio MVW, Xiao Tianyu and Zhang Zhoujie.
Talking at the launch event about how the book project came about and what the couple learnt through their research, Peter Fiell said: "it was only about a year-and -a-half ago that we first met Wang Mingliang, founder of Furniture China, in London to discuss undertaking this book project."
Over the course of two big research trips to China, Zheng Qu, the co-editor of this book, introduced to the couple to key Chinese designers, whom Peter described as "among the avant-garde of furniture design," along with many studios, showrooms, workshops, factories and museums.
"What we witnessed is what we believe to be – the beginning of a design reform in China," he said . "There is an astonishing amount of creativity and design talent at the very highest level in China today.
"There is no doubt in our minds that the tipping of the balance of international design influence from West to East is already happening. It's up to China now to show a better way forward through leading by example."
An associated exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Furniture Design was also hosted at the Yuan Museum, showcasing avant-garde furniture from pioneers of Chinese design, most of which are collected in the book.
After the book launch, an academic forum was also organized to discuss furniture design, bringing together renowned Chinese design pioneers, representative young designers, and academics in the field of art and design education.
Charlotte and Peter Fiell took part in the three rounds of panel discussions at the forum, on the themes of "China's contemporary art and design," "China's education on art and design" and "the future of China's design" respectively.
The attendees exchanged views aiming to promote contemporary high-quality home-grown Chinese design.
The book launch was organized by YUAN MUSEUM, co-hosted by ZIZAOSHE(Self-made Company), TAN Carpet & Home, Dachin Gallery and the China Design Center.
Peter Fiell, author of book Contemporary Chinese Furniture Design: A New Wave of Creativity, talks about how the book project came about at a launch event at YUAN MUSEUM, 798 Art Zone, in Beijing, on Sept. 14, 2019.