Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 25 Winter 2010 Contents SPACE RACE
Beijing-based interior and product
designer Jia Li, of LiSpace, is at the
forefront of the city's young designer
scene. His clean-lined, organic products
include these cute three-dimensional
cardboard C Bears; sleek, stainless
steel and coloured lacquerware Angle
candleholders; and a card-filled, clear-
plexiglass memory stool-cum-co ee
table, which can be filled to the
specifications of the owner. One to watch.
Jot down this name: Ann Niu. She's one of China's most interesting
younger generation of artists (born in the 1960s) and her recent
solo exhibition at Shanghai Art Museum opened to rave reviews
and a room full of the city's creative movers and shakers. Her
flowing calligraphic-like abstracts focus on the female form,
capturing the spirit and complexity of the modern metropolitan
lifestyle. Here, we chat with her...
When did you start painting and why? I was five years old. Back
then, no one cared about learning art, but my mother believed that
learning something and having a skill was important.
You have lived in many cities; why did you return to Shanghai?
In my 20s, I really wanted to see the world. In 2000, I came back to
do my first solo exhibition and I found my 'home' was undergoing
tremendous change. It was so exciting. I felt that the new Shanghai
was a place where dreams could come true.
Can you describe your style? I like my art to be fearless,
to be totally free; to be passionate, but very poetic; fashionable,
but with a classical sense.
What inspires you? Almost everything.
Favourite paintings you have created? At every stage, I have this
or that favourite painting. In 2007, it was A Little Bit Soul; in 2009, it
was 7th Heaven. I don't know if I can make favourite paintings every
time, but I love the moment when you realise that you have created
a great one. Then I really believe in miracles.
What do you think about China's contemporary art market?
I really don't care that much about the art market, I think that's not
important to an artist. For a young artist, to be too involved in the
market is not healthy for his or her artistic soul.
What's next for you? Find a bigger studio, do something I have
never done and show something great! Visit niuann.com.
64 INSITE WINTER
Photography Lane Crawford Joakim Blockstorm.
Timeless, carefully crafted pieces by British
design heavyweights Ilse Crawford and
Matthew Hilton were a hit at Hong Kong's
stylish Lane Crawford Pacific Place home
store recently. Ilse created a visionary
designer's workshop (pic tured), including
Seating for Eating, produced by De La
Espada, and the Wastberg task light. Hilton
showed iconic pieces, including his Colombo
dining chair (right). Visit lanecrawford.com.
Ar tist Ann Niu's fluid, calligraphic
work Dream Catcher (left).
Young designer Jia Li (right) is at
the forefront of design in Beijing
with products like these cute
cardboard C Bears.
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