back to basics: the cross-fertilisation of design

BACK TO BASICS—the Cross-Fertilisation of Design

HONG KONG – The exhibition Back to Basics—the Cross-Fertilisation of Design embraces China’s past and the re-invention of 5,000 years of traditional arts and crafts, such as cloisonné, woodwork and porcelain, for the twenty-first century and enriches the meaning of Design Art. Working with multidisciplinary artists and designers, the Gallery seeks to equalize art and design by challenging the Western hierarchy of art forms and introducing designers who work with narratives, rather than strictly “form follows function”.

The Gallery aims to redefine “industrial design” in the context of China’s rapidly evolving cultural environment. Pearl Lam Design questions the Western hierarchy of art over decorative art and design, as there is no such hierarchy in Chinese tradition. Since 500 BC, the literati philosophy has been to place equal importance on all three disciplines. While Western design has been evolving with technological advances, in China “hands” are more prevalent due to low labour costs. Chinese contemporary design should not be limited by Western perceptions of industrial design because works are handmade.

Pearl Lam Galleries, 601-605, 6/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, Tel (852) 2522 1428, Fax (852) 2840 1088

Pearl Lam has been breaking boundaries in the field of art and design since 1993 when she began organising pop-up exhibitions across the city. Now, Pearl Lam Design continues its mission of integrating design and art by challenging Western perceptions of industrial design.

Pearl Lam Design’s stand was lauded as one of Art Info’s Top 10 Booths at the Pavilion of Art and Design London (October 2012), while Pearl Lam has recently been named a ‘Design Power’ in Art+Auction’s Power 100 list (December 2012). The Gallery was the first Asian gallery to participate in Design Miami since the fair’s 2005 inception, and is known for innovative designer collaborations, which cross traditional limits of art and design.

Artists

Born in 1951, celebrated French designer André Dubreuil introduced Pearl Lam to decorative art. The first time she saw enameling was at his workshop in the French countryside, and he continues to be a powerful influence on Pearl Lam Design. His works are inspired by the elaborate traditions and techniques of Chinese craftsmanship, which he has explored during his frequent visits to China.

Born in 1980 in Shanghai, Pearl Lam’s protégé Danful Yang began designing with the collective XYZ Design. She reinvents traditional Chinese arts and craft technique in modern Western materials to create playful and visually dynamic works. Her chair from her Fake series is in the Montreal Museum of Art collection.