Trade Resources Culture & Life London Design Festival Welcomes Nanjing Pavilion

London Design Festival Welcomes Nanjing Pavilion

London Design Festival sees top designers from around the world converge in London to put their craft on show. Following success at the 2015 Milan Expo, Nanjing Creative Design Center will now launch Nanjing Week at annual design events around the world on a yearly basis; London is the second such exhibition, and will include over 20 activities promoting the city's culture.

Nanjing Week and the Creative Design Center, aim to develop the city's creative sector and turn it into an engine and incubator for creative industries. Nanjing Week also creates cross boarder conversations between designers and companies, and facilitates international ties between businesses.

At Nanjing Week's opening conference at 100% Design, President of London Design Festival John Sorrel said that nurturing a city's design industry -- as Nanjing's government is -- can play a huge part in improving the society, culture and economy of a city.

Speaking further, Sorrel said: "I am really pleased that Nanjing is making huge efforts to develop the design sector and creative industries. And we can see some of the results [of Nanjing's development of creative industries] at the Nanjing Pavilion at 100% Design exhibition."

Among the highlights at the Nanjing Pavilion is a new necklace designed by Nanjing's oldest jewellery shop. The necklace and accompanying rings and earrings, are inspired by the "Palace of Meiling" in Nanjing. The so-called palace was home to Soong Mei-ling, wife of the nationalist president Chiang Kai-shek. In autumn of 2015, aerial photos of the palace showed how different trees surrounding the house and nearby appeared to form a giant necklace; it is on this that the necklace is based.

Other items on show at the pavilion take some inspiration from traditions in Chinese design, and incorporate elements of Nanjing's culture, including rather delicious ramekins designed to look like fresh tofu; wood-crafted music boxes that play the famous Chinese folk song "Jasmine"; mechanical lights that appear to breath, seemingly breathing new air into a room; and other finely crafted jewellery, ceramics, and houseware.

One of the most startling designs presented at the pavilion were vertical fans from designers Zhang Ming, Jin Xiang, and Lu Wenhao. These fans incorporate fabric fans that are gently waved through the air by uncased mechanics. The fans are said to imitate the motion that a Nanjing grandma would use to fan children during the hot summer days, and so inspire comforting memories of childhood --or just offer some respite from the heat.

Pan Guping, deputy director of the Publicity Department of Nanjing Municipal Government, says that besides the Nanjing Pavilion, Nanjing Week will include over 20 other activities and exhibitions that show off numerous aspects of Nanjing culture and design.

On Sept. 23, an eco-friendly, moveable exhibition space called Movilla will open next to Tower Bridge. Movilla is the brainchild of a young Nanjing designer. The space is an easy to put up, multifunctioning, eco-space that includes solar-panels and water saving systems.

Nanjing Week will also commemorate the city's greatest playwright, Tang Xianzu, as well as England's own Shakespeare. Both China and England are commemorating 400 years since the passing of these two masters of drama. To celebrate their lives, Nanjing Week will be holding special performances of Tang's famous opera "Peony Pavilion" at London landmarks such as Trafalgar Square and the London Eye.

Meanwhile, on Sept. 22 and 23, the Actors Church in London's Covent Garden will stage a special work from directors Ke Jun and Leo Rubin. Titled "A Shakespearean Handan Dream," this opera brings characters from Shakespeare's plays into the world of Tang Xianzu's last work, "Handan Dream."

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London Design Festival Welcomes Nanjing Pavilion
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