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The work of Yung Ho Chang, head of the architecture department, is on display at London's Victoria and Albert Museum this summer as part of a major exhibit showcasing the latest in architecture, fashion and graphic design from China.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Chang has also created a specially designed installation in the museum's John Madejski Garden inspired by traditional Chinese garden design but using contemporary material. When the show moves in October to the Cincinnati Art Museum, Chang will design the installation for the entire exhibit.
On display in London through Sept. 1, China Design Now explores the recent explosion of new design in China and the fertile mix of global influences with Chinese perspectives and history. The exhibit showcases more than 250 objects across architecture, fashion and graphic design, as well as film, photography, product and furniture design, youth culture and digital media.
As the founder of China's first independent architecture firm, Atelier FCJZ, Chang is a leader in this new generation of designers. Since the firm's founding in 1993, Atelier FCJZ has become internationally acclaimed for a broad range of work including urban design proposals, large structures for government and institutional uses, private residences and a number of well-known exhibitions at international art venues. Featured in the show are Chang's Split House (2002), from the Commune by the Great Wall, one of his best-known works and a prime example of his design, and Inferno Constructs (2007), a video presentation of some of the firm's built projects mixed with a cinematic narrative.
The exhibit in London is structured in three sections, leading visitors on a journey along China's eastern coast from Shenzhen through Shanghai and Beijing. While examining the evolution of specific design concepts that have emerged in each of these cities, China Design Now also navigates through three specific time periods -- in Shenzhen (Frontier City), the development of graphic design from the early 1990s to the present day; in Shanghai (Dream City), fashion and lifestyle from the mid-1990s to present day; and in Beijing (Future City), architecture and urban planning from 2001 to the present day.
Chang's exhibit installation in Cincinnati will feature three distinct design approaches for each of the three places, evoking the character of each city through the use of different materials, textures and construction methods. It will remain on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum from Oct. 18 through Jan. 11, 2009. The show will subsequently travel to the Tomie Ohtake Institute in Sao Paulo and the Portland Art Museum in Oregon.
In May, Chang received a distinguished alumni award from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California-Berkeley, in recognition of his "extensive contributions to contemporary architecture â€¦ internationally recognized for their innovation in the global arena of design."
According to the school, "the focus of Chang's work at Atelier FCJZ is primarily contradictory to the current overall trend of architectural design and development in China. Chang regards each project as an individual component within the urban fabric, a microcosm that is sometimes overlooked but beautiful in that it is at harmony with its surroundings."