Duration: 2017 April 11 – August 30
Venue: Younit, Shanghai Yi Ou Lai Shopping Village, No.88 East Shendi Road, Pudong District, Shanghai

Together with Dutch designer and artist Bas van Beek, and the world-renowned Van Abbemuseum, the Netherlands, we have created a new exhibition and visual experience at YOUnit, located within the Village. In this unique collaboration, the exhibition shows the transformation of graphic design into industrial and architectural design inspired by connections between Chinese/Asian and European traditions, the Modern and the Classic, as well as art and fashion.

The exhibits include a series of re-imagined artworks taken from existing designs, archive material, and never before seen work; by taking art deco inspiration and building a new original, improving and expanding on it; using better materials than the old ones; and from using traditional Shanghai window papercut decoration to the Chinese tradition for silk. Working with local Shanghai and Chinese artisans Bas van Beek’s designs have been further transformed; into an art deco piece of furniture by Artdeco Shanghai, a shop initiated by artist Ding Yi. Everyday homeware, such as plates, have been turned into pieces of artwork when combined with the skill of artisans in Jingdezhen.

YOUnit is a dedicated space within Shanghai Village offering visitors experiences where the emphasis is on “bringing to life” the making of products. It is curated by Davide Quadrio and Alan Grillo, and it is a concept that has been developed with various activities and partners throughout the first year of Shanghai Village. For this exhibition the YOUnit space has been reimagined. Breaking away from museum tradition and the protocol of using white walls and spaces, Bas Van Beek has taken his graphic wallpaper as the background to create a special atmosphere to connect with this audience. This idea is inspired by the director of the VanAbbe Museum in Holland, where Bas Van Beek is currently exhibiting.

This is the first time that Shanghai Village has collaborated with a world-class museum. “This particular collaboration is a great opportunity to reach people who would never normally go to a museum. After all, a retail space is a much less strange or intimidating than a museum.” Charles Esche, Director of the Van Abbemuseum, the Netherlands said.