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Discover and Question about Identity. Now it’s time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

After we entered the new time of globalization, culture from all over this planet has tightly connected stronger than ever before. Now, flying to the most far away place where you can imagine may only take you a day’s time so the frequent moving from places to places has provided the global society with countless chances of mixing and sharing cultures, identities and perspectives. New things never came alone. The gap area is the wonderland of creating new ideas but it’s also a mist forest where we may get lost about where we come from, where we are going to and even who we truly are. So as young artists of this young generation, what kind of attitude should we have towards the contrast, the sparks and the mixing should be questioned.
He Jing, whose education mixed both Chinese traditional culture and Dutch modern design education, came up with one tough question about defining herself— What is Chinese designer and what is Identity?

He Jing grow up in China and studied fundamental education there as well, moved to the Netherlands and being educated for years( Gerrit Rietveld academie and Design Academy of Eindhoven). So, how to define her works? Chinese work or Dutch work? Which is the more important influence when we define about identity? After she did many research about culture influences she found one point which interests her most that is Copying, a commonly seen phenomenon among cultures.

The Tulip Pyramid is a 17th-century Dutch invention. However, its form, its motifs and its material imitate Chinese porcelain and pagoda.
‘I began this project to continue the process of replicating and transforming which is the history of Tulip Pyramid. I wanted to explore the question of ‘creativity in copying’ and the question of identity.
If a Tulip Pyramid were to be imitated in nowadays China – a country which is a mixture of common and private ownership, of collectivism and individualism, troubled by the issue of counterfeiting and appropriating intellectual property – what would result be? I invited five young Chinese designers from different design disciplines, to reflect the culture and the history of imitation and innovation. They each designed two layers of the pyramid. I claim ownership of the final product together with these five designers, to further explore the intellectual property of this object.
I see myself as a Tulip Pyramid. My origins are in China and I’ve been transformed in the Netherlands. What does that make me?
The education in the Netherlands gave me another perspective of design. I found a flexible area outside the practice of design for mass-production, using my personal experience to ask questions about mass-production in a design discourse. For a second pyramid, I imitated and mixed up famous Dutch designers’ iconic works with my former works, to question their influence and the institution that formed me.’,he jing said.

Nowadays, as the World Factory, China is providing the world with countless quick factories and products. When industry requires the chain to run fast, the details or the identity of design will be weakened or even ignored. She did many research about the Copy Culture in China nowadays to see where it come from and where it leads to. But at the same time, copying is not only exist in China, it’s a humanity thing so it exist in all cultures. She took one step back and look at the dutch culture as well. In the ancient society, as the one of the strongest empires for thousand of years, China influenced the whole world in many deep ways. The Netherlands was influenced and introduced by China with ceramics, teas and silk. Delft Blue is one of the most representable example of copying Chinese china. When she realized this, the movements of copying is no longer an issue only exists in one land or in one culture, it has became one art topic.

Does original things really exist?It’s hard to say one thing developed and improved all by itself and only existed in one certain closed world without touching and being influenced by other cultures. Does copying really mean some negative influences? What we may benefit from the copying culture if this is one phenomenon we can never truly avoid?

Maybe there will never be an end of the two tulip towers as the new results of Copy Culture will never ends, but when we facing the question about how to define identity, we are question ourselves about how to abandon the selfish perspective and embrace the sparks when different cultures meet each other.hejing1hejing2

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