At 3:00 pm on September 15, 2017, “Weingart Typography” China Touring Exhibition 2017 unveiled the first show at CAFA Art Museum in Beijing. It is organized by CAFA Art Museum in collaboration with the Museum für Gestaltung Zurich, to review all the works of Weingart over the decades, and it is the first time for a complete introduction of Weingart’s works of design on the Chinese Mainland.
The exhibition is jointly organized by the CAFA Art Museum, Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, Guangzhou National Advertising Industrial Park and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Aurele Aquillon, Project Manager of the Embassy of Switzerland in China, Ms. Zhao Xin, Officer of the Culture Project and Sponsor of the Embassy of Switzerland in China, Zhang Zikang, Director of the CAFA Art Museum, Li Zhongyang, Head of the Design Specialty of Capital Normal University and Director of the Institute of Visual Design and Education, Song Xiewei, Dean of School of Design, CAFA, Wang Yipeng, Party Secretary of the School of Design, CAFA, Ji Hua, Deputy Party Secretary of the School of Design, CAFA, Jin Jun, Deputy Dean of the School of Design, CAFA, Lin Cunzhen, Deputy Dean of the School of Design, CAFA, Su Shipeng, Director of the type development of Foundertype, and other honored guests attended the opening ceremony. Gao Gao, Assistant to Director of the CAFA Art Museum hosted the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
First of all, Song Xiewei, Dean of School of Design delivered a speech and affirmed the academic value of the exhibition. Typography is very interesting, seemingly simple but profound in fact; all things including the research on type, the structure, framework and meaning, and the inheritance relationship introduced a new logical thinking for people while the relationship between the type and space formed a more effective narrative description, which was the most valuable thing for the exhibition.
Zhang Zikang, Director of the CAFA Art Museum introduced that this exhibition was the first review and research exhibition of the famous Swiss graphic designer and design educator Wolfgang Weingart. He was an important figure constantly breaking the routine and pioneering the typography, revealing the new possibilities of graphic design language. Before the arrival of the present popular digital design wave, he had used creatively lead-type typography and other media & means to create a new graphic design language in the process of design. All of the exhibits come from the Museum für Gestaltung Zurich’s own collections, including more than 200 pieces by Weingart himself as well as examples of his students’ work, in addition to the systematic display of research of Weingart’s design through different stages. It offers some visual texts to current Chinese designers and design lovers, to understand the modern design concept and methodology.
Wolfgang Weingart is an internationally acclaimed Swiss graphic designer and design educator. Born in Konstanz, a city in the south of Germany, in 1941, Wolfgang Weingart was formally trained as a typographic apprentice in Stuttgart, and then went on to study in Schule für Gestaltung Basel. In the 1960s, Weingart used the alphabet and type to create dynamic images, and also broke through the regular typesetting, including Swiss typographic dogmatic right angle standards which caused a great response in the field of design. In 1968 Weingart started teaching at the Schule für Gestaltung Basel and Weingart influenced generations of young designers who were attracted to the Basel school by its reputation by his teaching and practice of design. He energized the modern Swiss typography, and he was called the “New Wave” and “Father of Swiss Punk Print”. This wave reverberated with the then emerging Post-modernism in the United States that impacted on graphic design in profound ways.
The exhibition is divided into 14 parts: the life-time, line drawing, circular composition, a typographic apprentice, typography in a new era, the letter M, advanced courses for graphic design, practice and research, books and magazines, calendars, digital research, application of color, copying and collage technology of computer painting, collage art-like film overlapping method. The exhibition selects the experimental designs, manuscripts, representative posters, teaching works, three-dimensional installation and the related image information, comprehensively recording the exploration and practice of the “enfant terrible” in the field of the graphic design.
When the curator Wu Fan guided each audience to visit the show, he told of how the typography or graphic design were developed to the present face, what were the possibilities in the future, how could we use our wisdom to develop it in the face of the development of media and technology? Weingart was a good reference for us to solve these questions. It “reviews” Weingart’s typography in the current context of China, blending the important traditions and ideas of design beyond the era and medium into the text of local design, and the exhibition will bring new thinking to modern Chinese graphic design.
It remains on view till October 8, 2017, and it is about to move to Shanghai and Guangzhou from October to December, 2017.
Text edited by Wu Huixia, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo courtesy of the organizer