00 featured image of the exhibition

On August 29, 2017, jointly held by CAFA and Beijing Times Art Museum, “Up-Youth · Design is Absent” opened in the Beijing Times Art Museum, featuring more than 40 pieces which are not the so-called works of “design”, in the art museum and the commercial complex. These works were created by the young designers who just graduated from the School of Design, CAFA, and can be regarded as a collective show of the results of the teaching of the school, which also demonstrates new ideas and mentality to prompt new exploration and thinking in the field of the discipline of design at CAFA.

Fan Di’an, President of CAFA, Song Xiewei, Dean of the School of Design, CAFA, Jin Jun, Deputy Dean of the School of Design, Fei Jun, Director of the Studio of Digital Media, Zhang Zikang, Director of CAFA Art Museum, Zhao Yan, Director of Beijing Times Art Museum, and the representatives of the freshmen of CAFA attended the opening ceremony, and visited the exhibition.

Fan Di’an, president of CAFA, addressed the opening ceremony and said that the show made clear the purpose and proposed the following question: “Design is absent, where is it?” It is an issue that is in need of both designers and artists as well as industrial professionals to think and research together, in order to solve it. The show uses a new meteorology and narrative language to illustrate the significance of the concept “Design is absent” at present, and both art and design need to enter a new communication and integration, and it is in need of the individual artists to think of taking the reality as the premise to blend society with the public.

Design is absent, or being absent in the specific work of the design, but it appears in the space, site, society, environment and public space. Coinciding with the first day of school, many freshmen of the School of Design, CAFA, arrived at the site. President Fan also stressed the clear purpose of running a school for CAFA, which is to cultivate new talent that can adapt to Chinese social development and reflect Chinese wisdom and cultural spirit in a global pattern, in addition to using teaching and learning to create the work that reflects realistic feelings and concerns reality.

The School of Design, CAFA started to establish the interdisciplinary tutor system for the graduation creation in 2016, using open teaching resources to enable students to build their own knowledge structure and activate them to freely create. At the same time, the design is no longer “design”, but a path to solve the problem. Design has been transformed into an endless social practice; education of design is no longer the education of “design”, the current talent of design needs more complex skills: skills in creative thinking, skills in systematic analysis, skills in independent thinking, skills in rapid prototyping, skills in multidimensional narrative, skills in communication and expression, skills in criticism and writing, skills in teamwork, skills in personal management, which could be explained by the works exhibited in the “Design is Absent”. It is divided into three parts: Technical Ethics, Social Speculation and Individual Consciousness, all focusing on the thinking of the dimensional relationship between the individual, socialising and the human body, society, space, culture, technology, tradition; in terms of the realization of works, it is not a simple program or presentation, but is in need of the mastery and usage of many-sided technology and knowledge, the processing of huge data, the presentation of the works and the participation of the audience, as well as the community are docked with a commercial atmosphere, which are undoubtedly new issues and response pathways for contemporary design.

The exhibition is also part of the “Up-Youth” program of the Beijing Times Art Museum. Initially started in 2014, “Up-Youth” young artists program aims at gathering the young artists who are active in the cutting-edge of art and design, together with the curators to focus on the current problem of social development. Zhao Yan, Director of Beijing Times Art Museum delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and stressed that the program focused on exploring the relationship between art and science & technology, society and life, and it extended the space to the bookstore, bar and café, which hinted that the art, society and all aspects of life were linked, design was absent, but design was ubiquitous.

The exhibition remains on view till October 7.

Text by Zhang Wenzhi, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo by Yang Yanyuan/CAFA ART INFO

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