Shanghai Surprise – Nancy Hass

From the New York Times Magazine (link):

Pearl Lam knows what we think about when we think about Chinese design: “Fakes. All those counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags. The miles of Prada and Christian Dior. Or Ming chairs, reproduced over and over. It’s very depressing. But we can’t move into the 21st century unless we confront that.”

To say that Lam, who owns the Contrasts Gallery, with outposts or staff in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and London, has herself moved past cheap imitation into the current century is an understatement: it would be more accurate to say that she has charged headlong into her own vision of the future. Bankrolling a group of emerging Chinese artists, commissioning pieces from international figures like Andr√©e Putman and Andr√© Dubreuil, and mounting traveling exhibitions, Lam has made Contrasts not merely Asia’s leading showcase for avant-garde objects, but also the place where China’s nascent design industry is actually being born.


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