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Designs on China

(China Daily)

11:43, January 27, 2013

Liliane Fawcett owns the gallery Themes & Variations and is an observer of contemporary Chinese design. (Photo/ China Daily)

Inspired by a visit to Beijing's 798 Art Zone, a London gallery owner is taking contemporary Chinese design, stimulated by the country's rapid changes, to a European audience. Cecily Liu reports.

Liliane Fawcett says her gallery Themes & Variations has never attracted as much media coverage as in the past month, when it hosted its first exhibition of Chinese contemporary design.

"We've never had this amount of press for any other exhibition, so maybe there is great interest for Chinese design in Europe. Most of the visitors coming to our gallery did not know what to expect of Chinese design, but were amazed by the standard of work."

Fawcett, 55, a French countess, set up Themes & Variations in London in 1984, selling post-war and contemporary design.

Over the years it has promoted work from up-and-coming designers such as the British-Tunisian Tom Dixon and the Israeli Ron Arad, as well as decorative arts and furniture from the 1960s and 1970s.

The 55 items that make up the Chinese Design Today exhibition are the work of 16 artists from Beijing, Shanghai and Jingdezhen, a city in Jiangxi province famous for its porcelain.

Fawcett says one popular medium used by the artists is furniture, which holds true for both older and younger generations of Chinese designers.

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