A dialogue between Tradition and Modernity
Christie's is delighted to introduce the exciting new category of Chinese Contemporary Design, which illustrates today's creative and vibrant China that cares about its history and cultural legacy.
The selection embraces the traditional heritage of Chinese craftsmanship combined with contemporary design to fit into our modern lifestyle.
Each piece represents a continuous dialogue between the past, the present and the future as designers seek to preserve the skills of past Chinese artisans from the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, continue these traditions today and push them to new limits incorporating innovative technical skills such as carbon fiber.
Inspired by the historical beauty of 5,000 years of Chinese culture and craft, these modern design pieces represent a large range of furniture, ceramics, and works of art made from the finest of raw materials such as porcelain 'as light and delicate as an eggshell', precious and rare woods such as zitan, Chinese traditional natural lacquer, silk from Suzhou, bamboo from Sichuan and white Hotian jade from Xinjiang. Some lost techniques are being revived here such as the application of gold powder on natural bamboo.
Twenty unique pieces designed by Shang Xia are being revealed and offered here for the first time. All have been produced in conjunction with local Chinese masters of their craft from different provinces who integrate the warmth, balance and harmony of Chinese grace into all the products. These high quality pieces are designed to match the elegance of today's modern aesthetic.
"We are very proud to launch the new category of Chinese Contemporary Design which focuses on the excellence of today's Chinese craftsmanship and brings to light the continuity in the culture and the knowledge of this great civilization.
Let's discover together the best of the "Made in China!"
International Head, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
This technique which goes back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) allows the production of pieces, the thickness of which does not exceed 1mm. Traditionally, the 'eggshell' porcelain is characterized by the colored motifs which decorate its surface. Shang Xia reinterprets here this know-how by emphasizing the extraordinary translucent purity of the porcelain.
The sides less than 1mm made from an extremely fine white porcelain called 'eggshell' as it is as delicate as an eggshell, are worked many times by the patient and focused craftsman.
These translucent bowls, 'as light as a cloud' are handled as we would grab a dream. They sound like a temple bell.