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Long Life Design exhibition intrigues at Pearl Art Museum

Long Life Design exhibition intrigues at Pearl Art Museum

Ti Gong

Water tanks function as seats at the exhibition.

“The future is new, so is the past,” said Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961), the renowned Japanese aesthetician.

The concept is echoed in Nagaoka Kenmei’s “Long Life Design,” introduced to the public through an exhibition titled “Long Life Design: Thinking and Practice.”

On display at the Pearl Art Museum through November 6, the exhibition features more than 600 objects, unveiling the unique and distinctive design thoughts and practices proposed by Nagaoka Kenmei, a Japanese design activist who emphasizes long-term manufacturing and use in design.

The exhibition not only presents the works under the influence of “Long-Life Design” in Japan, but also includes a special section of “Echoes: Explorations of Local Designers” from 10 Chinese designers and brands that advocate this design concept.

According to Nagaoka Kenmei who first proposed the “Long Life Design” concept, “we should treat objects with love, and understand the value of those that can endure for a long time.”

In fact, the idea is far beyond the “sustainable design.” It is a way to rethink the relationship between human and objects.

“Under this context, the thinking about design could go further than the simple product design confined to profit and sales,” said Li Dandan, the curator at the museum.

“Design could be a concrete tool and method with a humanistic trait, deeply linking with multiple fields to make our life better.”

The layout of the exhibition responds to the concept of “Long Life Design.”

The accessible water tanks, as an ordinary object, after filling up, function not only as the carriers to display the artworks, but also the seats for visitors to take a rest. These water tanks perfectly maintain the minimalism style of the museum space designed by world famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is “d Food Lab” that features six sets of models representing food with local features from six places in Japan.

Visitors can watch a documentary of the “d47 Canteen” to find how the canteen served the local food of 47 places in Japan. This is another reflection of Long Life Design creating the healthy and sustainable food culture through delicious dishes especially made from food materials harvested in different regions.

The section “Design Recycle” presents a mountain of used clothes contrasting with an arrangement of colorful garments, showing re-design and recycling of garments.

Long Life Design exhibition intrigues at Pearl Art Museum

Ti Gong

Exhibition information

Date: Through November 6 (close on Mondays), 10am–7pm Tuesday to Thursday, 10am–10pm, Friday to Sunday

Venue: Pearl Art Museum

Address: 8F Aegean Place, 1588 Wuzhong Rd

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