by Marzia De Giuli
MILAN, Italy, April 17 (Xinhua) -- An exhibition of contemporary Chinese design art kicked off here on Tuesday on the opening day of "Salone del Mobile," or Milan Furniture Fair, highlighting a new idea of creativity growing in China.
The "Slow Seating - Contemporary Chinese Design" exhibition was brought to Milan by the Beijing Design Week, a government initiative to promote the development of Chinese design.
Running from April 17 to April 22 in the Italian design capital, the exhibition showcases 80 chairs by nearly as many designers selected by renowned Wenzhou-based designer Zhu Xiaojie.
"The chair refers to the concept of balance, so important for a healthy lifestyle in traditional Chinese thinking and now reinterpreted into new, contemporary experimentations in the context of modern China,"Zhu told Xinhua at the exhibition presentation.
"No type of furniture is so prevalent in daily life, or so integral to human endeavor and bodily comportment as the chair, that can thus explore the relationship between development and heritage, technology and artistry,"he noted.
And in the contemporary frenetic world, the designer said, the chair tells people to sit down and slow down to regain the balance somehow lost in the past.
In fact, with chair being such a significant item both in the ancient and modern China, it was no accident that it was chosen as the best furniture item to help cultural and commercial exchange between China and Italy in the field of design, Zhu said.
"Slow Seating is especially an invitation for those who still have preconceptions about Chinese creativity to realize where things stand in the Chinese design now on the international scene,"the curator stressed.
He said the exhibition "especially aims at breaking some stereotypes widespread in the Western world, and also in the Milan Furniture Fair, which often only see Chinese design as associated with copying."
Vittorio Sun Qun, Deputy Director of Beijing Design Week Organizing Committee, said presenting an exhibition of Chinese design during the 50-year-old Milan Furniture Fair, a global benchmark in the field, was an achievement that paves the way for further making Chinese creativity acknowledged internationally.
The presence of Beijing Design Week at the Milan worldwide event, he told Xinhua, was a preamble to a major cooperation between the two countries, which will take place during the 2012 edition of Beijing Design Week, when Milan will be protagonist of the festival's Guest City program.