Saturday, November 29, 2008

new, and old, and new

AT LAST i've updated my website! didn't exactly get a full makeover, but it's better, new and improved! (trust me.) the front page will look mostly familiar to regular visitors, but i've consolidated, moved some things around, got rid of some old junky things. kind of a spring cleaning, except it's almost december.

In other news, my in-laws are going to be moving from their beautiful 100-year old courtyard house in the center of beijing. all the land around them has been developed, and their house is slated to be a parking lot. it was only a matter of time before the developers came knocking at their front door. in a week they will turn over the keys and start shopping for another place to live. yes, of course they were compensated, but how could they find another place as lovely as this:


and finally, kupa studios is nearly finished with our most recent design project: a bakery in the shunyi district of beijing called Boulangerie Nanda. Nanda makes artisan organic breads and pastries. Look for it at the Lohaos Organic Supermarkets starting mid-december. if you don't live in beijing, you've probably got 5 other organic supermarkets near you that sell amazing bread, so stop whining.

[curiously, the kupa website is blocked in china. if you are a mainland viewer, here is a link to the flickr set of other kupa projects]


Saturday, November 15, 2008


just opened at the Arrow Factory!

Vive la Différence: Ni Haifeng @
Arrow Factory

2008.11.07 - 2009.01.07

《维瓦拉蒂法兰西》(差 异万岁Vive la Difference)是艺术家倪海峰创作的一件装置作品,在箭厂空间橱窗式设计的背景之下呈现了制造、消费以及商品化的问题。利用商业化的生产中废弃的 工业垃圾(织物碎片),艺术家同两个截然不同的劳动者通力合作,制作出两件独特的“高端”时装外套,将以高级橱窗展示的形式在箭厂空间展示。两件外套都有 着同样的出发点——一件由法国高档品牌“爱马仕”(Hermès)设计的服装——和同样的材质(一箱碎布),但是社会背景和制作过程却迥然有别。倪海峰选 择了与两个具有完全不同背景的团队合作——一个是坐落在箭厂空间附近胡同里的一家叫做“别具一格”的夫妻裁缝店,以为邻里居民提供缝纫制衣,缝补和洗涤服 务为生;另一个则是目前在北京的法国及澳洲设计师Aurelien Lecour和Tony Saint Hua,Le Divan高级时装工作室的创办人,他们工作在时装工业的创造性领域。两个团队当中的每一个都被要求根据一张“原创”设计的图片来重新阐释和复制各自的服 装,其结果不仅是形成了两种不同的审美反应,而且揭示了这两种完全不同但却并行的劳动模式之间的社会差异。通过有意选择经济背景有着巨大差异的合作者,将 制作的创造性行为交与他人,倪海峰着眼于一种生产的社会过程,生产的手段受到质疑,而清晰的原创者身份的概念则被瓦解了。《维瓦拉蒂法兰西》在这一平凡粗 陋的胡同环境中,寻求揭示极端奢华与凡俗的日常生活之间的视觉上的不和谐,以及隐藏在生产与展示背后的社会摩擦。“维瓦拉蒂法兰西”或者“差异万岁”不无 嘲讽地重申,在“低端”与“高端”之间,在严峻的社会现实与消费主义的乌托邦承诺之间所存在的不可调和的差异。
倪海峰(1964 年出生于舟山)的艺术实践源自对回归、交换、语言和生产等文化体系的关注。他在中国出生和成长,但目前定居荷兰,长期以来,他运用摄影、录像和装置来探索 意义的同时发生和消解,提醒人们关注常常折射出殖民主义和全球化状态中的人、产品以及商品的循环运动。他的目的在于打破现状,对抗先入为主的艺术概念,用 艺术家自己的话来说,就是要努力达到“零度意义”。倪海峰的作品在国内和国际上多次举办个展和群展。目前生活在阿姆斯特丹和北京两地。
艺术家与箭厂空间感谢Le Divan 时装工作室和“别具一格”裁缝店的卢先生在合作过程中慷慨相助。

Vive la Différence: Ni Haifeng @ Arrow Factory

Vive la Différence is an installation created by artist Ni Haifeng that presents issues of production, consumption and commodification within the context of a shop window design at the Arrow Factory. Using shreds of fabric that have been discarded after commercial factory production, the artist has collaborated with two different design teams to produce a pair of unique “high-end” fashion garments that will be presented in Arrow Factory’s space in the form of a luxury store window display. The two garments share the same origin—a dress designed by French luxury brand Hermès—and the same materials (a box of fabric shreds) but the social context and process of production is entirely different. Ni has chosen to work with two workers with incongruent backgrounds—one is a Chinese run “mom and pop” tailor shop Bieju Yige (别具一格)located in the hutong adjacent to Arrow Factory that subsists on tailoring, mending and patching clothes for the neighborhood residents, and the other is Beijing based French-Australian designers Aurelien Lecour and Tony Saint Hua, creators of Le Divan Studio who work in the creative sector of fashion industry. Each has been enlisted to reinterpret and reproduce their own dress based on an image of the unique “original” design, with the outcome intended not only to yield two different aesthetic responses, but to also acknowledge the social discrepancy between these two diverse yet parallel forms of labor. By purposefully choosing collaborators with dramatically different economic backgrounds and handing the creative act of making over to others, Ni engages with a social process of making where the means of production are questioned and clear notions of authorship are disrupted. Vive la Différence seeks to expose both the visual dissonance between the extremely lavish and the mundane everyday and the hidden social frictions of production and presentation within the humble surroundings of the hutong. Vive la Différence or “Long Live the Difference” mockingly reiterates the irrevocable differences between the “low” and the “high”, between the unwanted and the “highly desirable”, between grim reality and utopian promises of a pan-consumerist society.

About the Artist

Ni Haifeng’s (b.1964, Zhoushan) practice stems from an interest in cultural systems of return, exchange, language and production. Born and raised in China but currently a resident of the Netherlands, Ni employs photography, video and installations to explore the simultaneous creation and obliteration of meaning while drawing attention to the cyclical movements of people, products and goods that are often reflective of patterns of colonialism and globalization. His aims to subvert the status quo and counteract preconceived notions of art are, in his own words, an effort towards reaching a “zero degree of meaning”. Ni’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally. He lives between Amsterdam and Beijing.

The artist and Arrow Factory would like to thank the generous assistance of Le Divan Studio and Bieju Yige for their collaboration.