Across China: Traditional culture helps Chinese design rise on global stage

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-31 19:20:45|Editor: Li Xia
Video PlayerClose

LANZHOU, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Yangsheng, an independent Chinese designer, is once again preparing for his journey to the Red Dot Design Award Ceremony held in Germany this September.

The Red Dot is an international product design prize that was set up in 1955. Zhang's works stood out from thousands of entries, and he won three awards this year.

"Chinese culture and elements are my major sources of inspiration," said Zhang, who has won a total of eight Red Dot awards over the past seven years.

One of his award-winning works is a non-spill bottle. The bottle can lean in any direction and right itself without spilling.

"The design was inspired by a traditional Chinese roly-poly toy, a round-bottomed doll that is self-balancing. When I prepared bottles for my child, I would sometimes knock them over and soil the rubber nipple," Zhang said.

"I began to do some research and discovered that the ancient Chinese toy's egg-shaped bottom could solve my problem," he said.

Another one of Zhang's award-winning designs is a package of thin, dried Chinese noodles. The design is inspired by makeup used in the Peking Opera, folk culture and cartoons.

"I first got the idea during a museum tour, during which I was surprised to find that the beard created from Peking Opera makeup is similar to the shape of Chinese hand-pulled noodles," he recalled.

Zhang matched various types of noodles with different images of famous figures in ancient China. Thanks to Zhang's work, Chinese hand-pulled noodles, a regional specialty of northwest China, caught the world's attention.

A graduate from Lanzhou University in Gansu Province, Zhang worked in business for nine years before he started his career as a designer.

"When I brainstorm design ideas, I always evaluate their practical use and social value first," he said. "I always want to bring innovation to traditional culture."

"The market is changing, and many enterprises are seeking cooperation with independent designers, which provides bright prospects for the younger generation," Zhang said.

"Many young designers in China know the traditional culture well and can express it in unique ways," he noted. "I believe that more Chinese designs and designers will go global in the near future."