Li Ming, Rendering the Mind, 2017, video still
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LEAP 10

The concept of “design for the poor” was put forward in 2006 by artist Qiu Zhijie and a class of his design students at the China Academy of Art. It refers to the ways people at the bottom rung of society use design and manufacturing to meet the challenges of their everyday problems. DURING THE…

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Just what is it that makes today’s Berlin so different, so appealing? Klaus Wowereit, member of the German Social Democrat party and governing mayor of Berlin also doesn’t know exactly. But there is one thing he knows: “That many artists from Germany and around the world live in Berlin, developing their cutting-edge work here.” So,…

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By the end of the twentieth century, nearly every commodity in this world had been made available for purchase online, and it wasn’t long before the opportunity to acquire art in cyberspace arose as well. Of course, nothing much came of early attempts to sell art over the Internet— the first online dealers quickly found…

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IN 2000, WANG GUANGLE had just graduated from the oil painting department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He spent a short time working at a publishing house, and then quit, because he hated the working stiff’s lifestyle, but also because artist and CAFA professor Liu Xiaodong had connected him to a collector who…

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Launched in 1994, Pots was Taiwan’s original alt-weekly. Aside from a brief hiatus in 1997, it has been publishing now for over 15 years, with a mandate to “break taboos and remove barriers,” reporting on a wide range of controversial social and cultural topics. AT ITS FOUNDING, Pots Weekly was originally introduced as the Sunday…

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These are 19 of the most beautifully designed books we have come across in recent years. The majority are artist monographs or otherwise art-related, and some are publications on visual culture in general, but worth noting is that a good number of them are independently published. Most importantly, though, whether due to corporeal chaos or…

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WHEN THEY FOUNDED it two years ago, the two Australians, Kain Picken and Fiona Lau, christened their “unisex, prêt-a-porter fashion label” ffiXXed. The unlikely name (pronounced simply as “fixed”) might be an homage to the sense of dependability evinced by the family-like atmosphere that their four-story in-house production studio plays home to, or just as…

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In our information age, electronic media have changed attitudes toward traditional printed texts, and toward printed characters themselves. New technology has engendered a new aesthetic for character form, one that inevitably feels overly cold and rigid. Against this, traditional typefaces are starting to make a comeback. Ying Yun-Wei is one designer adopting traditional character forms…

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On May 5th, 2011, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in conjunction with the China Art Foundation, hosted Strategies of Contemporary Art: Past and Present, East and West, inviting American master of abstraction Frank Stella and preeminent Chinese avant-gardist Huang Yong Ping to bump heads on a mélange of topics, ranging from education to inspiration and…

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A CHINESE SINGAPOREAN man in an emerald green dress looks into a mirror. He tremblingly tells his character’s black mother— here played by an Indian-Singaporean actor— “I’m white. White. White!” On a dual screen, another Indian Singaporean actor simultaneously delivers the same lines, this time to a Malay Singaporean actor playing his character’s black mother….

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A LIBRARY IS a place full of curiosities, both concrete and abstract. It provides storage for knowledge, yet it is also a site where different groups of people meet. In the urban life of Beijing, the symbolic significance of libraries has long surpassed their actual function. The National Library of China, located in the university…

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Trained at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and based between there and Calcutta, Praneet Soi is an artist for a hybrid moment. His first major monograph, with texts by leading curators Charles Esche and Ranjit Hoskote (who showcased him prominently at the India pavilion of the recent Venice Biennale), outlines a practice that hinges on a…

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WHEN STEVEN HOLL laid eyes on his first commission in China, the site was “overgrown with vegetation— no roads, site boundaries, no clear site plan.” Initial plans called for an “Art and Architecture Museum.” That day, he “began making sketches . . . based on [his] understanding of axonometric perspective in Chinese painting.” In the…

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Four years ago this summer, a thousand Chinese descended on the quiet German city of Kassel for an art project titled “Fairytale,” specimens in the world’s leading periodic exhibition, Documenta. A few weeks ago, what felt like another thousand descended on another quiet German-speaking city— Basel— for the world’s leading art fair. Magazine- organized groups,…

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Combing the aisles of the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Center we glimpse a new reality. At large-scale shows in Asia we had gotten used to a certain décalage, that whiff of the passé intimated through exhibition design, curatorial framing, or the works themselves. But even those unaware of this art fair’s dizzying rise (as…

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ENMESHED IN MID-AIR: THE NANJING SIFANG ART MUSEUM When Steven Holl laid eyes on his first commission in China, the site was “overgrown with vegetation— no roads, site boundaries, no clear site plan.” Initial plans called for an “Art and Architecture Museum.” That day, he “began making sketches . . . based on [his] understanding…

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LEAP 47 | Spring/Summer 2018

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