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Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 12:28
New cool
By Deng Zhangyu
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 12:28 By Deng Zhangyu

Designer Wang Xin is showing his works in Beijing as part of his homecoming. Deng Zhangyu reports.

Wang Xin's signature designs of handbags inspired by owls. (Photos Provided To China Daily)

Designer Wang Xin's works are full of creativity: A spider on a wall becomes an exquisite watch; a rocket ready for launch is actually a pen; and a Star Wars spaceship is a music box.

The 32-year-old Chinese once worked for such Swiss luxury brands as Piaget and MB&F, and returned to China in 2015 to continue his career as an independent designer. His newly produced works and sketches are now on display at an art space called Tru-M in Beijing's Sanlitun area.

At the show, Wang is talkative while introducing his designs. Otherwise, he remains quiet.

A set of porcelain plates hanging on the wall feature various geometric patterns.

A sculpted porcelain inkstand is made like a vivid miniature of Chinese landscape paintings, with mountains and rivers.

"I don't design for the sake of designing. It is more like a magician's work - creating something that expresses my own ideas," says Wang.

Wang Xin's signature design of a robot table clock. (Photos Provided To China Daily)

The music box he designed while working at MB&F, a Geneva-based company, breaks the traditional understanding of such objects. In his design, he involved a series of futuristic music boxes inspired by the Star Wars films.

Maximilian Busser, founder of MB&F, once used the word "creator" to describe Wang.

Michael Goo, founder of Tru-M, says Wang's designs are clean and show a kind of minimalism.

"In a way many of his ideas come from nature," Goo says.

The kind of coolness in Wang's designs comes from his fascination with science.

Unlike many other designers who have backgrounds in art, Wang has been influenced by physics. He won the top prize in an important competition in middle school and studied physics in Peking University for four years.

"As a fundamental science, physics teaches me how to look at the world and understand it. It's a good way of thinking," he says.

A space rocket-shaped pen designed by Wang Xin.

After college, Wang went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to learn design, which he thought was a quick way to create things. But in physics, he says it always takes a long time to finish creating something.

He went to Switzerland after graduation and became a designer for many luxury watch brands. A watch he designed for Piaget, based on the theme of cities along the ancient Silk Road, won the Artistic Crafts Watch prize last year at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve, a prize labeled the "Oscars of watches".

Wang says it's very hard for Chinese designers to get noticed and win recognition in Switzerland, where art and design are dominated by Europeans. But in recent years, with the strengthening of the Chinese economy and the fashion market in the country, some Chinese designers have had the chance to stand out on the international stage.

Wang set up his own brand, Solascia, in China last year, mainly targeting fashionable women.

"Chinese have a taste for art now, and they know what is good," Wang says of his return to China.

Chinese have a taste for art now, and they know what is good

Wang Xin,designer

Goo says he saw Wang's works at a gallery in Taiwan four years ago and was attracted to them.

He then tried to get the designer to collaborate with him on some art projects.

For Goo, Wang represents Chinese designers who use their own creativity rather than copying Western designers.

"It's an emerging trend that more Chinese designers working for luxury brands are leaving them to promote their own brands," he adds.

If you go

10 am-10 pm, through April 29. TRU-M, Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang district, Beijing. 132-6123-0281.

Contact the writer at dengzhangyu@chinadaily.com.cn


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