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HAPPENINGText: Samantha Culp

While all these categories were technically present, the majority of the works were graphic design-focused, from the tongue-in-cheek “Wannabe Chinese” posters (emblazoned with photos of young white men and women decked out in qipao and worker’s uniforms) to the graffiti-inflected skateboard decks (some reading “People’s Republic of Skateboarding”).

As in practically any design show of the past many years, the ubiquitously slick Illustrator renderings of animals, household objects, amorphous swirls, retro patterns and bubble-gum color schemes could be found here as well. Three dimensional works were shown as well, including the ominous, life-sized stuffed humans of Pole Art Design and the agit-pop t-shirts of their sister company Shirt Flag.

Most of the design and products represented could also be found for sale-except for the more purely “art” pieces in the exhibition, such as Guangzhou artist Cao Fei‘s latest video art piece “Cosplayers” and the luminous and subtly erotic photographs of Zhu Ye.

All in all, “Get it Louder” has helped to turn up the volume on the various sounds of contemporary Chinese design- simultaneously commercial and obscure, disappointingly derivative and fiercely original. And it’s getting louder all the time.

Get It Louder 2005
Shenzhen: April 30th – May 8th, 2005 at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal
Shanghai: May 21st – 29th, 2005 at Salon Vogue, CITIC Square
Beijing: June 11th – 19th, 2005 atXinfucun Art Center

Text: Samantha Culp
Photos: Samantha Culp

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