Postcards by CAFA Students For The Opposite House

Part of my on-going initiatives at Swire Hotels, working closely with students and commissioning work.0117-toh-postcard-cafa-you-are-not-the-fish

(Beijing – March 2011) – Continuing the practice of collaborations with independent musicians and contemporary Chinese art galleries, The Opposite House provides a platform to showcase the creativity of up-and-coming young artists. This year’s initiative is a commissioned postcard project for turndown gifts by art students of various disciplines at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

“The end result from each artist is impressive. Coming from different art disciplines, their unique perspectives in this postcard collection offers us another way to look at the stunning design of Kengo Kuma and is a lovely memento for our in-house guests.” Says General Manager Anthony Ross.

“You are not the fish” by Ji Yucheng, CAFA, Print Art Department (class of 2012) was inspired by the 22-metre stainless steel swimming pool and the experiential feel of the hotel. Alluding the design and service concept of The Opposite House to a classical Chinese story, where the bespoke experience may not be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone, as the hotel is very unique and different from the other hotels.

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Fashion design student Tsu Wang (class of 2011) created “Shanghai Divas”, inspired by a remix album of Shanghai pop songs by Ian Widgery called Shanghai Lounge Divas. Partly inspired by Kengo Kuma’s use of bamboo in the design of The Opposite House and the glamourous women of 1930s Shanghai, Wang remade the traditional Chinese dress, qipao with bamboo from the stems of Chinese paintbrushes. The piece feels contemporary and yet traditional at the same time, mirroring the intoxicating charm of 1930s Shanghai—a perfect mix of East and West influences.

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“Cloud” by Print art student Liu Lingzi (class of 2011) has a childlike naivety, a print showing a group of students doing their routine morning exercise, with the last pupil being the odd one out. Liu feels that the House is known for being spontaneous and doing things a little differently. Inspired by the streaming sunlight in the green glass box of The Opposite House and the symmetry of the building’s architecture, she drew up the common routine morning scene in every Chinese school and the petulant spontaneous pupil representing the spirit of The Opposite House.

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Photography student Wang Yu (class of 2011) created “Talk to her”, a narrative panoramic photograph derived from a girl’s memory of her life journey, wondering into real and surreal spaces, framed by old school Chinese photography frames. The panorama featuring the same cosplay-like character showed the unlimited potential for stories and narratives in hotel rooms, moving from one into the next.

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