The Long Life Design exhibition intrigues at the Pearl Art Museum

Ti Gong

The water tanks serve as seats in the exhibition.

“The future is new, so is the past,” said Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961), the renowned Japanese beautician.

The concept finds an echo in “Long Life Design” by Nagaoka Kenmei, presented to the public through an exhibition entitled “Long Life Design: Thought and Practice”.

On view at the Pearl Art Museum through November 6, the exhibit showcases more than 600 objects, unveiling the unique and distinctive design thoughts and practices offered by Nagaoka Kenmei, a Japanese design activist who emphasizes manufacturing and long-term use in design.

The exhibition not only showcases works under the influence of “Long-Life Design” in Japan, but also includes a special “Echoes: Explorations of Local Designers” section of 10 Chinese designers and brands who advocate this design concept.

According to Nagaoka Kenmei, who first proposed the “Long Life Design” concept, “we must treat objects with love and understand the value of those that can last for a long time.”

In fact, the idea goes far beyond “sustainable design”. It’s a way of rethinking the relationship between humans and objects.

“In this context, design thinking could go beyond mere product design confined to profit and sales,” said Li Dandan, the museum’s curator.

“Design could be a concrete tool and a method with a humanistic trait, deeply related to multiple fields to make our life better.”

The layout of the exhibition responds to the concept of “Long Life Design”.

Accessible water tanks, as an ordinary object, after filling, function not only as supports to display the works of art, but also as seats for visitors to rest. These water tanks perfectly maintain the minimalist style of the museum space designed by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is “d Food Lab” which features six sets of models representing foods with local characteristics from six locations in Japan.

Visitors can watch a documentary about “d47 Canteen” to see how the canteen served local food from 47 locations in Japan. This is another reflection of Long Life Design creating the healthy and sustainable food culture through delicious dishes specially made from food materials harvested from different regions.

The “Design Recycle” section features a mountain of used clothing contrasted with an arrangement of colorful clothing, showing the re-design and recycling of clothing.

The Long Life Design exhibition intrigues at the Pearl Art Museum

Ti Gong

Exhibition Information

Date: until November 6 (closed Monday), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Sunday

Venue: Pearl Art Museum

Address: 8F Aegean Place, 1588 Wuzhong Road

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