A lovely critical tone on V&A’s curation of a design exhibition.
Until recently, a positive view on the state of modern Chinese graphic design was difficult to find in the Western trade press. Hong Kong, under the rule of the British Empire up until 1997, was seen as simply mimicking and copying Euro-American works. The Mainland’s designs, under the Communist regime and economy since the 1950s, were dismissed as solely propagandistic and emulating the former Soviet Union’s visual mannerisms. It is as the New China, with its new market economy and powerful global presence, that Western design professions have begun to take notice that they have powerful design competition to face. Yet the Euro-American typecasting of Chinese design still lingers on, as evidenced in London’s current Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition, called China Design Now.1