设计策展 / 展览设计 / 传达设计
Design Curating / Exhibition and Graphic Design


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凯瑟琳·格里菲斯:场域间的独奏
新西兰当代著名设计师与文字设计艺术家 Catherine Griffiths 中国首展。展览正在 The Space Gallery(上海市长宁区伊犁路 80 号)进行中,展期:2019年10月13日至11月17日。

Catherine Griffiths: SOLO IN [  ] SPACE
The first solo exhibition of Catherine Griffiths, who is one of the most significent contemporary New Zealand designer, typographer, and artist, in China. Exhibition is still on from 13 October to 17 November 2019 at The Space Gallery (80 Yili Road, Changning District, Shanghai).



策展人:段智华
展览团队:李浩远、刘晨阳、王炜滢、Kelly ZHENG、全文玥、王艺霏、郑然
场地特别支持:The Space(沈丽琼、高洁)

Curator: DUAN Zhihua
Curatorial team: LI Haoyuan, Jennifer Liu, WANG Weiying, Kelly ZHENG, QUAN Wenyue, WANG Yifei, ZHENG Ran
Space partner: The Space (SHEN Liqiong, GAO Jie)




与国内丰富的和欧美及日本等主流设计地域相关的设计活动相比,来自南半球澳大利亚和新西兰的设计面貌却鲜少有机会为更多观众所接触。去年结束在澳大利亚的学习和生活回国,每被问及在澳洲几年间的最大收获,起初我会说南半球为我打开了欧美主流语境之外令人激动的全新设计世界,但细想后,我所获得的对于自我和设计上的最大成长,却更应该是我在那里切身学会了剔除浮躁,明白了较真之下平静的魔力。

能够做些什么和南半球平面设计相关的事件,成为回国后一直在脑海中萦绕的念头。展览是一直喜欢的,也总在直接或间接的参与。为格里菲斯策划一场有趣的个展吧!当我将这个想法怀着忐忑又期待的心情告诉格里菲斯的时候,没想到很快就得到了积极的回复。而选择来自新西兰的格里菲斯作为这场未来可能依然会延续的计划的开始,是因为我相信她可能是最能够展现南半球设计界那股平静力量的绝佳代表之一,可能也要归功于她所在的新西兰本身即是更为纯净的远方吧。

初识格里菲斯与她的实践是在 2017 年初墨尔本艺术书展(Melbourne Art Book Fair 2017)中的国际文字设计论坛(International Symposium on Typography)上聆听她的演讲;几个月后,很惊喜的发现她成为我前往葡萄牙波尔图参与的“波尔图设计之夏(Porto Design Summer School)”的导师之一,由此发生了更多交流,也对她的实践有了更深入的了解和更浓厚的兴趣;继而在 2017 年底由上海视觉艺术学院举办的上海视觉艺术与设计展国际邀请展单元中,我作为策展团成员之一,负责挑选澳洲和新西兰地区设计师参展,格里菲斯也即成为第一个浮现在我脑海中能够代表南半球的设计师之一,是次成为早已在欧美与南半球享有盛誉的她在中国的首次亮相,但遗憾于群展形式,未能完整的呈现格里菲斯的庞杂设计实践,意犹未尽。

经过这一系列的交流与接触,对格里菲斯的设计实践亦拥有了越来越完整的认识,再看时,脑海中不知怎的就自然的浮现了木心先生的两句文字“因为喜欢朴素,所以喜欢华丽”以及“能做的事情就只是长途跋涉后的归真反璞”。这可能是两句想要借用来,去描述格里菲斯的个人气质以及她的作品样貌的合适且准确的言语了。她的多数作品可能并非直接拥有抓人眼球的刺激,但她对庞杂思考投入的充沛精力以及对细节毫无倦怠的苛求,俨然是长途跋涉的修行;繁复的辩证过程和成品中精致的工艺,是谓华丽;化繁为简,精确的,对文字设计本质的探寻,是谓朴素;而这全部的全部所构建的“谨慎的优雅”,足以用“品味”二字去要求观众,返璞归真了。这也是为什么在这场展览中,相较于设计的成品,我们更邀请格里菲斯去展示她的思考与过程,无论是完整的,抑或是碎片化的。这个模糊了公共与私有、展场与工作现场的最终呈现,也成为来自格里菲斯本人最真诚的邀请。

策划这场展览的过程中,脑海中本涌动出太多的想要说的言语,可是,又有怎样的言语能够比这场展览最终的样貌更能描述我想企图向大家介绍的格里菲斯呢?正像格里菲斯在创作完她的标志性作品《惠灵顿作家之路(Wellington Writers Walk)》后所说,“突然间,我从传统的印刷文字场域中,跳脱出来,进入空间与景观,站在了所有人面前”。而你们,将看到的是我们通过这个非常规的展览场地、完整的展示营造、穿插的创作过程揭示,以及即将推出的有着“过程档案”意味的展览手册,一同所构建的“在场感”。而这个“在场感”可能即是我希望你们阅读的关于格里菲斯的全部诗意。

场域间的独奏,希望引发出你的独奏,亦以此独奏向你们发出合奏的邀请,平静的,有力的,诗意的。

段智华
写于 2019 年 10 月


There have been a number of vibrant graphic design events hosted in recent years in China, while most of them refer to the more mainstream regions of design, like Europe, US, and Japan. The design environment from Australia and New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere rarely reach a broader audience in China. After I finished my study in Melbourne and returned to Shanghai last year, I was often asked what I had gained the most from my experience in Australia. At first, my answer would be that I found a brand new exciting world of design outside the mainstream context of Europe and America. However, after more consideration, I think the most significant growth I had as a person and in the design profession was more about realizing and finding the magic of serenity under the tenaciousness of practice.

What can I do to introduce the graphic design scene of the Southern Hemisphere to more people has become a thought that’s been lingering in my mind after returning to China. Exhibition is something that I always love, and I have still been involved directly and indirectly in many cases. So, why not make an exciting solo exhibition for Catherine Griffiths? When I told her my idea, I didn’t expect to get a positive response this soon, but she just said YES! The reason that I choose Griffiths as the beginning part of my plan (which may continue in the future) is that I believe she is one of the best representatives to showcase the power of serenity that comes from the design community of the Southern Hemisphere. This may also owe to the fact that New Zealand is a farther distanced land of pureness.

I first met Griffiths and got to know her work during the International Symposium on Typography (part of Melbourne Art Book Fair 2017) in early 2017 in Melbourne. A few months later, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she was one of the tutors of the Porto Design Summer School, which I attended in Porto, Portugal. This chance led us to more communication and allowed me to build a deeper understanding and interest in her practice. At the end of 2017, as one of the curatorial team members in the Global Invitational Exhibition Unit of Shanghai Visual Art & Design Exhibition organized by Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, I was responsible for selecting designers from Australia and New Zealand. Griffiths was naturally the first that came into my mind. That became her first appearance in China. However, due to the form of a group exhibition, Griffiths' rich design practices weren’t given a chance to be fully showcased, leaving the audience longing for more.

Through the process of communicating back and forth with each other and putting together the exhibition, I have gained a more complete understanding of Griffiths' design practice. When I go through her work yet again, two sentences written by one of my favourite writers “Mu Xin” had come to mind: “I embrace splendor because I appreciate the simplicity in plainness” and “All that could be done was to return to nature after a long journey.” I want to borrow these words that, to me, best describes Griffiths' character and the tone of voice in her work. Most of her work may not have the immediate stimulating quality to directly catch people’s eyes.

However, It is about her enthusiasm for intensive thinking and the endless demands on details. While there's something magnificent about the dialectic process and the exquisite craftsmanship in her finished works, there's also something simple yet essential about her precise exploration towards the essence of typography. All the “discreet elegance” constructed by these asks the audience to ‘taste’ with heart, and to return to nature. This is also why we invited Griffiths to show her thoughts and process in this exhibition, whether they are complete or fragmented. This show blurs the space between “public” and “private”; “showroom” and “work site”. It has become the most sincere invitation from Griffiths herself.

In the process of curating this exhibition, so many expressions and words were circling in my mind and yet none of them can compare to this final space of the show itself and the excitement I had as I finally introduce Griffiths and her work to you. Just as what Griffiths said after creating her iconic work–Wellington Writers Walk, “Suddenly I’d leapt off the printed page and into the landscape–in front of everyone.” You are experiencing the “sense of presence” through this unconventional exhibition space, integrated exhibition design, unfiltered thoughts and creative process, along with the upcoming exhibition brochure which included archives. This “sense of presence” may be all the poetry that I want you to read about Griffiths.

SOLO IN [ ] SPACE. I hope it’s able to trigger your solo, or tutti. Pure, powerful, and poetic. 









                                                                      


























Mark
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