Dreams, tradition and modern life: students win with emotional art

The major winners of the "Dream Traditional and Modern: 2017 Art Design Competition for Shanghai Students" reflect an emotional link to Chinese culture.

Zhong Yijia's work depicting the evolution from ape to man wins the top price for students in the “Dream Traditional and Modern: 2017 Art Design Competition for Shanghai Students.”

Pieces of colored electrical wires on a weather-beaten wooden door depicting the evolution from ape to man has won the top prize in an art competition among students, which drew links among culture, the past and the future.

Zhong Yijia was one of the 100 winners in the “Dream Traditional and Modern: 2017 Art Design Competition for Shanghai Students.”

“On the surface, the three words ‘dream, traditional and modern’ have no relation, but actually they are closely linked with each other,” Zhong said.

“Traditional wisdom gives infinite inspiration to those who follow. The clear lines of the wire and the complicated texture on the wood form a striking contrast,” she explained.

The awards, organized by the Shanghai Education Commission, were recently announced at the chi K11 Art Museum.

The competition aims to nurture and discover the creative designers-to-be and build a platform for local students.

About 1,500 entries were received from students in high, middle, primary and technical schools and universities and colleges in the city’s 16 districts.

Of the 100 winners, 47 come from universities and colleges and 53 from schools.
The Golden Award for universities and colleges went to Li Ziyi, whose work “The Happiness of China” echoes the same emotional link to traditional culture as Zhong's piece.

Her work is inspired by the Chinese character for happiness, xi (喜), and she used this familiar character in her design for furniture, plates, bowls and cups.

“Chinese people pay particular attention to the happy moments in their life, like wedding ceremonies,” Li said. “It is deeply rooted in our gene.”

After a three-day exhibition at the chi K11 Art Museum which began with the awards ceremony, the winning pieces will go on display at the River Mall in the former Shanghai Expo Park.

Exhibition details

Date: Through November 28, 9:30am-5:30pm

Address: L1, Section 2, The River Mall, 1368 Expo Ave, Pudong New Area


Li Ziyi's work, “The Happiness of China,” win the Golden Award for university and college students.

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