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Thonik holds first retrospective in China

The Dutch graphic design studio Thonik is staging its first retrospective in Shanghai, China, called 'Power'. Thonik is known for its work in the cultural sector, including campaigns for the Amsterdam Public Library and the Dutch Socialist Party (SP).

By Editor Design.nl / 27-05-2008

The Dutch graphic design studio Thonik is staging its first retrospective in Shanghai, China, called 'Power'. Thonik is known for its work in the cultural sector, including campaigns for the Amsterdam Public Library and the Dutch Socialist Party (SP).

In 2007 the studio won the Rotterdam design prize. This summer Thonik will be responsible for the visual
communication for the Venice International Architecture Biennale and for the Sonsbeek International Sculpture Exhibition.

During the China Contemporary event in Rotterdam in 2006 Thonik encountered the Chinese avant-garde in architecture, art, graphic design and fashion. It led to an ‘extra-ordinarily inspiring meeting. It is great to see that designers from totally different cultures share one another’s design strategies,’ said Nikki Gonnissen and Thomas Widdershoven of Thonik.

Invitation
Curator Gong Yan invited Thonik to stage a retrospective in the Shanghai Art Museum. It will run from 24 May to 8 June 2008. Together the museum and the studio decided that the theme should be Power because Thonik’s graphic work manifests itself powerfully both in the cultural domain – with campaigns for the Amsterdam Public Library, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the house style of Amsterdam city council (together with Eden) – and in the political arena, as in the campaign for the Socialist Party.

Hand-knotted carpets
The highlight of the exhibition is an installation of hand-knotted woollen carpets, based on existing designs. The hand-knotting of carpets is a dying trade that the Chinese avant-garde are working to protect. The carpets refer to early Dutch rituals and traditions.

The 25 posters that Thonik made on the occasion of Queen Beatrix’s silver jubilee will also be seen in Shanghai. After Shanghai, POWER is going on tour and will be seen in the NAi in Maastricht in March 2009.(Image: photo from the exhibition by Thonik)

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