The tulip vase is a 17th-century Dutch invention. However, its form, motifs and material all imitate Chinese porcelain pagodas. Jing He uses this history in ‘Tulip Pyramid’ to explore her identity as a Chinese designer. Today China is known for its mass copies. In this context, what does it mean to be original? Can copying also be creative? To try and find answers, she continues the process of replicating and transforming. She asks five young Chinese designers to reflect on the culture of imitation and innovation by designing two layers of her pyramid. Jing He also sees the pyramid as a metaphor for herself. Her origins are in China, but her studies in the Netherlands helped to form her, giving her another perspective on design. And so, in a second pyramid, she imitates and mixes up famous Dutch designers’ works with her own previous work. Each structure becomes an original expression of Dutch and Chinese design, culture and history.
Graduation project, 2016
The Tulip Pyramid
Copy and Identity (2016) was originally written as a thesis report for a research project concerning copying and cultural identity, and accompanied the design project Tulip Pyramid. Both the design project and the thesis were part of Jing He's graduation from Contextual Design (MA) at Design Academy Eindhoven in 2016.
Jing He: Tulip Pyramid – Copy and Identity, Design Academy Eindhoven, 82 pag., 15 euro
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