COLOUR TRAVELS IN CHINA
11.5.2011 - 29.1.2012
Photography exhibition COLOUR TRAVELS IN CHINA illustrates Chinese colour culture: colour usage, symbolism and the meanings invested in colours. The photographs have been taken during 2005-2011 in various parts of China. They feature colour phenomena in huge cities with international influence as well as in small villages that have maintained their originality. In addition to the photographs, two animations and some artefacts are on view in the exhibition.
In the photos, colours appear as part of architecture, home and public interiors, people's apparel and everyday life as well as nature. The photographs have been arranged according to colour themes, which are red, yellow-gold-orange, blue-green, white-black, pink, and multicolour. They illustrate the contrast between traditional and modern Chinese colour cultures on the one hand, and the sometimes surprisingly clear connections between the traditional and the modern colour palettes.
The traditional five colours (red, blue-green, yellow, black and white) were traditionally used as large planes of single colour, or as a combination of all five colours. However, in modern colour culture the palette is rich and extensive, while international influences have brought "non-colour" back into fashion in a new way.
Colours have strong symbolic value for the Chinese, and the meaning of colour can be different, even the opposite, in different contexts. In the Chinese language the word "colour" is connected to happiness, as the word "yán" (颜) means both "colour" and "face", or rather, "happy glowing face". Because the meanings of colours are very significant, it is important for foreign companies, for example, to pay attention to colour choices in product design and communication, in order to communicate the message intended.
Photography: Janne Kommonen, Kirsi Kommonen, Chen Shuxun.
Research: Kirsi Kommonen, Aalto University School of Economics.
EPSON has supported the exhibition.
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