Culture Made In China

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Aric Chen writing for Fast Company looks at the emergence of China’s creative class.

China is building a creative infrastructure at breakneck speed. You can sense it in the trendy restaurants and slick boutiques popping up in major cities–and in the gritty ex-warehouse and factory districts where imagination-driven companies are joining the cafés and art galleries that first settled in. Newsstands are brimming with glossies such as Vision, Urban, and Modern Weekly that, joined by online counterparts like Coldtea, feature international trends alongside promising local talents. China’s answers to YouTube (Tudou and Yoqoo) and social-networking sites (Douban)–along with an estimated 34 million (and skyrocketing) blogs–are bringing in digital reinforcements on a national scale.
Combine all of that with a counterdiaspora and reverse brain drain of talent, and the overall result is a kind of primordial soup thick with the building blocks of creative enterprise. Emerging from it is an army–small, but growing–that’s working to reinvent how China thinks and works.
“The most interesting work is coming from advertising, PR, and marketing, because they have the money,” says Shaway Yeh, the editorial director of the Shanghai-based publication Modern Weekly. Pulling out a boxed set of 13 books, sponsored by Rémy Martin’s Louis XIII cognac, she flips through a tour de force of sophisticated layouts, pull-out postcards, origami-like pages, and photographs that can be rearranged as in a scrapbook. Each book pays homage to one of China’s cultural movers and shakers; all are the work of Les Suen, a 31-year-old Shanghai design whiz.

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Disc golfer. Fan of Kurt Vonnegut, community radio and wolves in the wild. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp.

  • http://analysis.ning.com/ Dorothee Potier

    I hope that advertising, PR and marketing will reinvent how China thinks and works. Even if China currentlu heads the top countries in terms of advertising, this fact has to be reevaluated. Advertising and PR are totally different from one province to another first. Secondly, which types of ads Chinese population is really keen of ?? Advertsing and marketing are progressing more than fast there, that is true but is the impact of this communication that big ?