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Fan Weiyan, teaching faculty of the School of Arts, Soochow University, won the Special Mention in Milan

Glad tidings come that Mr. FanWeiyan, a teacher from the School of Arts at Soochow University, was crowned as the winner of the Special Mention at the iSaloni Furniture Show 2017, thus to become the fourth designer from Mainland China who has got the award since its foundation in 1961.

With 12 works and 5 series in total, Mr. Fan became one of the four Chinese designers out of 104 design offices through the screening recruitment supervised by 12 international judges. It is the second time for Jiangsu Province designer to participate in this world-class designing contest and to win the Special Mention.

Mr. Fan works at Soochow University as a lecturer in the School of Arts and the associate director of Arts and Crafts Institute. He is also a contemporary designer reputed for recreating traditional Chinese crafts in an innovative fashion. Graduating from Soochow University in 1999, Mr. Fan then went to France where he furthered his studies and be certified as national artistic designer of France, after which he worked in the research and development center in the headquarters of Hermès in Paris for years. In 2009 he came back to Soochow University, since when he has been engaging in the research of combining traditional Chinese crafts with modern designing. Mr. Fan suggests that Suzhou abounds in intangible cultural heritage, amidst which K’o-ssu, a type of weaving done by the tapestry method in fine silks and gold thread is the most representative for its tremendous contribution to Chinese silk culture.

“Marvelous!” Upon seeing Mr. Fan’s works, the chairman of the committee said he was deeply impressed by Mr. Fan’s innovation in Chinese silk. Madame Deydler is a columnist of fashion design in France’s Le Figaro. She suggested that Mr. Fan’s works which are of great aesthetic value should be appreciated by more people through exhibitions and in museums. A reporter in the local TV station believed Fan’s works was the best speaker of Chinese culture. As is put by a French dealer working in luxury goods industry for over 20 years, China had experienced such sweeping transformation that it was almost incredible that such exquisite furniture should be crafted by a Chinese designer.

According to the latest official plan formulated by government to reinvigorate traditional Chinese culture, it is proposed that we should conform to the guideline to present due respect to the outstanding traditional culture, stick firmly to the spirits of craftsman, and provide more innovative vigor to the traditional culture so as to make it more practical in the extensive use of modern life. It is also clearly stated that traditional crafts should be organically integrated with pertinent subjects for the increasing designing standard and the refinement in quality. We should, at the same time, create more opportunities for international exchange and cooperation to let people from different countries enjoy the stunning beauty of Chinese crafts. To echo central guideline, our teachers have dedicated themselves to the development of artistic design science. We have drawn inspiration from the intangible cultural heritage, making full use of the regional cultural advantage to motivate innovation and to expand international collaboration.