“Xiang-Sharing Home Flavor” Design and Social Innovation Exhibition is going to be held from June 19th to June 23rd at Expo Gate, a symbol of Milan Expo located in front of the Milan landmark - Sforza Castle. The exhibition is hosted by the People’s Government of Hunan Province, China, organized by the Hunan Provincial Science & Technology Department and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Hunan Sub-council, and co-organized by Hunan University, China-Italy Design and Innovation Center (CIDIC), and Markor Home Furnishings. As one of the Hunan Week activity series in Milan Expo, this event has been the first ever exhibition concerning Chinese culture held at the Expo Gate.
The main content of this exhibition is to display the exhibits resulting from the Cultural Sustainability and Social Innovation program implemented in the rural areas in China by the School of Design at Hunan University. This exhibition possesses content under the auspices of eight different themes and these are: New Channel, Paper Cutting of Dong, Hua Yao Hua, Changsha Kiln, Ya’an New Home, Virtual Yuelu Academy, Jiang Home·Style, and Childhood Like No Other. It uses diversified culture carriers and presenting means such as visual, audio, products, design installation, and sculptures. These means of presentation interpret materials from the five different angles of, Home, Hunan, Taste, Creativity, and Sharing.
The Changsha Kiln section displays part of the research achievements of the New Silk Road Program initiated by Hunan University, including the interactive APP introducing the Changsha ware and pictures showing the comparison between Changsha Kiln in Tang Dynasty and Western Asian wares at the same period of time. New Silk Road Program is aimed to promote international academic communication concerning the studies of Changsha Kiln. Iran was the most important importer of Changsha wares. Thus, this year Hunan University has cooperated with Shiraz University and Iran University of Science and Technology in Iran and Indian Institute of Technology in India for Changsha Kiln research, which has yielded some important findings.
The camera crew of the New Silk Road Program made an interactive documentary about Changsha Kiln telling the history, craftsmanship and its whole making process, including casting, glazing, decoration and firing. A full complement of multi-media tools are applied throughout the whole documentary, allowing the audience to have an immersive experience about Changsha Kiln.
The Liling underglazed five-color porcelain has enjoyed a long reputation at home and abroad for its colorful hue, graceful artistic style, exquisite handcraft, diversified varieties and designs. The porcelain demonstrates strong regional cultural characteristics and is a typical product combing the Chinese modern industrialization and traditional handcraft.
Due to the high research value of the porcelain, we established a team composed of scholars, graduate and undergraduate students majoring in pottery, design and film-making from Hunan University of Technology, as well as some Liling porcelain manufacturers. With the support of Hunan Industrial Design Association and other organizations, the research team have conducted field studies and interviews, observed the porcelain making process, filmed documentaries and designed interactive products within the past six months. The research concerning the porcelain will continue and will hopefully yield more findings.