When the first ships brought Chinese porcelain to Europe, people were keen on copying the design and started to imitate it. Thus, the British and Dutch tradition of porcelain design took its first baby steps a few hundred years ago.
Swedish designer Nille Svensson went one step further on the trail of cultural evolution and created her own ‘fake China’ plate. She is convinced that no one can copy something without adding a new dimension to it.
She got the idea when she was approached to contribute something on the subject of identity for the Notch exhibition 2009. Nowadays, China is widely regarded by the West as a country of production and replication, but not as a place with designs of its own. China is the land of plagiarism. It used to be the other way around back then. Chinese porcelain was exclusive and very en vogue, professional expertise were lacking when it came to reproducing the ceramics' high quality and as such, copies had to suffice.
Nille Svensson most crucial inspiration came from a tragic story. After 30 months on sea, the Götheborg of the Swedish East India fleet returned from Canton to Sweden in 1745. 35 male crew members died during the passage and then, 900 metres in front of the harbour, the ship ran onto ground and sank.
The precious cargo from China was lost and many sailors died for nothing - a brutal story of commercial traffic that has fascinated Nille Svensson for a long time.
The wonderful fake China collection is on exhibition in the architectural museum in Stockholm. The place sets can be ordered on www.fake-china.com - giving everyone the chance to eat off a piece of (almost) real evolution.
Nille Svensson – Fake China
Until 21 November 2011
Tue – Thurs, 1pm – 5pm
Fri, 1pm – 6pm