Design & Culture: The View from Hong Kong 2012
A project of APPLIED Cultural Analysis, Spring, 2012, Editor: Anne Balsamo
Contributing Authors: Ivy Chan, Ping Hong Fu, Sai Yuen Hui, Ka Man Lee, Siu Fung Mak, Hoi Yu Poon, and Sum Yuet Janet Tang
Making sense of the status of design in Hong Kong is a complex effort; it is an evolving cultural formation, shaped by factors both near and far. As others have noted, the very term “design” is itself a multi-faceted concept in the context of Hong Kong, requiring the application of insights from Chinese linguistics, cultural histories of colonialism and post-colonialism, and research on industrial practices and professions.
This collection of visual essays offer situated commentaries on the signs of design in Hong Kong at a particular moment: Spring 2012. Historicizing a set of cultural insights–situated within such a specific time and place–is an analytical and theoretically accountable move within cultural studies. The aim is to create grounded analyses that resist the impulse to make sweeping pronouncements, but seek, nonetheless to make significant contributions to discussions about design in Hong Kong and China more broadly.
The methodology employed here is called “Conjunctural Analysis.” As practiced by a group of cultural theorists and critics, this approach seeks to situate critical insights within a specific nexus of time, place, and practice.