A collaboration with nomad-life photographer Jeroen Toirkens

10 Sept10 “The living streets of Shanghai and The Hague”

A month ago, I received a call from Deborah Meijburg from Five Spices, a Dutch creative agency that applies a spectrum of disciplines including concept, 3D design, graphic design, interaction design and motion design.

To celebrate the opening of their new Shanghai office at the Dutch Design Workspace in Jingan, the agency put together an exhibit called Five Spices Exchange where they pair up a Shanghai-based artist and a Dutch artist to collaborate on 5 separate themes: architecture, light design, paper design, music and of course, photography.

The idea was for artists from both sides to converse through the exchange and reaction to each other’s work. In my case, I was very honored to have been paired with Jeroen Toirkens, a photographer who has been documenting nomadic life all over the world for over a decade.

Jeroen and I were both exploring contrasts between Shanghai’s urban dynamics, and that of nomadic culture and people in Mongolia, Central Asia and Russia. As part of the collaboration, we would send each other photos that are representative of our work, then interpret and react to each other’s photographs through our own photos again. All of this was done via Skype and email.

Below is a partial snapshot,  we contributed around 18 photos in the course of our collaboration. 

It stands along with impressive collaborations by other Sino-Dutch artists, such as architectural explorations of Shanghai and Amsterdam, projects contrasting lighting design and paper design installations and featuring DJs presenting the best of their music.

Following the success of their private launch, Five Spices will be opening their exhibit to the public this Sunday.

Location: Cafe Sambal located in Jiashan (嘉善) Market
37A Lane, 550 Shanxi Nan Lu, near Shaoxing Lu. 陕西南路550弄37号,  近绍兴路
(Details on how to get there)
Time: Sunday, 28NOV from 3-5pm.
Jiashan Market is a new urban garden community of shops, restaurants and offices with an eco-friendly agenda.

Unfortunately, a scheduling conflict prevents me from being there, but other Shanghai-based artists will be present to discuss their work at length. I’ve met all of them and can tell you they are an incredibly creative and friendly group. I heartily recommend hopping over to check out this exhibit.


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  • Reply November 28, 2010



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