Ziah-De @ FORMOSA SHOW 100: Let's Drink Tea and Talk

Tea is part of the social fabric of Taiwan. "Come and drink tea" is a traditional greeting to guests, and serving tea, just like in the UK, is a simple and powerful way to make them feel welcomed. People may also congregate under a shady tree, sipping tea while talking about almost everything. The same unpretentious atmosphere will be at Ziah-De @ FORMOSA SHOW 100. From the 21st to 25th of September at Candid Arts Gallery, London, a cup of tea will be served to visitors who are ready to converse with the exhibition's 22 designers through a total of 45 pieces of their works.

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Taiwan, ROC. It has gone through Japanese rule, martial law and democratic movement. Its unique diplomatic circumstance also led to a concentration on political issues. The new generation, however, has gradually learnt to embrace their culture and let go of certain leaden historical burdens. As reflected in the designs, the focus of the new generation has thus shifted. Some try to deal with the solitude of modern life and culture differences. Some gradually understand that we live in a global village and explore environmental issues or new materials. Some try to bring convenience to life. And some others try to return to their cultural roots and gain strength from tradition.

A fine example of the new generation will be Chih Wei Chiu from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts, Taiwan. He builds on a concept from past creations and further explores personal emotions to create a new series of big-eyed girls. These girls, showing only their mysterious eyes as before, watch the ever-changing world while their pearl-like eyes radiate with a sense of warmth and hope for the future. For Chiu , these girls reflect a kind of twittering between him and the real world. Theatrically emotional, these paintings express a sense of sincerity and honesty towards his inner self. 

A fine example of the new generation will be Apu JAN, winner of 2010 Golden Butterfly Award by Taipei International Book Exhibition and a current student at Royal College of Art. He cooperated with Chia-Shan LEE from University of Arts London and created a series of garments inspired by Miao Tribe, GuiZhou Province, China. This collection, entitled Never Ending Story, has been invited to exhibit in New York and Taipei In Style fashion week. A fantastic ethnic style that fuses tradition with futuristic feathers, this is a London debut that you wouldn't want to miss. 

The exhibition also invites an exhibitor from 2010's Ban-Doh @ FORMOSA Yaojen Chuang. With an MA in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture, Chuang is currently an architect at Heatherwick Studio. In 2010, besides exhibiting at the Venice International Architecture Biennale, he also cooperated with emerging Taiwanese fashion designer Shaoyen CHEN and appeared at London Fashion Week as a visual artist. This year, Chuang brings three conceptual architect works, including a theatrical space that demands visitors' sensual experience of time, space and weather, and an artificial Ancient Roman-style grotto with fountains. 

This is an intimate occasion for sharing and exchanging ideas. A welcome cup of tea will be served, over which the visitors can quietly converse with designers' works, as if under a shady tree on a summer afternoon. The separated Commercial Space, designed as a study, is a tea-drinking space for individuals. It highlights the connection between the commercial products, and the quality of life and individuality.