We had the opportunity to speak with an emerging and interesting artist linked to the design world, Xin Min. Born and raised in China, in Zhejiang, she then moved to the United States to study. She has obtained a fantastic multiculturalism, which gives her projects that extra touch that makes them unique. Winner of the 2020 K-design competition, she is a girl with many artistic interests and kindness of spirit, to whom we wish a bright (and deserved) future success.
You are a multifaceted artist. Your work ranges in various areas of design, from
planning to actual realization. Until recently in all work sectors, but especially in the
artistic field, there was this basic idea for which an artist should be framed in a particular sector. Even in a section of a certain sector. If you are a fashion photographer you cannot do landscapes, if you deal with 3d design you cannot stay in the manual branch etc. The truth is that often those born with an artistic streak fail to be pigeonholed in such a definite way. What do you think about it?
There are many people who believe that if you are a photographer you can do all kinds of photography. The same goes for product design as well. In fact this type of crossover is actually quite common in the art world. For example Woody Allen is an American director, writer, actor, comedian and musician. Although he has many different identities, he has achieved remarkable results in various fields. Of course, you need to be good to be able to range in different sectors, going beyond borders. For those who succeed, there are unexpected positive effects.
Is there a particular aspect of your various passions, however, that you would rather pursue than others? Or do you like the idea of continuing to take care of various things?
It’s true, I like different sectors such as photography, porcelain and product design. Product design, however, is a vast field that covers many things. If I had to define a sector in particular that I would prefer to carry on, I would say it is that one, because it is the most closest to our everyday life.
We see that you also deal with set design for fashion editorials. If you had to describe the work of a set designer to those who don’t know it, how would you explain how important it is?
The set design creates atmosphere for the shooting scene, it is also an important part. The success of a campaign or editorial is not just about the good photographer or a famous model. It is necessary to produce an exclusive design, based on the marketing needs, the location needs and the possibilities that you have.
You went to live and study in the United States from China where you grew up. I believe it is undeniable that the best creations of man are born from cultural exchanges that enrich the soul. How would you describe your relationship with two such different cultures?
There are many aspects of the cultural differences between China and the United States. In terms of art, China’s methods of artistic expression are relatively reserved, while American artistic expression is open and outgoing. Both cultures are unique. They brought different experiences and feelings into my life, which I think enriched me.
Undoubtedly, traditional Chinese culture must be a great inspiration in the creation of your projects. Is there anything else, characters or places, that help you in this?
I was born in Zhejiang, China. It is a small town near the Changjiang River, but it contains great cultural aspects and notions that have had a direct impact on my life. Urban architecture and culture have greatly influenced me. There are many ancient cities near my house and there are many literati and painters. I have felt close to art since I was a child. In fact, in my design you can see many curves, which are inspired by the water of the river and evoke a soft, warm and gentle sensation.
We know that you have entered K design competitions and have been a winner. Can you tell us about your winning work? What was it like participating in the races?
The idea of this design is inspired by everyday life. This life where everyone is in a rush. It is a race to achieve something, a race to exceed a set deadline, a race to achieve a goal, among other aspects. Therefore, I think that in this fast-paced society everyone is “sensitive” to time. I use the word sensitive because most people, nowadays and especially in big cities, use seconds to calculate their time usage. This increases the spirit’s pressure and people become trapped in a cage of time. However, the word efficiency has always been important to all types of people.
Regardless of the sector in which you operate, this word could be the most listened to in a company. On the subway, on the bus, you will always see someone leafing through documents with one hand and having breakfast with the other. Why? Since they want to maximize their time usage, so they seem to be in a hurry to do both tasks at the same time. They often check the time on their phone to see how much time has passed. They want to use the fragmented time to accomplish more things, but they ignore each other. Being in a state of mental tension for a long time can lead to fatigue, then anxiety and even depression.
These mental problems are not uncommon now.
There is no clear time scale on this watch, no precise hands, just three arcs to represent it so that people no longer divide time by seconds. The moral is: Focus more on yourself or things themselves, and you won’t produce anxiety and mental pressure due to the time count.
We were particularly impressed by the Jellyfish stool. Can you describe the process, from the concept to the final product? What is your favorite part of the making process?
Inspired by the modern minimalist, the Jellyfish stool comprises fifteen pieces of delicate cutouts that a person can assemble in minutes without tools. No glue and nails are used. You just need to fit the pieces into the required hole/section. Despite the innovative aspect, I have ensured that the stability and firmness of the chair are sufficient to support the human weight. Its unique shape makes it suitable to be inserted in any living environment.
The Jellyfish stool represents modern aesthetics while remaining connected with nature.
During the making I started with a rough sketch, then used 3D modeling software to refine the details. The most interesting part was taking the 3D file to the CNC and making the final product. My favorite part of the process was cutting the wood to the necessary size. It was truly amazing.
Do you have any future projects, life or work, that you want to give us a preview of?
I want to create my own brand in the future. A brand that represents Chinese culture and completes it with the concept of modernism. Through these two worlds of mine I hope to become among the best designers who promote Chinese culture and aesthetics, so that the world can understand and appreciate it. I hope to manage and inspire emerging artists through my design works. I don’t want to build an entrepreneurial empire solely for profit, but to encourage other emerging designers.
Follow Xin Min on Instagram