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Another Dimension

Shanghai, China

Tai Ping's Transcendent collection by Chinese designer Jamy Yang may look otherworldly, but it is rooted in the skill of hand-making

Tai Ping is known for its ambitious collaborations with designers and artists, who each bring their own unique eye to a project and push the boundaries, aesthetically and technically. The latest is with Jamy Yang, one of China’s most celebrated product designers: Shanghai-based Yang launched his studio, Yang Design, in 2005, and is also known for founding China’s first private industrial design museum, which shows the designer’s own collection of products as well as mounting forward-thinking exhibitions.

Detail of Eon I
Detail of Vapour I

Transcendent, his rug collection for Tai Ping, creates mesmerising optical effects, with swirls of marbled colour; most of the designs contrast this with linear sections that stretch away as if the organic pattern has been abruptly extruded. The inspiration for this device came partly from the designer’s visit to Tai Ping’s artisan workshop in Xiamen, seeing how existing rugs were made: “The slender, vertical yarns were woven into a stunning picture-like magic,” he says. “At the same time, the horizontally stretched lines behind the carpet also intrigued me. These unfinished, raw threads showed a deeper meaning, which made me think about time and space.”

Detail of Aura I
Vortex I

Yang’s designs were therefore inspired by science as much as the art and practicalities of rug-making – hyperspace, the Theory of Relativity, as well as rocks, crystals and the fluid movement of paint and other liquids. Each rug uses a tightly edited palette of related, tonal hues, some with strong contrasting colours: Ionic I is in shades of blue and grey shot through with striations of brown, while Eon I has a deep-blue-sea palette of azure and cerulean, punctuated by a yellow the colour of a seam of molten lava.

Nova I

Typically experimental, Tai Ping’s rugs often do not fall within neat square or rectangular boundaries, and Yang has also played with shape: Vortex I is a perfect oval, while Nova I is the shape of a rectangle shifted at a 45-degree angle, its corners snipped, with one irregular corner woven to look as if liquid is pooling onto the floor. Mixed materials, textures and tufting techniques, meanwhile, help to create incredible pictorial depth and show the great skill of Tai Ping’s makers, honed for decades.