Traditional plant dyeing and modern design


Cao Zhen, a Chinese cutting-edge designer and plant dyeing scholar, graduated from Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, under the famous Chinese design educator professor Han Jiping. He was the art editor of the art research magazine of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is keen on the combination of traditional Chinese handicraft and modern design, its graphic design, product design, multimedia and exhibition design has repeatedly won design awards at home and abroad.

His graphic design work “Related to ink painting” considers the philosophy from ink painting to traditional Chinese culture; The “MAKE YOUR OWNLIFE” calendar design is a philosophy of time, defined by a user’s personal habits. “INNER” is a sample book of rice paper with a cover designed as mirror silver to simulate the reflection of a mirror and express the relative philosophy. In 2007, sample book design of “JIFFY Notebook”, combining UV brightness characteristics with plain texture paper, “dirty” became the traces of daily life, and finally settled the philosophy of exploring life, natural and simple. His work won the 2008 German Red Dot Design Award and was selected into HKDC DFA design award.

In 2016, he served as the special expert of the school of intangible cultural heritage of Sichuan University of cultural industry and participated in the Qiang cultural and creative product development project and Guizhou poverty alleviation project, making positive contributions to the innovation of traditional crafts, inheritance and dissemination of intangible cultural heritage. From 2016 to 2018, he planned revival activities and exhibitions of folk art such as “Having an affair with art”, “Looking for Chinese cloth” and “Looking for Chinese color”. Planned and launched in 2018, “Looking for Chinese color, color code” hidden in plant project, making field validation for regional difference of Chinese traditional plant dyeing techniques. Explore the creation origin of Chinese traditional color, with the presentation form of cultural dialogue, theme workshop, interactive experience, and derivatives, seek plant dye a variety of possibility of regional differentiation, trying to make Chinese traditional color in the fusion of tradition and innovation into the modern life.