"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." -
Naihan Li (b. 1981) is one of the most prominent figure in Chinese design art. After graduating from the Bartlett School of Architecture, Li returned to Beijing. Her body of work includes architecture, art installations, functional art, furniture, and design objects. Through her background in architecture, Li has implemented traditional Chinese fine craft in the making of contemporary design works.
Her major works include “The CRATES” (nominated for Design of the Year Award 2012 by the Design Museum London), and the “I am a Monument” series (from which, the CCTV wardrobe was officially acquired by the M+ Museum Hong Kong). Recently, Naihan Li’s work focuses on Chinese lacquer fine-craft, exploring its multifarious applications, and reimposing the 8,000 year old tradition into contemporary design.
Naihan set up her own workshop in 2010, and has since created and produced all of her works in-house. The laboratory nature of the workshop is the foundation of her exploration into material and form, using cutting edge design tools and production technology, as well as fine craftsmanship available in China. In this playground environment, her personal experiences and droll sense of humor form the concepts, allowing the making-process to guide the way to create truly contemporary Chinese design art.
Li has been commissioned by institutions and brands such as Goethe Institute, Lane Crawford, Swarovski, etc. Her limited edition design works have been collected by private collectors from around the world, and have been exhibited and collected in museums, such as M+ Hong Kong, London Design Museum, Yuz Museum Shanghai, Sifang Art Museum; and at internationally renowned events such as Milan Design Triennale, Venice Architecture Biennale, Design Miami, Gwangju Design Biennial, and many others.
Naihan Li currently lives and works in Shanghai.
Limited edition design combines fine craftsmanship with experimentation, challenging the boundaries of what's possible and creating unique functional art that pushes the limits of human ingenuity.
Get in touch
No.8 Jinying South Road
Jinze Village, Qingpu District