The design that fuses East and West

Art Deco has dominated Shanghai in the past: and it’s seeing a resurgence. Jason Lai explores how the style came to represent a meeting of cultures.

“Art Deco in its heyday represented technology and sleek modernity,” says Jason Lai in this video, part of the Tales from Modern China series. “Those ideals are still inspiring architects and designers today, who are using new materials and modern technology to bring Art Deco bang up to date, without losing any of its original beauty.”

A global style of the 1920s and ‘30s, Art Deco appears in buildings, furniture and interior design throughout Shanghai – including the Bank of China. Its geometric patterns and clean parallel lines were merged with traditional Chinese design principles, and the style is being adopted by architects today.

Lai talks to a furniture designer and an Art Deco historian to look at how Shanghai’s signature style is sweeping through the city once more.

Tales from Modern China airs on BBC World News, 16-17 June 2017. Check the schedule for details.

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