Beijing's cultural boom makes it true artistic capital
Born in Brussels, "made" in New York, and now visiting here in Beijing. Diane von Fürstenberg may be in the Chinese capital to celebrate her four decades at the summit of fashion, but equally her fashions have defined the last four decades in every other way: the invention of the 1970s, the success of the 1980s, the reflection of the 1990s, and now her renewed force in the 2000s.
All this emotion is condensed into a major retrospective called "Journey of a Dress" that opened in Sao Paulo, made a pit stop in Moscow, and has travelled to Beijing.
It skipped the well-worn London-New York-Paris route for these three cities, especially with the BRICS Summit being hosted in Hainan this week, best describe the shifting global power from the advanced economies to the emerging nations. At this rate, she'll next be in New Delhi.
When I spoke to her in an interview last week, von Fürstenberg laid open what she described as her "fascination" with China that began in the playroom with the comic book adventures of Tintin.
But far from a fictional story, Beijing is today, as New York in the 1970s was for her, a land where dreams really can come true.
Alongside the von Fürstenberg portraits by Andy Warhol, the current exhibition at The Pace Beijing shows new paintings by Chinese artists Zhang Huan, Hai Bo, and a multi-dimensional piece by Li Songsong. Past and present, they say so much about not only the journey of the dress itself, but also the experiences of an entire country.