The answer is yes. An even better question is to ask is if there is a different sense of aesthetics in Asia in general in regards to how design is approached. The answer may be yes as well but to generalize all of China as fitting under one general description is a bit hard. There are distinct regional variations and preferences for not just each province in China but even each city. Depending on where in China a city is located, one can see influences of Russian, Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan, Burmese and Muslim cultures in the art, architecture and music of the city.

Beijing and other big cities are magnets that have always attracted people from all over China for schools and jobs. Today, Beijing is fast becoming a real international city with foreigners from Asian and Western countries flocking here for jobs and language schools. Many returnees who have left China years ago are just as amazed by the changes in such a short span of time. Beijing, like New York, Paris, and London, no longer represents a representative sample of their home country since the urbanization and culture of the city with each passing day begins to resemble the shopping and business sections of other modern global cities.

Any comments about Beijing style and design representing the rest of China needs to be taken with a bit of a skeptical curiousity since even for those of us living and working here, the Beijing experience is a bit surreal.

 

-frank