Taiwanese edition of ‘A Clear Dream’ published

The Taiwanes edition of ‘A Clear Dream’ on top of the Dutch edition.

The Taiwanes edition of ‘A Clear Dream’ on top of the Dutch edition.


Two weeks ago the Taiwanese edition of my book ‘A Clear Dream’ (Droom van Helderheid) was published as part of the ‘Source series’. It is surprising to see such an interest in Taiwan in the history of Dutch visual identity, modernism and design agencies.

The ‘Source series” is an imprint of Taiwanese designer Wang Zhi-Hong facilitated by Faces Publications. Luckely the print quality of the book seems better then the Chinese edition published last year. It is fascinating to see how Zhi-Hong uses social media to generate interest: the book has already been seen by over 11.000 people on Behance (featured graphic design), and by many more on Tumbler, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The book features a nice cover and a carefully composed layout that to a large degree is based upon the Dutch edition, that was designed by Piet Gerards Ontwerpers. It is not clear whether Zhi-Hong takes note of this.

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Suzhou IFS Center > 452 mtr

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Suzhou IFS Center is making progress. When finished it will be the highest skyscraper in Suzhou and one of the highest in China with its 452 mtr height. It will be a fitting partner for the ‘Gate to the Orient’ on the other side of Jinji Lake with its 302 mtr height: yin and yang. Nevertheless I do wonder who is going to use all that office space…

Roaming Dianshan Lake

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I found myself on a rather cloudy day at Dianshan Lake. Happily the flowering yellow rapeseed lightened the atmosphere. A new experience for me since in the Netherlands I associate rapeseed with industrialized agriculture.

Dianshan Lake lies between Suzhou & Shanghai. It is a popular destination for day trips: Jinxi, one of the better known water towns is situated right next to it. During the past years there have been many building activities around the lake. Gated communities targeted at the richer middle class, in search for a better quality of live outside the city. Housing here also provides an alternative for people who are not originally from Shanghai, and thus are not allowed to buy a house there. Continue reading

Houses for sale!

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Real estate sellers a plenty around Dianshan Lake. Dozens of young suited up boys & girls wander on highways, crossings and exits,handing out flyers advertising apartments and houses. They present a danger to themselves and car drivers.

Imagine people in a suit with a waving sign, walking up to you in the Netherlands just as you exit highway with 80 km an hour! Somehow they remind of the zombies from The Walking Dead. Connection between consumer society and zombies anyone? There are many unoccupied new houses around the area. The property market is in stagnation. God forbid what happens to the Chinese economy when it collapses. Continue reading

iMac frogs

After entering Auchan in Suzhou, my attention was immediately caught by the new aquaria. One of them contained small coloured frogs (the good old iMac 1950s pastel combinations) that were for sale. Is it a colouring agent in their food, or were they submerged in paint? What do animal activists make of this? They also might take a look at the frogs, toads and turtles for consumption purposes at the other side of the store . . . once I even saw a shopping card with a moving plastic bag: toad inside!After entering the small Auchan in Suzhou, my attention was immediately caught by the new aquaria. One of them contained small coloured frogs (the good old iMac 1950s pastel combinations) that were for sale. Is it a colouring agent in their food, or were they earlier submerged in paint? I wonder what animal activists would make of this. They also might take a look at the frogs, toads and turtles at the other side of the store for consumption purposes. . . once I even saw a shopping cart with a moving plastic bag in it: toad inside!