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"I Envision Myself as a Tree Fostering the Growth of Other Designers' Ideas" | Realpreneur Tales

By Dai Yuan|Mar 27,2024

Chongqing—Beginning on March 20th, a distinctive exhibition featuring canvas bags displayed against pristine white walls will take place in Chongqing's Liangjiang New Area.

Curated by Kong Cheng, a textile designer, the exhibition encourages visitors to explore the personal narratives behind each bag, all drawn from Kong's own experiences.

Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to share their stories by writing them on stickers, which can be traded for a desired bag hanging on the walls. As the chosen bag is taken, the sticker takes its place, continuing the unfolding story of each piece. 

Kong Cheng inaugurated her new exhibition with themed canvas bags. (Photo/Kong Cheng)

"This interactive exchange extends every bag's journey," said Kong.

Kong Cheng introduced the application of color in a scarf coloring activity. (Photo/Kong Cheng)

This collection includes a bag marked with the initials UAL, which represents Kong's memories from her studies at the London College of Fashion, part of the University of the Arts London (UAL). 

Kong's interest in art and design began at the age of four when she flipped through art magazines. This sparked a determination to study in London until she was 16.

Specializing in fashion textiles at UAL, Kong developed her expertise in various textile designs, gaining acclaim as well-known companies like Microsoft and Adidas sought after her work. Although she completed a year-long internship at the prestigious fashion house Ralph & Russo, Kong remained determined to return to China.

Kong Cheng's textile design has been used in Adidas men's wear. (Photo/Kong Cheng)

While Shanghai, a desirable city for numerous designers, offered abundant opportunities, Kong's desire to return to her hometown of Chongqing remained strong. "As a native of Chongqing, I noticed differences in the artistic atmosphere between the two cities, inspiring me to work towards harmonizing this balance in my hometown," Kong stressed.

After two years of careful planning, Kong launched her enterprise in 2022 under Fruitwood & Childhood Dotcom. It consisted of four key components within a two-story building: a design studio, a handcraft studio, an exhibition space, and a handicraft retail shop, all firmly grounded in textile design.

"Fruitwood symbolizes the exhibition and handicraft select shop, wherein I envision myself as a tree fostering the growth of other designers' ideas. Childhood Dotcom embodies the design studio and handcraft studio, where individuals of all ages can revel in the joy of creation," said Kong.

In her handcraft studio, visitors are urged to challenge traditional norms, creating an atmosphere that promotes innovation. Kong shared a touching story about an 80-year-old man with a heart stent, enthusiastically engaging in the pleasure of making herb prints, evoking memories of childhood playfulness.

Kong Cheng's handcraft studio brought visitors childhood happiness. (Photo/Kong Cheng)

In her effort to increase visibility for emerging designers, Kong invites young talents to showcase their artwork and procure handmade items worldwide, spanning from porcelain to woodwork. 

Furthermore, she remains committed to her design pursuits by partnering with companies for tailored textile designs, ensuring maximum utilization of her creations.

Kong Cheng's handicraft select shop collects exquisite handicrafts worldwide. (Photo/Kong Cheng)

Kong considers broadening her business to meet visitors' changing needs, emphasizing the importance of genuinely integrating her designs with commerce to gauge their utility. She aims for her work to connect with and fulfill the community's needs, highlighting her commitment to making meaningful contributions through her craft.


A Tour in Chongqing, A Gain in Vision

A Land of Natural Beauty, A City with Cultural Appeal

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