1209 Xinzha Road #60
Jing'an, Shanghai, CN 200041
Established in early 2021, IS A GALLERY is an alternative gallery located in Jing'an, Shanghai.
IS A GALLERY is located at the site of the Shanghai Printing Technology Research Institute, the birthplace of modern Chinese fonts and one of the first type foundries in China. The type foundry was established in August 1956 and even created the occupation of type designer in China.
In the 1960s, China used “renovating the old and innovating” to guide its printed typeface design plan at the Institute, which was the only typeface research laboratory in the country at the time. Through the Institute, the title of “typeface designer” was established and the first generation of typeface designers made great contributions to the standardization of Chinese characters. The four common printing typefaces created by the institute, Ming (宋体), Heiti (黑体), Kai (楷体), and Fangsong (仿宋) are widely used, such as in the familiar horizontal editions of the Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, the Cihai, and thousands of science and education books. In 2009, the Hanzi typeface sketching craftsmanship project《字印刷字体书写技艺》 enacted by the Shanghai Printing Technology Research Institute was included in the second edition of the Shanghai Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
In the 1980s, the Institute took the lead in digitizing a standard typeface library and oversaw the 748 Project free of charge for the printing typefaces listed above, which have become the basic digital typefaces for famous companies such as FounderType.Typefaces used in digital products today are derived from the original scripts provided by the Institute.
Established in early 2021, IS A GALLERY works at this modern heritage site to continue bridging traditional graphic design with forward-thinking arts programming and public dialogue. Operating on a four-season model, the gallery alternates between themes of design, multimedia/photography, traditional media, and education in planning exhibitions and providing an open environment for domestic and international artists, designers, curators, educators, scholars, and writers. Conversations between the international and the local are key to IS A GALLERY, which presents shorter, one-month exhibitions in order to create currents across practices.
Alongside exhibition programming, IS A GALLERY supports different modes of design, artistic, scholarly, and educational work through different platforms for public engagement. Digital works, online exhibitions, and stand-alone projects are curated online as part of IS A WEB. IS A STUDIO invites members of art, design, and interdisciplinary studios to present lectures, dialogues, and writing without exhibition responsibilities, while IS A SCHOOL works with educators and scholars to present conversations on the latest practices. The gallery’s QUEER ROOM develops the possibilities of a gallery space through dialogues and sharing sessions with queer practitioners. BOOK THE BOOK is the publishing arm of IS A GALLERY, printing publications that record and present the gallery’s exhibitions. From a single exhibition space, IS A GALLERY creates international dialogue about design, art, and education.
10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.