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Ing Park
1209 Xinzha Road #60
Jing'an, Shanghai, CN 200041
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WeChat: isagallery
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.
Zhongkai Li
Founder & Director

Zhongkai Li is an educator, artist, designer, publisher, and gallery owner. His work blends impermanence with history, continuous contemplative image-making, and garden-related research that focuses on the essence of objectness, which directly leads to his interest in prototypes. Li holds an MFA degree from the Yale School of Art and a BFA degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Li established IS A GALLERY in Shanghai in 2021 to engage local and international creatives and scholars with a bottom-up, local, decentralized, and open attitude. He also runs the publication platform Book the Book and the design studio Universal Surface.

Zhengzhong Pan
Design Director

Zhengzhong Pan is an award-winning graphic designer based in Shanghai. He currently operates a graphic design studio with Xue Wen. Founded in 2017, Studio BIBLIOGRAPHY engages in multi-disciplinary visual communication. With an interest in youth culture, art, and technology, BIBLIOGRAPHY focuses on creating new visual experiences, providing new perspectives, and exploring the boundaries of communication.

Ziming Lin
Communication & Writer

Ziming Lin graduated from the School of Arts and Humanities at the China Academy of Art with a specialization in visual culture and art curation. She mainly engages in textual work in the fields of art and design. Lin also curated and participated in several exhibitions and branding projects.

Matthew Schwager
Editor & Writer

Matthew Schwager holds an M.A. in Experimental Digital Media from the University of Waterloo. His writing has appeared in the Georgia Review, Bright Lights Film Journal, First Person Scholar, and other publications. Schwager organizes and edits QUEER ROOM, the gallery’s platform for showcasing international queer practitioners in art, writing, and design.

Joshua Hanson
Web Technologist

Joshua Hanson has diverse interests in computer science, linguistics, music, business, and philosophy. He holds degrees in Business, Chinese Language, and International Relations. He is currently a master’s degree candidate in computer science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ruini Zhou
Installation Manager

Ruini Zhou holds a master's degree in Cultural Relics and Museums from Shanghai University. She has worked for the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and Pacific Region under UNESCO, the Hunan Antique Archaeology Institute, and the Cultural Relics Protection Lab in the Department of Cultural Heritage and Museology at Fudan University.

Andong Zheng
Photographer & Production Technician

Andong Zheng was born in Hefei, China in 1992. He graduated from Tongji University with a Bachelor of Engineering in 2016 and received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2019. Working primarily with photography, Zheng’s work focuses on a range of issues examining the rapid shift of the social landscape, self-identity, and cultural integration in the context of globalization. Zheng now lives and works in Shanghai, China.

Mac Wang

Mac is a designer based in Shanghai via New York City and Providence, RI. He holds a BFA in graphic design from RISD, at which he co-curated Endless Scroll, the 2019 graphic design senior show, and From Pictogram to Software, an exhibition and workshop about Chinese typography. Since graduation, Mac has worked as an editor for Synoptic Office’s Chinese Type Archive, some of which has been presented at Letterform Archive and Typographics 2020.