Tsinghua artists shape iconic designs for Beijing 2022

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Many of the iconic Olympic symbols, landmarks, artifacts and installations seen at the ongoing Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games were designed by artists from Tsinghua University.

Designing for the vision of a unique Olympic snowflake

Tsinghua artists shape iconic designs for Beijing 2022
Photo taken on Feb. 4, 2022, shows a cauldron holding the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing, the capital of China. Li Min and Song Chen helped shape the design. [Photo/Xinhua]

During director Zhang Yimou’s romantic visual feast, the opening ceremony of the Winter Games, a giant snowflake installation formed by smaller snowflakes was revealed, while every national team was led by a snowflake-shaped placard. The snowflake concept was the core vision of Zhang’s show. 

Li Min and Song Chen, both graduates from the Department of Visual Communication of the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University (AADTHU) and current China Daily employees, participated in designing the snowflake for nearly three years. 

Tsinghua artists shape iconic designs for Beijing 2022
The Olympic delegation of the People’s Republic of China march into the National Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 4, 2022. The teams were led by a placard bearer dressed in costumes with ice and snow patterns. The placard, designed by Li Min and Song Chen, is in the shape of a glowing snowflake and bears the names of each National/Regional Olympic Committee. [Photo/Xinhua]

The design went through more than 300 revisions. “Director Zhang’s pursuit of aesthetics and control over the details of the final product is the ultimate, and every design draft is an unprecedented challenge,” Li remembered. 

She added that the snowflake design is seamlessly integrated with the “Chinese knot,” an ancient Chinese craft of hand knitting that symbolizes solidarity and prosperity, and showcases simple, ethereal and romantic ice-and-snow aesthetics, embodying the Chinese understanding of “harmony in diversity.”

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