A dynamic business-savvy generation is poised to redefine product design, architecture, fashion, and entertainment in China. Meet the nine innovators who are building the country's creative infrastructure--and making the world take notice.

The founder of adFunture, an edgy vinyl toy line, Eddie Yip is also a partner in Da>Space, a Shanghai gallery that showcases China's emerging street culture. His designs have made the cut at "urban vinyl" phenomenon Kidrobot in the United States.

The youngest member of the seven-person committee planning next year's Olympic opening ceremony, Jennifer Wen Ma, 33, hopes to roll out a whole new look for China at the inauguration of the games. Working under legendary film director Zhang Yimou, she promises a radical departure--and a minimum of ribbon dancing.

China's creatives often wear many hats, but Ou Ning, 37, has more than most. He's a writer, filmmaker, music promoter, and designer--not to mention founder of several magazines. But it is Ou's roving art, culture, and design biennial, Get It Louder, that has really put him on the hipster map.

Lin Jing's live-work loft in Beijing's 798 gallery district contains everything from curvaceous wooden stools to porcelain flashlight/lamps that would make Claes Oldenburg proud. Lin, 33, studied art in Beijing and Belgium, and her organically shaped teapots have won coveted shelf space at 10 Corso Como, the Milanese fashion emporium.

Ma Yansong and Qun Dang are two of the three partners of MAD Design, an architectural firm that beat out the international competition to design a condo high-rise outside Toronto. MAD's 56-story Absolute Tower spirals and undulates like a giant ergonomic barbell.

Fed up with music in China--he recalls meeting kids who thought hip-hop came from Korea--Gary Wang did something about it: He helped create Lab, a graffiti-splattered hip-hop venue in his native Shanghai. Now, DJs come in from abroad to teach the craft (anyone can use Lab's equipment for free) and Wang, who hones his skills in Japan's underground has even taken local turntabilists to compete in London's DMC World DJ Championships.

A fixture on the Shanghai design circuit, Ji Ji has done brand identity work for clients such as L'Oreal and Nike--and has opened five stores in Shanghai and Beijing, to sell his own clothing designs.

After leaving London's storied Central Saint Martins, fashion designer Qui Hao, 29, took a leap of faith in opening his eponymous Shanghai boutique last October. There, in what was once a tea shop that fronted a pirated-DVD operation, he produces designs that could pass the high-concept test anywhere, including coats that evoke the "wool blankets that all Chinese had growing up."

China has found its muse in actress Ziyi Zhang. A one-in-a-billion brand, Zhang looks to use that success to drive the already remarkable growth of the national film industry. She consistently ranks at the top of Forbes China's annual China's Top Celebrities list; in the 2007 survey, she was 18th in income and fourth in social influence, giving her the top ranking for a woman.

China's New Creative Class

A dynamic business-savvy generation is poised to redefine product design, architecture, fashion, and entertainment in China. Meet the nine innovators who are building the country's creative infrastructure--and making the world take notice.

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