published in: Design, Interviews By Apostolos Mitsios, 02 May 2009

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ONSITE is a Chinese creative team which consists of 3 talented boys, Tang Wenjiam, Deng Hua & Ru Xiao. ONSITERS beside graphic design, are doing some of the most beautiful art toys of the moment. ‘The Rebot series’, which is a part of ‘MTT’ (My Times Toys), and we cannot wait to hold them in our hands. They are all robot inspired, with a sleek touch, looking absolutely great in their white armors. ONSiTE creations are eco-conscious and only recycled materials are going to be used for their manufacturing. It is of no surprise that they believe that recycle is art. They have a very particular vision on toys and are quite serious when talking about them, since they represent for them a genuine artistic expression. Of course we couldn’t disagree and that’s why we found them for an exclusive interview. Ladies and gentlemen, their time has surely come!


How did your adventure start?
It all begun in our college time. Several years ago, we were studying art design in the same Art Academy. At that time, we were team members of the college football team and became good friends very soon. After the graduation, we all came to Shanghai to start our professional life and kept in touch with each other, sharing opinions about design. Because we have a lot of things in common and are good at different fields, we tried to do some creations together. After several successful music posters, we decided to found a design team in 2007, named ONSITE.


Tell us more about the REBOT series. How did you come up with the idea? Do you have plans of manufacturing?
Toy design is very important to ONSITE. We love toys. They can bring joy to everyone. It’s a pity that there are a lot of well-known toy designers all over the world, but not in China. Once that we were talking about that, we decided to design our own toys and name them “MTT” (My Times Toys). We hope to express our view of the times through our toys. REBOT toys are the first series of MTT. We’ve been working on it for about six months. The inspiration was the idea of environmental protection. REBOT should be made from recycled materials, such as reconstituted metal and reprocessed plastic, in order to make a strong art contrast between discard and rebirth.
Each REBOT has its own chemical properties that can affect the surrounding environment and has hidden clues in its name. Behind all of them is hidden the same creative principle: “Recycle is Art”. We are now planning to make them real. Until now, we haven’t found the suitable toy manufacturer in China. If possible, we are also willing to cooperate with foreign toy brands.

The motto that represents the REBOT series is “My time to rebirth/revive’’. What is the story hidden behind it?
The motto means the REBOT gives to waste material a second life. At the same time, we also want to tell the world that toy design has reemerged in China. We are eager to create a new form of toys which can represent and reinterpret the original Chinese toys that are so popular throughout the world. REBOT series is the first attempt and we still have a lot of work to do.



What is the working process that you follow?
We usually decide the theme of the toys first. Then we define the number of toys that are featured in the series, the images and the characters. After that we start our tasks, such as the character settings, 3D models, then the CG painting. Each of us is responsible for the part he knows better. Each one has his own space in creation and periodically we have meetings in order to discuss how to make things better. Trust and understanding are the most important things for ONSITE. Currently we are at a point that we have achieved tacit comprehension in our works.


Tell us something about your daily life in China. What inspires you?
Music, movies, photography and travelling are indispensable.
We always walk around the city, finding beauty in our daily life and keeping it in our memories. Those are our inspiration sources.

What are the differences between Eastern and Western art according to you?
The essence of art is the same. The difference is between the culture and the environment of the East and the West. Generally, the latest trend is all about art collision and fusion, thing that has provoked the formation of so many new artistic styles. European countries have a long artistic tradition. People have very good artistic accomplishments and often talk about the arts. On the contrary, in the Oriental tradition art is a gift, only a few people can do it. Fortunately, this tradition has changed now. There’re more and more people interested in art and design. At present, what China's artists are exploring is how to integrate the Oriental art in the modern art.

As we can judge from your site, you are big music lovers. Any recommendations for the readers of Yatzer?
We like Industrial and post-punk music, but we try to listen to it in a calm state of mind. Intense music styles often bring us a lot of thoughts and inspiration. We are also very keen on Chinese music. We recommend you a band called Rebuilding the Rights of Statues, which is very popular in China right now.

The APE of MUTATION series  © ONSITE

What are your future plans?
We dedicate most of our time to MTT (My Times Toys) works.
The design of REBOT will be finished in a few months and we’ve already started the creation of another series called MUTATION. Its first character is APE. MUTATION Series represent our current skills and will be the high-end toy series of MTT in the future.
In addition, we will create a BBS based on art toys. We hope that in this way people will get to know more about art toys and will become fond of them. This is important in order to build up our own original toy brand in China.

TREE HOUSE illustration  © ONSITE

NOAH'S ARC illustration © ONSITE






  • friend
    george | 2009-05-02 16:54:53

    great art, great ispiration for me, for all of us. the future coming closer, from powerfull images. and of course going back to the beging of humanity.

  • friend
    Benni | 2009-05-03 06:38:05


  • friend
    narelle | 2009-07-20 14:13:01

    love it

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