Does this look Chinese to you?

To me, it's charmingly Chinese, yet curiously European at the same time. Doesn't it remind you of European Toile de Jouy fabric? 

​I first came across this kind of plate in an antique shop in Denmark. It turns out that this willow pattern has been around since perhaps 1790. It looks like Chinese blue and white porcelain and has Chinese motifs (pair of birds, pavilion, etc.)... but the layout and drawing style is actually not very Chinese. 

The fabric prints above and below were produced within the past decade, and have clearly been inspired by this willow pattern. 

​Yet another depiction of Chinese motifs using European design language. This print and the first one above employs the Toile de Jouy mechanism of repeated decorations.
All these are examples of  chinoiserie — western interpretation and imitation of Chinese artistic traditions, popular during the 18th century as a result of the rich cultural exchange and commerce between the West and the East. 
I’ve been interested in chinoiserie for a long time, for various reasons: 
First of all, it offers a refreshing perspective on familiar Chinese themes.
In an age of insecurity and the Pinkerton syndrome when many of my generation are always looking west for knowledge and inspiration, it’s also good to be reminded that the west once looked east too. Voltaire, the 18th century French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher once said in his essay 'Art de la Chine' — "The fact remains that four thousand years ago, when we did not know how to read, they [the Chinese] knew everything essentially useful of which we boast today."
Finally, Tong Tong's way of seeing is also an appropriation of Chinese culture: a post-colonial Southeast Asian Chinese perspective and interpretation of modern Chinese-ness. We practice our own form of chinoiserie too! It’s an informed, but not unadulterated form of Chinese-ness. That’s what makes it fascinating and familiar, yet curiously different.
Here is Tong Tong's play on chinoiserie, with ​a European pastoral scene but in a Chinese shape with touches of western elements. What do you think? More Oriental or Occidental? A bastardized mix?
Sheau Yun
Founder-Designer of Tong Tong