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Long before the selfie became popular, HK artist Tseng Kwong Chi spent the ’80s playfully shooting himself in front of some iconic US landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, Cape Canaveral and the World Trade Centre.

tseng Cool... Artist, Tseng Kwong Chi

Dressed in a Mao suit accessorized with sunglasses, Tseng revelled in the notoriety that it brought, the NYT dubbing this persona “wickedly surrealistic”.  As Tseng stated: “My mirrored glasses give the picture a neutral impact and a surrealistic quality I am looking for. I am an inquisitive traveler, a witness of my time, and an ambiguous ambassador

He became part of a circle of NY artists who included Keith Haring & Cindy Sherman. He was best friends with Keith Haring and the two worked together on a number of projects. Tseng also took many photos of Haring’s graffiti works across NY.

This month Ben Brown Fine Arts is showing his series “East meets West”, satirising China’s relationship with the US.

 Cool... Artist, Tseng Kwong Chi

These ironic self-portraits found their way to Communist China and influenced some of China’s avant-garde artists of the time, including conceptual artists Song Dong and Zhang Huan, who saw Tseng’s images through western magazines smuggled into the country in the 1980’s. His work also playfully juxtaposes his persona, “Ambiguous Ambassador” with some breathtaking landscape photography.

Tseng Lake Moraine Canoe Mountain Alberta 1986 600x620 Cool... Artist, Tseng Kwong Chi

 

images courtesy of Ben Brown

Tseng passed away in 1990 due to complications with the AIDS virus.  He left a body of work comprising over 100,000 photographs.   His work has been collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Tseng’s work is currently showing at Ben Brown Fine Art in the Pedder Building.

TSENG KWONG CHI: Citizen of the World

20 NOVEMBER 2014 – 24 JANUARY 2015

Check out a documentary of his work:

Related posts:

Cool… Artist, Tseng Kwong Chi

Long before the selfie became popular, HK artist Tseng Kwong Chi spent the ’80s playfully shooting himself in front of some iconic US landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, Cape Canaveral and the World Trade Centre. Dressed in a Mao suit accessorized with sunglasses, Tseng revelled in the notoriety that …

 
in:  Design
 
29 November 2014
 
 

We’ve been busy in the store getting ready for Christmas shoppers and finishing up our deliveries for the year.  It’s been a busy year for Eclectic Cool…our list has grown by around 10 brands and we have had many new products to introduce in the store.   Some of the brands that have been with us from the beginning have grown too, and we are pleased to introduce their new collections.

One of our new brands is ByAMT.   We love a bit of leather at EC and these handmade leather baskets are pretty hard to resist.   1673301 slide large strap basket grande Cool...new arrivals and Christmas byAMT StrapLeatherBowlBasket SideView 1024x1024 1 grande Cool...new arrivals and Christmas

Each strap is riveted with brass and the stitching on the front is pretty nice too.  The natural leather will get darker and softer with age-these are just the thing to add a bit of texture to your interior.   We also have similar tote bags which come with beautifully made canvas liners….I want one!

byAMT StrapLeatherTOTE WH FRONT grande Cool...new arrivals and Christmas

 Cool...new arrivals and Christmas  Cool...new arrivals and Christmas

I’ve got a thing about containers and I think they make a fantastic gift for anyone.  We have some great ideas for the dressing table or cocktail table.  The Brilliant Box from Normann Copenhagen is a lidded glass box in 2 sizes and 6 hues.   They are ‘brilliant’ for storing jewels, clips, hair ties…anything you can think of.   Wouldn’t you love to receive one filled with matching macaroons from Ladureé.   Screen Shot 2014 11 28 at 7.37.49 AM 600x419 Cool...new arrivals and Christmas

 

Normann Copenhagen has also released these salt and pepper mills made of oak and turned marble.  The feel of these beauties are sublime and they are a stylish way to introduce stone to your table.

13050 Craft Series 11 1 Cool...new arrivals and Christmas

 

Last, but not least, we have the new collections by Tori Murphy landing in stores at the end of next week.   In addition to her original collection, Tori has added a small range of accessories including tote bags, zip purses, makeup bags and laptop bags.

Tori Murphy Product2014 1 copy large Cool...new arrivals and Christmas Tori Murphy product 7 copy large Cool...new arrivals and Christmas large hamilton spot grey pink 60 23fa8058 5cf8 4f8f bb1d 9b0d930cbdb6 large Cool...new arrivals and Christmas large hamilton spot linen black 60 large Cool...new arrivals and Christmas Tori Murphy 40cm Marshall Stripe Strie Cushion Coal Linen Pink large Cool...new arrivals and Christmas

 

We also have throws and cushions as well.   I’m off to a trip to Stockholm and London, so I am hoping to find a few goodies for the store as well as picking up Tori’s order so these will be in store next Saturday.

Finally if you have not got your Christmas cards ready…don’t forget we have a great selection in store.  We are stocking vintage inspired Cartolina cards. Here’s a bit of a taster…cute, huh!

CC242 large Cool...new arrivals and Christmas

Related posts:

Cool…new arrivals and Christmas

We’ve been busy in the store getting ready for Christmas shoppers and finishing up our deliveries for the year.  It’s been a busy year for Eclectic Cool…our list has grown by around 10 brands and we have had many new products to introduce in the store.   Some of the …

 
in:  Blog, Shopping
 
28 November 2014
 
 

GentleWoman No10 Cover1 600x400 Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14

Have you picked up the latest edition of The Gentlewoman at the store yet?  With swedish pop sensation Robyn on the cover, it is a very unlikely looking fashion mag, but with the best articles EVER.

check out the fashion spreads…

GentleWoman No.10 232 233 web 600x450 Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14

stuntwoman model the clothes…

GentalWoman No10 140 141 600x450 Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14

what’s not to like about that.

there’s also some in depth interview with artist Marlene Dumas, journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis and one of my fave fashion designers , Chitose Abe of Sacai.

GentalWoman No10 130 131 600x450 Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14

GentalWoman No10 150 151 600x450 Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14

These are the women you should be reading about.  We still have a couple of copies in store- they are very hard to find!

And by the way- if you live in London and run, you should join The Gentlewoman running club.  This week it’s a jaunt along the Serpentine, an easy 6km run.   I wish I could be there.   Screen Shot 2014 11 10 at 8.20.57 AM 600x522 Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14 Screen Shot 2014 11 10 at 8.20.51 AM 600x504 Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14

Related posts:

Cool..the latest Gentlewoman a/w14

Have you picked up the latest edition of The Gentlewoman at the store yet?  With swedish pop sensation Robyn on the cover, it is a very unlikely looking fashion mag, but with the best articles EVER. check out the fashion spreads… stuntwoman model the clothes… what’s not to like about …

 
in:  Design
 
10 November 2014
 
 

 

I don’t often do product placements except for products that I have used and really like/love.

As you may have noticed, I travel quite a bit and I take lots of photos.  I think I enjoy the process of taking the photos more than the actual result.  Hence, I have many photos in my Lightroom files that I do absolutely nothing with.   I always intend to do something with them and,  in a few cases, especially family holidays, my husband and kids encourage (I call it nag) me to put them into albums.

milk 1 600x400 Cool...MILK competition

a few of the books that have been produced by moi over the last few months 

 

I have tried a few of the printed albums around , but by far the best, are the ones made by MILK.   In the interests of disclosure, MILK have offered a couple of time to try out their albums for free.  I hate taking free stuff.  I think it obligates you.  The albums you see pictured here were paid for by me.   Admittedly, I buy when they have deals.  I even have some Moleskine albums in the works, bought in a package, but I haven’t finished them yet.   Must get onto that!

milk 2 600x400 Cool...MILK competitionthe reproduction of images is really rather nice…

 

I digress.  What I really want to say is this- they are a high quality product.  They are not the cheapest, but I think the quality of the paper, binding and reproduction is excellent and the customer service is great too.

milk 4 600x646 Cool...MILK competition milk 3 600x400 Cool...MILK competition

 

I like the cloth binding and the cute little buttons they put on the spine…

Now if you are getting married or have some wedding pics tucked away, waiting to be put in an album, this may be of interest.

From 14 November to 14 December 2014, MILK will be running a competition for one lucky couple to win an exquisite collection of MILK products, individually created with their wedding day photography by the PQ Blackwell design team (the creators of MILK books)  – a prize that money can’t buy. For the lazy ones among us- me most definitely included- I think that this is quite a deal.

The prize includes a custom made CREAM Album worth US$600, a Gallery Frame worth US$125 and a gift voucher for US$300 to spend on any MILK or Moleskine Photo Books or Albums.

Media assets CREAM beach Cool...MILK competition

example of the CREAM range of albums….

Media assets CREAM Cool...MILK competition Media assets Double White Album Cool...MILK competition Media assets MILK Album Cool...MILK competition

 

So what do you have to do?   Visit www.milkbooks.com/weddings for your chance to enter PLUS those who do enter will get 20% off their next purchase at MILK.

Related posts:

Cool…MILK competition

  I don’t often do product placements except for products that I have used and really like/love. As you may have noticed, I travel quite a bit and I take lots of photos.  I think I enjoy the process of taking the photos more than the actual result.  Hence, I …

 
 
9 November 2014
 
 

One of the jobs of an interior designer is assisting clients make decisions about all sorts of home purchases.  One of the most important household decisions (& some would say the most important decision) is the purchase of a mattress.

I think we would all agree that getting a good night’s rest is very important.   After aiming for your eight hours and making sure that your room is dark, the mattress becomes the most important thing left to guarantee a good night’s sleep.

However, mattress shopping here in HK is fraught with difficulties.   What is the difference between the major brands? Sprung versus foam? Does spending 2K or 200,000K (no- that is not a mistake, you CAN spend this much!) make any difference at all? What does all those technical terms mean?  advanced pocket coil? viscoelastic memory foam? Do you know?  Do you care?

blog princess and the pea Buying a mattress in HK

image via steve goddard

Okay, we’re not all as sensitive as the Princess who was bothered by the pea.   Here’s a link to a good summary of some of the things that need to be considered when buying a mattress.  The advice here is sound.  Especially the bit about shopping the sales.   Mattress manufacturers are always coming out with new models, you can sometimes pick up a real bargain.

Use the advice from the link above to point you in the right direction.  Following are some of choices available in HK.

Most bed shopping expedition begin at Wing On and Sogo. Here you will get an overview of the wide range of mattresses and prices.  I would allow a couple of hours here, trying a wide variety of beds and deciding what you like and don’t like. However, to buy I suggest going further afield.

For a more traditional sprung mattress try Sealy. The Sealy flagship store, just down the road from us in Wan Chai have plenty to choose from.

The beds that Sealy carries here in HK are Australian designed with Australian components but may be custom made locally.   They have a number of ranges- from the ‘Exquisite’ to the ‘High Performance’.  The features and quality ranges, but basically the lower grade mattresses are fully sprung with a thinner foam encasing the coils.   The high quality mattresses have the addition of a visco elastic foam core which is supposed to support your back better.   They also have a more luxurious pillow top.

Sealy Flagship Store

138C Queen’s Road East,

Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Tel: 2529 3188

Mon-Sun 11:00-20:00

Screen Shot 2014 11 07 at 7.41.05 PM Buying a mattress in HK

A screenshot of the luxe ‘Exquisite’ range taking from the sealy website

If you have back problems, you may want to consider a memory foam mattress.  Tempur was designed by scientists at NASA to conform to your body.  It is temperature sensitive and pressure absorbing, but you need to like the feel of a foam bed.   Tempur is sold via Aeon stores in HK.  You can find a list here.

tempur Buying a mattress in HK

image via tempur

Another type of mattress is made of latex.  While memory foam conforms to your body, latex pushes and elevates.   Some find it very warm to sleep on- not great when you are living in hot, steamy HK.   The Bodyfit balance found at okooko in Horizon Plaza is one type of latex mattress that you can try.

If you want the feel of a more traditional mattress and want a more high end product, then try Duxiana or Hastens.  Both brands come from Scandanavia.  Duxiana used to be on Lyndhurst Terrace, but have since disappeared but no doubt a canny shopper can find a source.  Hastens have a store in Causeway Bay.  Both manufacturers make sprung mattresses which are very attractive to look at.  Layers of horsehair, foam, and springs are combined to give you a mattress made out of mainly natural products and covered in a soft cotton.  These mattresses are expensive as they are hand made and of superior materials.   The lower end will set you back around HKD100K. If the idea of horsehair irks you, Hastens only use horsehair that has been sterilized for one year.   These natural materials wick away moisture from your body, keeping you cool in your bed.

Hastens Superia II 3d Buying a mattress in HK

Hastens beds image via Hastens website

A cheaper version, but a very similar product can be found at Dormirest.  Dormirest have a showroom in Central and are very upfront about pricing. A top of the range mattress and base here will set you back about 40K.   There is some good advice about mattress buying on their website which you can find here.

dormirest Buying a mattress in HK

image via dormirest website

If you really want to go over the top and your sleep is very, very important to you- then take a look at De Rucci.   This brand seems very hi-tech, promising a fully customised experienced. The explanatory videos are a bit awkward to say the least, but the concept is that you dress up in a green suit while they measure your back and then three months later you are presented with a fully customised ‘experience’.   Beds here are the same price as cars.

So do you have to spend a ton of money to find a bed that suits you? In the end,  I think  the choice of a mattress is very personal and is based on 4 things: looks, cost,  personal biases (whether you like a foam or traditional mattress) and what I call the wear-down factor.   This is because buying a mattress is pretty exhausting, and eventually you will just be forced to make a decision!  I hope you make the right one and can recover from the ordeal by getting a good night’s rest!

 

Sealy Flagship Store
138C Queen’s Road East,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2529 3188
Mon-Sun 11:00-20:00
okooko
26th Floor, Horizon Plaza
2 Lee Wing Street
Ap Lei Chau
Phone:
2870-1132
Open Hours: 11am – 7pm Daily
Email:
enquiries@okooko.com
De Rucci Bespoke – Central
Shop 111, Ruttonjee Centre
11 Duddell Street,Central Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2771 3618

Dormirest

Unit 706 Carpo Commercial Building,
18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3741 1828
info@dormirest.com

Tempur

Central Store
9/F., Duke Wellington House,
14-24 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong 
Hastens Store Hong Kong
G/F, 111 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay

Related posts:

Buying a mattress in HK

One of the jobs of an interior designer is assisting clients make decisions about all sorts of home purchases.  One of the most important household decisions (& some would say the most important decision) is the purchase of a mattress. I think we would all agree that getting a good …

 
 
8 November 2014
 
 

I have to start off by saying that I am not one for large parties…I am big into dinner parties but making conversation in large groups of people is just not me.

However, I was convinced by my good friend, Alex, that having a celebration of our opening would be a great idea.  And, I am pleased to say, last Wednesday’s party was a big success.

Thanks for all the flowers that clients and suppliers sent…it was very much appreciated and they were all beautiful.   Here are a few images from the day.   I meant to buzz around with the camera but I missed too many of the moments because I was a bit busy talking.

 

EC SUNSTREET 1 EXTERIOR 600 Thanks for coming!

 

sun street store image 20 600 Thanks for coming! EC SUNSTREET 12 INTERIOR 600 Thanks for coming!

 

The store looked great, thanks Alex for zhushing our shelves!

EC SUNSTREET 10 INTERIOR 600 Thanks for coming!

Some of our delicious spread…eclairs and mini-quiches from Chez Patrick, cupcakes and macaroons from Sift and coffee from Nespresso.  As day turned to evening we changed the food to cheese platters from Chez Patrick and guacamole from Calimex.   It was delish! The flowers here are from our friends at Apartment 49.

EC SUNSTREET 11 INTERIOR 600 Thanks for coming!

Everyone was thrilled with their goody boxes.  Fabulous products from Aesop, we handed out some of our special Kujo wrapping paper, stationery from Eclectic Cool and lots of vouchers from our sponsors, Design Anthology, MimoBrazil, Calimex & Apartment 49, plus a special Eclectic Cool gift.

EC SUNSTREET 9 INTERIOR 600 Thanks for coming!

You can see how much we have grown in the last couple of years.  Here are some of our staff.  From left to right: Stephany Yuen -Design Assistant, Cheryl Law- Sales Assistant, Natalie Li- Sales Manager, me, Laura Burton- Business Manager, Pinky Chau- Sales Assistant.  And yes, we’re all vertically challenged and girls! (But lack of these qualities are no impediment for joining our team- but you may have to watch your head in our office!)

EC SUNSTREET 8 INTERIOR 600 Thanks for coming!

The store was looking fab- we played with our Kvadrat clouds into a different shape.

EC SUNSTREET 2 INTERIOR 600 Thanks for coming!

Everyone stocked up on their stationery during the day.   The 20% off was a great hit- but sorry folks, it’s not going to be repeated often.

For all you who came to say hi and to our lovely sponsors- thanks!

 

 

Related posts:

Thanks for coming!

Thanks to all who came to our store opening last Wednesday. I was really touched at the turnout and to see so many new faces. The response was overwhelming, I’m glad you like our stuff!

 
 
2 November 2014
 
 

web opening party  flyer Come to our opening party!

We’ve been busy in the store and have been getting ready for our opening party and you’re all invited.   We’ll have coffee and cakes from 11 and from 4pm we’ll turn on the tunes and start the wine flowing.

The goody boxes are being prepared with lots of cool products and goods from a variety of our brands as well as things from our sponsors!

We look forward to seeing you, but until then here’s a few pics of the store.

sun street store image 12 600 Come to our opening party!

some fab selections of HAY and Henry Dean

sun street store image 13 600 Come to our opening party!

our selection of cards are better than ever

sun street store image 15 600 Come to our opening party!

we custom made our library ladder to display stock as well as using it to climb up to our cushion display…

sun street store image 20 600 Come to our opening party!

and talking about cushions…..

we’ve got plenty of new designs arriving soon.

Related posts:

Come to our opening party!

Don’t forget to diarise our opening party on 29th October, lots of fun, food and goody boxes too!

 
in:  Design
 
17 October 2014
 
 

We were very excited to learn that Wan Chai interior design studio, Joyce Wang has won Interior of the Year award at this year’s prestigious INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors.   

Competing alongside 60 other nominees in the category, the studio’s MOTT32 project was named World Interior of the Year 2014.

image005 Cool...HK designer Joyce Wang

MOTT32 was conceived as a  a storage facility housing expensive family heirlooms of a wealthy Chinese family. The space included remnants of forgotten antiques, Chinese propaganda, and custom-made industrial accents that double as furniture and light fittings.

If you’ve never been there- you’ve missed out!  I could go to sleep on one of those leather banquettes (they’re having a moment- see yesterday’s post) .

Joyce Wang also won the top prize in the Residential category for her Xintiandi Penthouse in Shanghai, China. Check out their website for some pics.

Related posts:

Cool…HK designer Joyce Wang

We were very excited to learn that Wan Chai interior design studio, Joyce Wang has won Interior of the Year award at this year’s prestigious INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors.    Competing alongside 60 other nominees in the category, the studio’s MOTT32 project was named World Interior of the Year 2014. …

 
 
15 October 2014
 
 

DCS The Continental Cool...The Continental Hong Kong

 

Standing in the taxi queue (yes! Queensway and Cotton Tree Drive are both open) my eye was caught by the glittering lights of the new restaurant replacing Domani, The Continental.   I haven’t had the opportunity to eat there yet, but the interiors have been designed by David Collins Studio.

Using the building designed by Heatherwick Studio, David Collins Studio was inspired by the grand European cafés you would see in Vienna and Paris.   This is a sneak peek, showing very Euro banquettes and a  marriage of very luxe materials.   We’re looking forward to dinner!

Related posts:

Cool…The Continental Hong Kong

The Continental is now open. Boasting elegant interiors inspired by grand European cafés, it looks like it will make a great night out.

L4, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
T:2704 5211

 
 
14 October 2014
 
 

 

Have you heard about #racethetube ?  The idea here is to find 2 tube stops that are very close together, get off the train, run to the next stop and get back on.   James Heptonstall managed to do just that, running the 380m from Mansion station to Cannon Street station in 1minute 20 seconds to beat the train.   His epic video follows…

In HK, Ngan Cuz decided to do the same.

 

Not quite as successful as James, Ngan, though ultimately failing, gave me a view of HK I don’t think I’ve ever seen…Mongkok empty- now that’s a feat in itself.

Related posts:

#racethetube HK

Check out Ngan Cuz’s mammoth effort…racing from Mongkok to Prince Edward stations in 1m 50s…450m, 2 ticket barriers and a lot more stairs than the London version.

 
 
24 September 2014
 
 
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