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Oriental modernity – ‘André Fu: Crossing cultures with design’ by Catherine Shaw

Dear readers, being away from writing this blog for quite some time, it makes me feel a bit guilty and questioning about my passion on contributing some stylish and sophisticated topics for modern day gentlemen, which something that I truly love about. I have a very good reason to explain why, because: firstly, I’ve been dedicated my time for my new job which I just took on about a couple of weeks ago, so literally, I got no time spared to look for interesting topics given the exhausting and hectic full-time work schedule; secondly, with the traumatic and chaotic situation, whether it’s the most-concerned COVID-19 pandemic around the world, or the despairing social unrest and down-drive of economy in my home city, all these factors piled up that leads to the conclusion: that I have to take a break first before I start writing again. So, after went through all these difficult weeks, and finally, got my first paycheck! I decided to reward myself a bit by buying myself a little gift, something not too expensive but stylish, in a way to celebrate the challenging months that I’ve been through, and, rewarding myself the hard work that I have been working on in the past months, and eventually, having some peace-of-mind and comfort so that I can carry on my side projects, including, contributing to this blog of mine. And I decided to settle on the book that I have an eye on back in months ago, a sophisticated interior design book titled ‘André Fu: Crossing cultures with design’ by Catherine Shaw.

I believe in ‘things happened for a reason’, so as the reason of getting a copy of this book, not just because of my admiration about stylish interior design, but also the destiny that I had with the work by this Hong Kong interior designer. The book, published by Thames & Hudson, written by Catherine Shaw, an independent architecture, design and art critic and the author of the Wallpaper* Tokyo City Guide, featured the most signature interior design work by André Fu, who, needlessly introduced, is renowned with his countless luxury interior design projects from our home city - Hong Kong, to abroad in Bangkok, Provence, London and New York.

I still remember the first time I met the designer back in years ago during an event hosted by The Upper House, one of the upscale hotel in Hong Kong located in the heart of the city, the interior design of the hotel was actually done by André, that makes me feel that everything comes in full circle: meeting the designer in the hotel he designed. The modernized oriental ambient, calming and soothing, minimalistic elegance, the understated luxury with eastern elements mixed with artistic chic of the western, which is something I found whenever I visited the hotel, and grasped from André’s design. While the designer prefers not to emphasize his style in a particular style or ‘genre’, his approach is rather practical on focusing the space and how to maximize its utmost potential of usage, with his aesthetic, sensitivity on materials and decorative objects, the intelligent use of illumination, and the sensuality of putting all these elements together yet staying to the root and heritage of his client’s.

Apart from the remarkable interior projects that shown in this book, from the most recent work of St. Regis Hong Kong, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong to Waldorf Astoria Bangkok and Pavilion Suite, The Berkeley London, just names of a few, it also showcased the artisanal lighting collection which the designer has done with the reputed Czech glass manufacturer, Lasvit, a rug collection with a Hong Kong carpet brand, Tai Ping, and, a ‘sneak peek’ inside the designer’s home, having a visual experience on how he reflects his personal style and taste in the space that he lives in, also, a glimpse of his luxury homeware collection – ‘André Fu Living’.

If sumptuous modern oriental style and peace-of-mind (at least visually) is something that I am looking for at this moment, I guess this book certainly serves the purpose, an honest, and sophisticated reflection of the oriental modernity by a Hong Kong interior designer.

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