Blog, Objects

Cool…red, white and blue summer

26 June 2013

Cool…red, white and blue summer

We’re having a red, white and blue moment as we look towards the summer holidays.   Here are a few items to get you in that summer mood.   Stick with a predominately red palette,  add wood and bamboo accents for texture and some blue accents for that hint of cool.






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Blog, Design

Domaine de Boisbuchet

25 June 2013

Domaine de Boisbuchet

In a gorgeous setting, Domaine de Boisbuchet is a design centre supported by Vitra and the Centre Pompidou.  Each summer, design students gather to partake in workshops run by designers from all over the world.

Recently, Alvin Yip,  a designer and design professor from PolyU HK and anothermountainman hosted a workshop exploring the nature of trust in social design.   The designs that emerge from this workshop may be exhibited  at the Social Innovation Festival 2013 in Hong Kong at the new Innovation Tower designed by Zaha Hadid later this year.

Other workshops include one hosted by Patricia Urquiola, whose workshop , Semina, looks at collage as a way of exploring new ideas in design.  Urquiola is particularly famous for her use of textiles in design and her methods of mixing materials in unexpected ways.

Also, if you are traveling around France, pop in to view the exhibition of Boro fabrics held at the Domaine de Boisbuchet this summer.   These types of fabrics deserve a blog post of their own.  Boro is the ingeniously repaired futon covers, kimonos, work garments, and other hand made, household textiles which were created by Japanese peasants between 1850 and 1950 using leftover, indigo dyed cotton.  These fabrics are not only beautiful to look at but hark back to a time when every items was saved and reused at odds with today’s society where things that are broken are thrown away.

Boro textiles represent some essential principles of traditional Japanese ethics and aesthetics such as the favoring of the sober and modest (shibui); imperfections expressed by irregularity, incompleteness, rawness and simplicity (wabi-sabi); and, of course, regret about any waste (motttainai). The exhibition was designed by students at  Parsons The New School for Design, New York.   It is on until 15th September.

Domaine de Boisbuchet  


16500 Lessac 
France  16500 Lessac France











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Blog, Design

Cool…est pools

24 June 2013

Cool…est pools

As the weather turns to a combo of rain and swelter here in HK, we at Eclectic Cool are spending our downtime thinking of the coolest pools in the world.   Most of these pools pictured on the left have been chosen for their feats of engineering as well as  beautiful settings.

La Purificadora is a relatively new hotel in Mexico.   Located in the historic centre of Puebla, a colonial city & world heritage site, the hotel  on the road between Mexico City and Oaxaca, next door to San Francisco´s church.  La Purificadora is the new incarnation of a late 19th-century factory long used to purify water for the production of ice, renovated by the renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. Legoretta has fused the original architecture with simple contemporary forms.   The pool, situated next to an open air bar, is the just the place to cool down after a hard day touring the city.

The Red Pool in the Murano Marrakech, is one of the most unusual and visually stunning pools that you will find in the world.   The warmth of the red tiles echos the red earth surrounding the hotel.

Though the architecture of the Blanket Bay Lodge is pretty humdrum, the setting of this pool makes all the difference.   Otago has to be one of the most beautiful places in the Southern hemisphere.  This, from an Aussie, is high praise indeed.

The thousand year old pool in Angkor Wat was used more for bathing than to luxuriate.  The temple pool is in amazing condition and well worth a visit.

This OMA designed pool is part of a project  just outside Paris. The customers gave  only  two guidelines for architecture and design firm OMA: they wanted a rooftop pool with a panoramic view of the city connecting  two separate apartments. Not a bad place to view the Eiffel Tower!

Though not for humans, the Penguin Pool by Leonard Lubetkin was designed in the ’30s, using a very innovative use of reinforced concrete.   This pool is beautiful- the pristine white setting a magnificent backdrop for the penguins that inhabit it.    Lubetkin conceived it as a stage set with walkways for the waddling penguins in the favourite constructivist form of a double helix and a spacious pool where they could show off their speed and grace when swimming.  This is a must see on your next visit to London.

I don’t think any hotel pool can beat the view of and from the rooftop pool of the Four Seasons Hotel in Jimbaran Bay.   This location is just a hop, skip and jump from HK and is well worth a gander.

A cantilevered pool is always something to marvel at.   Think about how much strength you need in the structure to suspend that amount of water.    This pool in Texas by Architexas, is part of The Joule hotel in Dallas, Texas. Ten stories above the ground, the pool projects eight feet over the edge of the building and hangs directly above Main Street, giving swimmers great downtown views and an escape from the Texan heat.

Finally, the last amazing pool is an oldie but a goody.   The Hotel Cap du Eden Roc is probably more famous as a place to be seen rather than to see.  However, the pool’s setting is sublime.  A cool martini sipped from the bar overlooking the pool is one of life’s great moments.











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Art, Blog

Cool…slim aarons

22 June 2013

Cool…slim aarons

Slim Aarons (1916-1996)was an American photographer that started his career as a war photographer but moved on by photographing America’s wealthy in their domestic and international playgrounds.  Aarons was invited to all the elite parties and captured the hedonism of this period in rich saturated colours with very natural compositions.   This month, Picture This gallery is  showing a collection of Aaron’s photographs from this elegant period.

A Wonderful Time – Photographs by Slim Aarons
25 June – 27 July, 2013
Picture This Gallery
Suite 1308, 13th Floor, Office Tower,
9 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2525-2820Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 11am to 6pm











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Blog, Design

Cool…the gallery wall

21 June 2013

Cool…the gallery wall

A gallery wall can be a great place to display images that you love.   Some stick to a particular genre, colour or theme, but I love to mix it up a little.

Here are some easy tips:

1.  Make the images work together: even if they are of different subjects make the images work together by giving them unity: the same colour frame or mat, a similar size or shape, a similar genre.   It doesn’t matter how you unify them- just so long as there is a common theme.

2. Plan out your wall.   If your images are not too big, you can photocopy them all and blue tack them into place.   Coloured paper the size of your image taped onto the wall works too.   If you have enough space, you can lay them out onto the ground.   However, remember that there has to be a dominant line in the placement.   I like to plan mine with an asymmetrical cross,  working from the centre out and lining up the upper edges of the frame.  It doesn’t matter if a few don’t quite fit, but allow the majority to align with something.

3. Make your choices meaningful.  A gallery wall should be very personal and special to you.   A wall filled with standard images  that you just come across are not interesting to you or anyone else.

4. Go on an excursion  & check out the gallery walls in stores like Kate Spade, Paul Smith and Coach.  You will be able to see  how they make the images work together.











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Blog, fashion

Cool…Balenciaga B & W

15 June 2013

Cool…Balenciaga B & W

The standout show for Resort season was Balenciaga.  Gosh, Alexander Wang is doing a great job.   True to Cristobal Balenciaga’s spirit, the collection focused on superb cutting, loose but structured shapes and subtle detailing.  The use of black and white! I have been avoiding buying anything black and white for the past couple of years except for t-shirts and shirts (how many black/white pants/dresses/skirts can you have?) but I might make an exception for this collection.   The bags and shoes especially were a standout.











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Architecture, Blog, Design

Stair Culture

14 June 2013

Stair Culture

Stairs are as much a part of the culture of HK as temples and char siew.  Hong Kong’s steep stairs, sometimes called ‘ladder streets’ link 2 roads of 2 elevations together, allowing pedestrians to circumvent the larger roads. Some of these streets, such as Pottinger Street and Duddell Street, are protected, but most have not historic protection whatsoever.

Unlike the granite slabs that line Pottinger Street, Pound Lane is made of the ubiquitous concrete that lines the walkways of Hk.  Though not the most beautiful of the ‘ladder streets’, it is a remnant of old Hong Kong, where these streets where lined with businesses and homes alike &  commerce, living and people collided in the smallest of spaces.   There are over 1000 staircases in HK though Pound Lane is only one , it has been threatened with extinction by a proposed escalator, that will, I believe, change the not only the streetscape and the local environment, but also the character of the area as a whole.

My beloved Po Hing Fong, where EC is located, is lined with a basketball court, small businesses, a school and residences.   I love the quiet and peace of the street- so unlike anywhere else in HK.  I know I shouldn’t, as a small business owner, but I still get a thrill when someone says they have no idea where it is.  I love the fact that my location is a bit off the beaten track and has that pioneering feel. No doubt with the Pound Lane escalator, these idyllic, peaceful days will be a thing of the past.   Just check out the purple and yellow convenience store that has taken residence next to Cafe Loisl and you will see what I mean.

From the 14th June to the 21st June, come up to Top Zoo a few doors down from me on Po Hing Fong to look at the exhibition, Alternate Constructions, which explores stair  culture in Hong Kong.   The exhibition is curated by Melissa Cate Christ, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Hong Kong and is based on the  design research of HKU students and faculty in the context of the proposed escalator along Pound Lane.

June 14-21, 2013 at Top Zoo,  66 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan

11am-7pm daily

Opening reception: June 14, 6-9pm

 











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Design

Basquiat @Gagosian HK

13 June 2013

Basquiat @Gagosian HK

Thanks once again to EC’s art expert, Molly Lukins Burke, who visited the Basquiat exhibition at the Gagosian.  Over to you, Molly:   

 

Hong Kong continues on its roll of firsts in the art world!  It started at the end of last year with the Hong Kong Museum of Art holding the largest Andy Warhol exhibition ever to come to Asia. Next came the coveted prize of hosting the world’s premier international art show, Art Basel, for the first time in the fair’s 43-year history.

 

And now we have the first exhibition of paintings by famed Neo-expressionist, Haitian-American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who exploded onto the contemporary art scene in the 1980s.  The Gagosian Gallery is currently showing fifteen paintings by Basquiat that reflect his interest in creating works of art that are both complex and simple at the same time.  His colorful compositions powerfully express his critical opinions on race and society in the transformative 1980s in America.

 

Even twenty-five years after his untimely death at age 27, Basquiat continues to be very relevant.  His signature style of using both text and imagery together to express his views on life remains persuasive and important.  Just one month ago at the Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art sale in New York, Basquiat’s Dustheads (1982) broke a world auction record for the artist, selling for $48.8 million USD.  Basquiat was one of 12 contemporary artists whose works were sold at the Christie’s auction, which brought in $495 million, the highest sales figure at any art auction.

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat will run at the Gagosian Gallery until August 10, 2013. 7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central

 

About Molly Lukins Burke

Molly brings her love of the artistic and the eclectic to Hong Kong from New York City, where she was born and raised. On a professional level, Molly has a Master’s in Art History and has worked at auction houses (Sotheby’s and Christie’s) and art galleries in New York. Before moving to Hong Kong in 2012, Molly was working on the team drafting the Catalogue Raisonné for Jasper Johns, one of America’s most celebrated artists. Personally, Molly is thrilled to have landed in Asia’s cultural capital with her husband and two children, and is excited to explore all that Hong Kong has to offer in local and international art. 











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Blog, Design, Jewels

Cool..gatsby jewels

12 June 2013

Cool..gatsby jewels

I did enjoy seeing the Great Gatsby in 3D the other evening.   The movie was great but the jewels were even better.    Set designer,Catherine Martin, combed the Tiffany archives to find pieces that expressed the moods and feelings of the characters as well as the hedonistic period in time that the novel is set.   The jewels were all real and this had an effect in on how the characters moved and carried themselves.   Anyone who has ever worn truly beautiful jewels will know exactly how this feels!

Even the teaset used in the garden scene was inspired by the archives.  The rosewood handles, copper rivets and jade finials will ensure that you drink your tea in style.  I think it is around USD35000 for the set.

You can look at the Tiffany website for more Gatsby inspired designs.

 











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Blog, Design, Interiors

Cool…green hues

11 June 2013

Cool…green hues

The lushness of summer in Hong Kong has made me what to embrace all things green.  Symbolic of life, green is refreshing and uplifting.   Underused in interiors, an easy way to add some green  is to include green glass or a plant.  I love the simple graphic shape of  a glass bottle.   Green is also one of those colours where different shades look great together.  I think this is because we are used to looking at different shades in nature.   The interior of the restaurant, Monsieur Bleu in Paris is a good example of this.

And if you love colours like pink or red, green always looks amazing.

 

 











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