Private Hong Kong: Where East Meets West

Private Hong Kong: Where East Meets West

by Sophie Benge, Fritz Von Der Schulenburg, Fritz von der Schulenberg
     
 

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An exclusive look behind the closed doors of Hong Kong's most extravagant and unusual homes, this elegant book, featuring 300 full-color photographs, reveals the interior style that has given the island its reputation for excess, exoticism, and masterly application of East-meets-West aesthetics.

Few places on earth match the island of Hong Kong for visual

Overview

An exclusive look behind the closed doors of Hong Kong's most extravagant and unusual homes, this elegant book, featuring 300 full-color photographs, reveals the interior style that has given the island its reputation for excess, exoticism, and masterly application of East-meets-West aesthetics.

Few places on earth match the island of Hong Kong for visual drama. Its setting is stunning, and its architecture of contrasts is irresistible—a melding of authentic Chinese elements, colonial charm, and tiger economy. Nowhere is this stylistic mix more evident than in the homes of Hong Kong's most influential and colorful personalities.

Private Hong Kong invites you into the secluded country residence of entrepreneur David Tang, the golden fantasy palace of leading socialites Kai Bong and Brenda Chau, the stately governor's mansion, and a luxurious Chinese junk complete with marble bathroom and Renoir painting.

In addition to these and many other homes, the book includes a Visitor's Guide, listing the paces to see and be seen in while staying in the city, and a Chinese Decorative Arts chapter that will inspire even the most informed collectors.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…Benge visits the homes of affluent Hong Kong residents—from Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, to socialites Kai Bong and Brenda Chau—giving a glimpse at the Hong Kong lifestyle just before the city's turnover to the Chinese. Yachts, gardens, and nightclubs are also photographed, with most showing a definite modern design style with a just dash of Asian detail." — Library Journal
Library Journal
These two books take different approaches to viewing Asian interior design. Tettoni presents a visual sourcebook to residential design in southeast Asia showing traditional as well as contemporary design in such countries as Bali, Malaysia, Sumatra, and the Philippines. Beginning with a review of the traditional, native dwellings in this area, he devotes the majority of this lavishly illustrated book to the contemporary interpretation of traditional and colonial living both in interiors and in landscaping. At the end he looks at various furniture and accessoriessuch as Indonesian furniture and lacquerware that define the traditional decorating styles. Benge visits the homes of affluent Hong Kong residents -- from Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, to socialites Kai Bong and Brenda Chaugiving a glimpse at the Hong Kong lifestyle just before the city's turnover to the Chinese. Yachts, gardens, and nightclubs are also photographed, with most showing a definite modern design style with a just dash of Asian detail. Tettoni's book is the better choice for those patrons seeking examples of affordable, Asian-influenced style.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789203427
Publisher:
Abbeville Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1997
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
9.88(w) x 9.88(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from: Private Hong Kong

Distinctive Tang

"It was the happiest day of my life," says David Tang of the day he bought his beloved home in Sai Kung. He had been pestering the owner on a daily basis for about two years before. "I beat him up and tortured him," he jokes. But he finally won what he had been searching for: a house with a garden running down to the sea, of which there are precious few in Hong Kong. Because of his globetrotting lifestyle, it was also important to David that the house, in Sai Kung Country Park, was easily accessible by road, boat, and helicopter. He first spotted the house, in fact, when he flew over it in his helicopter.

Because David's country retreat lies in one of Hong Kong's environmentally protected areas, he was subject to "18 million regulations"; it took 24 months to get permission to build a tiny swimming pool compared with only 24 days to construct it. When he arrived not a single flower blossomed in the garden. He completely relandscaped the plot with a profusion of bougainvillea, azaleas, hibiscus, imported coconut trees, and more. He flattened the lawn providing a perfect platform for a marquee that is hoisted often to entertain the stream of celebrities who party chez Tang when in town. Kevin Costner, Michael Caine, and the Duchess of York are just some of the guests who can be seen enjoying Tang hospitality in the legions of photographs displayed throughout the house.

The building stands squarely facing the sea, a warm light–filled place with a Mediterranean–style openness and French doors running the length of every floor. David has retained the one–room–per–floor format and decorated it in line with his sense of ordered chaos.

His exceptional taste has found favor with style aficionados everywhere, following his impresario ventures into chic clubs (China Club in Hong Kong and Beijing) and chic shops (Shanghai Tang in Hong Kong and soon New York), which have gained worldwide reputations for turning Chinese style into an international trend. At home his Anglophile side takes over. Out of a horror of minimalism he achieves his ordered chaos with bright colors, for cheerfulness; lots of paintings, artfully framed; a wealth of books (he reads four at the same time); Tang memorabilia (he's a shopaholic); and piles of humidors (he is always wreathed in a cloud of cigar smoke). Everything has been put together with what he calls "reckless prudence," which is his way of saying that he buys what he likes without knowing where he will put it. "This is the wonderful thing about not being a designer: you don't have to lay out a plan and be contrived."

Perhaps this philosophy contributes to the overriding sense of comfort here; this is a place where guests feel genuinely at home. It invites you to kick off your shoes and sink into one of the oversize sofas, designed to David's specifications—at least 34 inches deep and stacked high with cushions.

Meet the Author

Sophie Benge is a former deputy editor of Elle Decoration and Orient Beauty. As a writer she specializes in art, design, and fashion. Her work has appeared in such periodicals as Home Journal and Vogue. She lives in Hong Kong.

Internationally renowned photographer Fritz von der Schulenburg's pictures appear regularly in House and Garden, The World of Interiors, and Schöner Wohnen. His books include The Dining Room, The Bedroom, The Bathroom, Empire, and Neoclassicism in the North. He lives in London.

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