Typhoon keeps coming to Hong Kong, the best protection is probably to stay in. To a lot of people it is definitely a bummer - not only does the strong wind destruct normal order of life (deepest condolences to everyone in Macau), this typhoon also happens on a Sunday, forcing a lot of people to abandon any weekend (outdoor) plans they had.
On this typhoon Sunday, I want to talk about this Shanghai illustrator who is good at many things.
Inside this traditional Shanghainese lane house is the home to local artist Xiaolonghua. His artist name, directly translated to 'Little Dragon Flower', is a homonym of the word 'Xiao Long Bao' in the Shanghainese dialect.
Quite heavily influenced by Japanese comics, Xiaolonghua's illustrations are meticulous, mysterious and full of meanings. He uses minimal colors that are mostly subtle in saturation, for his drawings. Here's one of his artwork:
Looks great, doesn't it? The whole thing is so vibrant even though there are only a few low-key colors. And having it hung on a wall painted in this turquoise blue/green, they compliment each other in a very stylish way.
However, what I want to talk about isn't just his drawings, but his ability to expand his skills from one dimension into another - not only does Xiaolonghua excel as a skilful painter, he is also a highly crafty sculptor who turns his own 2D drawings into 3D forms. Let's see this:
Yep, the same drawing you just saw, is now transformed into a sculpture. More colors but still subtle, rich in details.
Xiaolonghua's studio often seems busy and/or chaotic, but there's order in everything. He collects found objects to sculpt his work, and the outcomes are always amusing. Below is a sculpture of himself, made with only found objects.
In his small studio, Xiaolonghua uses every inch of the space wisely so that he can include his favorite posters, books, music, and artwork within the confine of this little attic. Much like most people in Hong Kong today, space is scarce and we are all finding our ways to maximize the capacity of our homes. Choosing/ using the right furniture is one main key, and hats off to Xiaolonghua for building some of his own tables and chairs, apart from the ones he's gotten from relatives and antique markets.
Sometimes we tend to be restricted by our surroundings, so it is important to always remind ourselves to 'think outside the box'. From creative actions of turning a flat object into 3-dimensional, to challenging the space and environment around us, we should never be too lazy to expand our ideas and minds - much like our new collection's title, Stretch Your Mind, it can be good for you!
If you've been paying attention to your inbox, you might have noticed the latest email from ziinlife, introducing our latest furniture collection, titled Stretch Your Mind.
A total of six pieces in this collection, Stretch Your Mind focuses on the play of the flexibility of a furniture. The collection also explores different possibilities a piece of furniture can stretch into. A piece from Stretch Your Mind that especially caught my eyes is the Moving Wardrobe, like its name suggests, it is a wardrobe that moves!
Moving Wardrobe can be seen as a wardrobe, a suitcase (that carries the wardrobe around) and a coffee table. Why does it catch my attention? It probably comes down to my innate love for traveling and moving around.
Let me admit it - I can't sit still. Traveling has always been a passion for me, so when I saw Moving Wardrobe for the first time, without knowing what it really is beyond its name, I was immediately impressed. A moving wardrobe? I must be dreaming! So of course, to feed my curiosity, I went on to read its description --
As years go by, your surroundings may change; but Moving Wardrobe will be with you through thick and thin, forever and ever.
Seriously, can a furniture be more romantic than this? LOL in a world of uncertainties I sure need a wardrobe that stays with me "through thick and thin" more than anything else! As (half) a joke I told my colleague at ziinlife that if/ when someone proposes to me, one of the gifts he gotta bring for the "過大禮" ceremony has to be a Moving Wardrobe, no exception! Haha - we had a good laugh of course, but to be fair, everyone loves a good story behind a gift or anything that we own, so for a story like Moving Wardrobe, I just can't resist.
Will I be traveling with Moving Wardrobe? I can't say for sure. But is it a piece that stays in my mind and makes me giggle? It definitely is! Although I might not be traveling with Moving Wardrobe, it definitely went on my wish list of what I should include in my home sweet home.
If you want to see the rest of the furniture in Stretch Your Mind, be sure to go here.
It's always a challenge to clean a sofa that doesn't come with removable cover, especially when it is inevitable to get our beloved fabric sofa dirty. I can only imagine if you've got kids and pets, the scenario is even more inevitable.
Fabric sofas, especially ones with the kind of up-scale materials that we love, are just so to resist! The soft texture and vibrant colors that only fabric is able to deliver...is why we insist on purchasing fabric sofas despite the challenge of cleaning.
But worry no more! I'm about to tell you a few tricks to clean a fabric sofa.
I'm using light-colored cushion in this test to make the result more obvious.
Test 1: CLEAN
As the result shows, a completely dry cushion after cleaning, still shows an obvious stain, especially tabasco, which is a highly penetrable, hard to remove condiment. I'm feeling a little upset now...
I totally got the unsettling feeling of using a fabric sofa that comes with no special protection!
My recommendation: Simple Green and 3M. Besides tabasco, they work pretty well on removing stains.
Test 2: PROTECT (Recommended)
Spray any of these 3 protectors on the surface until it's moist. Best to spray two layers and allow 2-3 hours for it to air dry. Once it's dry, the surface looks and feels exactly the same as before.
Let's have a look at how fun water looks in this test:
Protector forms a water-proof layer on fabric's surface to keep water away. However if water does seep in the fabric, just quickly wipe the surface with a tissue paper and it'll be fine!
Test of some usual colored substances: Red wine, tea, coffee, coke, milk, soy sauce, ketchup, and tabasco.
We left these substances for over 5 minutes on the fabric surface, and then wiped them off with a tissue👇
Almost all the substances have been easily removed, except for tabasco, which leaves still a little bit of stain after the cleanse.
We tried to remove the tabasco stain again, although it is not as clean as before it was contaminated, but compared to the surface that had no protector applied, it's still cleaner.
A few suggestions for you:
So here are my two cents! If you have better ways of cleaning a fabric sofa, do share with us! Until then, try to keep your sofa as spotless as you can :)
Freunde von Freunde (a.k.a. fvf) is a blog I often visit; the German title translates directly to "Friends of Friends", it is an online community that brings together friends who share a collective interests in art, design, urban living and food.
Although its originated in Berlin, Germany, the blog covers creatives from all over the world; it has a huge international database of information that covers topics from creative events to dinner parties, artists' homes to a shop's opening.
Entries of this blog is often inspiring and stimulating, especially for people my age, whose desire for a cozy lifestyle grow steadily and strongly. My favorite bit of fvf has got to be the part where they write about artists' homes. Every home carries an atmosphere unique to the artist's style. Be it the home of a fashion designer, an illustrator, a sculptor, an art director, we get to learn about each artist's unique way of decorating their homes. Each blog entry also brings us closer to the neighborhood the artist lives in, it's almost like a travel blog except it's more in depth and personal.
Working at a modern furniture company that focuses on original design and good quality, I am often amazed by the harmony and coherence each artist managed to bring to their homes. The arrangement of furniture, decor on the walls, and even the smallest home appliances are placed in a space where everything looks good and at peace together.
Everyone who lives in a city, especially a dense one like Hong Kong, is aware of our space being an ultimate luxury. How to maximize the limited space that we manage to own is a deeply complicated matter, yet inevitable. On a weekly (if not daily) basis I dream about a spacious home with cool decors and furniture and nice art on my wall; I got the furniture part covered by filling my home with most of ziinlife's furniture (not to mention I am also surrounded by the furniture at work), now I just gotta find myself a bigger apartment......on the day I win Mark 6 maybe, hahaha.
Our Musician Cabinet has been featured in this article on South China Morning Post and we're thrilled!
Not only is it one of our favorite items in terms of design and appearance, it is also very practical as a storage solutions! If you're looking to tidy up your apartments (hide everything!), Musician Cabinet could be a wonderful choice for you.
It's been a while!
The reason we haven't been updating this blog is because of two major reasons:
1. we're preparing the launch of a new furniture collection and;
2. we've just opened a brand new showroom/cafe/loft/library/creative hub (all in one yes!) in Shanghai!
Located near Fudan University in Shanghai, ziinlife Life Store opened on a sunny day last month. We named it 'Life Store/ 生活館' because it's a whole building that's everything you need to enjoy life! A space over 500 sqm, ziinlife Life Store consists of a coffee shop, a loft and a library that provides you with an ultimate relaxing atmosphere with constant sunlight pouring in. And of course, it is a space decorated with all of our best furniture pieces to bring you the most comfortable experience.
Collaborated with renowned Moon Coffee in Shanghai, ziinlife Life Store's coffee is curated and prepared for you by the best barristers in town. Just look at the design of our cups and you can get a glimpse of ziinlife's aesthetic in everything we do.
Also a collaboration, dessert is served by Jouer (French meaning 'to play') from Hong Kong. The mastermind behind Jouer, Anna, is a renowned pâtissier who has spent years studying the best of dessert-making in Paris.
When you walk in, visitors are instantly greeted by this pink tunnel that's supposed to look like an elephant; it is inspired by ziinlife's No More Macaron Sofa (tribute to 2016's Pantone color of the year - serenity).
A coffee area that is bright and spacious, ziin cafe serves you the best coffee and dessert prepared by our good friends and partners Moon Coffee (Shanghai) and Jouer Atelier (Hong Kong). The coffee counter is designed in a way that customers are invited to interact with our barristers; we want everyone (even the introverts!) to just relax and be friends :)
Located on 2nd and 3rd floor of ziinlife Life Store, the most iconic pieces of ziinlife furniture are exhibited here. More than just a regular showroom, we want visitors to feel like they are visiting an art exhibition.
A mini loft on the top floor of the Life Store, various styles of interior is simulated here using ziinlife's furniture. It acts as a showcase of different possibilities ziinlife brings to your household. As season changes, the display also gets a new look!
Another very important component of our showroom is the platform we created to showcase good designs and brands we enjoy. Including Offgrid, Atelier Errance and Jiu Kou Shan, we aim to gradually curate more interesting brands into our collections.
The concept of the library derives from our love for books. From art & design to architecture and lifestyle, you can easily find yourself indulged in endless reading and daydreaming!
Like its title suggests, it is a corner specially built for meditating. Simply grab a couch, relax, sit back and let your minds wander! Once in a while, it's nice to indulge yourself in nothing but solitude.
Let's check out some more photos from the opening:
A celebration of good design, good books and good coffee, what more can you ask for?
I am often impressed by Plato's Symposium, where he talks about the origin of a soulmate, the fact that every human being is condemned by Zeus to be born incomplete; our lives basically is a search mission to look for the other half of us that is missing since the day we were born - that is, if we care about being complete.
Despite the seemingly cruel nature of a condemnation, Plato talks about it in the most endearing way:
“And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own, whatever his orientation...then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don't want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment.”
The idea of 'other half' is rather romantic; it makes incompletion sound so much better, to think that we are all on this lifelong mission to be 'whole'.
Not my intention to sound cheesy, but the thought of Plato's theory actually brought my mind to a piece of furniture we have at ziinlife - the 1/2 Coffee Table. Complimented by each other, 1/2 Coffee Table is a very good example of good 'team work'. As a set of two tables that fit perfectly together as a whole, they can also be separated and act on its own existence. Sometimes they want to be together, sometimes they don't. No matter the arrangement, they always seem content with themselves and with each other. Come to think of it, isn't it the kind of human relationship we always hope for?
Something to mull over on a rainy day.....☔️
我並沒有任何刻意宣傳的意思，但柏拉圖的學說的而且確令我想起ziinlife的1/2 Coffee Table。像互相恭維著對方一樣，1/2 Coffee Table是一個很好的演繹去表現出協同的意識。由於它們都與另一半完美合身，因此無論是分開還是組合使用都十分方便。有時候它們會形影不離，有時又會想暫且分離。但無論安排如何，它們都是一體的。細思一下，這種關係不就是我們人類最渴望的嗎？
I have a habit of, what my friends would call, "reading nonsense" on the Internet before I fall asleep. In my defense though, some 'nonsense' can be pretty educational, such as these fun facts I've read about Easter. One particular fact that amused me the most is that 76% of people eat the ears on the chocolate bunny first, while only 5% go for the feet. For me though, I've always had a difficult time consuming a chocolate bunny because it's just soooo cute!
I don't have any big plan for Easter weekend but all of us at ziinlife will just chill in our Kwun Tong showroom so if you're in town, feel free to pay us a visit and perhaps I can share more of my Easter fun facts with you :)
Last but not least, I want to bring to your attention our latest 'jetso'! From now until April 17, we will offer FREE Premium Service upon any purchase of ziinlife products! Premium Service means free delivery and free installation, a very attractive deal no?
HINT: Bulky furniture means higher delivery and installation cost, but now with our special promotion, I'm sure you know what to do ;) Don't miss out, and have a Happy Easter!
PS. If you happen to eat a chocolate bunny, do let us know if you consume it head first or feet first ;)
小貼士：龐大的傢俬所需要的運費和安裝費會更高，但基於我們的特別復活節推薦優惠，你們應該比我更清楚怎樣才能得到最多的“著數“ ;) 不要錯過這個少有的機會！祝大家復活節快樂！
P.S. 如果你真的有機會吃賓尼兔朱古力，記得告訴我們你會先吃他們的上半身裹是下半身 :P
As soon as we wrapped up the eventful days at Design Shanghai, as a team of restless creatives, we almost immediately flew to Shenzhen to participate in another design fair to showcase our latest collections!
The highlight of our Shenzhen trip, however, had to be the fashion show and speech given by our company's founder Lily. The idea of combining fashion and modern furniture might sound a bit bewildering to you, but it actually makes a lot of sense if I try to explain...
Since the start of ziinlife in 2013 in Shanghai, we have been striving to bring original and innovative furniture to the homes of everyone who shares our visions of aesthetics. Like our fashion counterpart, we are inspired to change the way we look at originality and creativity; we have hope of raising the awareness of good design, as well as making it part of our everyday lives. Furniture is not only a utility but also a form of art, that when we sit on our chair or lie on our bed, we take a moment to appreciate the lines and curves that form the object that interacts with our bodies and lives.
There have been both good and hard times, but above it all, we are thankful to be loved and supported by so many and to see Lily speak about the story of ziinlife truly brought back lots of memories.
While memories flowed a fun story about love came to my mind:
One day, a couple came to our showroom and both really loved our "no more macaroon sofa" as it's a "couple sofa". They didn't buy them at the end though. A few days later, the boy came back and purchased the sofa set as a Valentine's Day surprise. Coincidentally on the next day, we found another order of the same sofa set. Out of curiosity, we checked the delivery address of to order and to everyone's surprise, the delivery address is same as the boy's!! Which means the couple both secretly came back to buy the set respectively, and meant for them as a surprise for the other half! Lovely story but we were not gonna deliver the redundant set, were we? So without telling the couple, we secretly canceled one order for them and only delivered one set at the end. A week after the couple came to the showroom to tell us how much they laughed when they saw the sofas at home!
What was our reply? Well, with ziinlife, everything is a surprise to be!
一天，一對情侶前來我們的體驗店，而目光很快就被我們的“No More Macaroon Sofa”所吸引，因為它們著實是一對“情侶梳化“。然而他們最後都沒有任何意圖想下訂單。數天之後，該男生獨自前來並買了這雙梳化作為情人節給予對方的一個驚喜。巧合地，第二天我們發現網上出現了一張同樣是買同一組梳化的訂單。出於好奇，我們查看了一下送貨地址，然後都驚呆了，因為該地址竟然與前一天男生所填寫的一模一樣！換言之，這對情侶都偷偷的為對方買了一組梳化作一個情人節的驚喜！既然我們了解到這本應是一個浪漫的愛情故事那麼我們就要做應該要做的事－偷偷的取消了其中一張訂單。
而我們的回應則是：Well, with ziinlife, everything is a surprise to be!
It’s been a while since I last wrote, miss us yet?
Tbh the past few weeks have been quite hectic for us, having to first participate in Design Shanghai, and then a symposium and booth in Shenzhen right after. But the outcome was great, and we are very thankful for everything.
Let me just cut to the chase and show you some photos of the events:
As the world's most prestigious international design events, there were about 46,000 visitors at Design Shanghai this year. The entire convention was housed inside this amazing post-colonial mansion that used to be the Sino-Soviet Friendship Building; in its best neoclassical architectural style, the Exhibition Centre now majestically stands in the heart of Shanghai, providing space to numerous large-scale local and international conventions related to art, design and fashion.
Participating in Design Shanghai has always been a pleasure; not only is it a showcase of Ziinlife's latest design, we also get to mingle with some of the world's most leading design brands, such as HAY, Morosso, and Vitra. Whereas the convention is divided into three sections - contemporary, classic and collectibles - we are given this great opportunity to get inspirations as well as exchanging ideas with our fellow designers.
This year, we exhibited our latest collection Stretch Your Mind that really did stretch our minds. In a matter of just a few days, we were exposed to a great number of innovative brands, people and ideas, got fully inspired, and to top it all off, gained experiences that will always remain in Ziinlife's history and our memories. To be honest, what more can we ask for?
能夠成為設計上海的參展商之一永遠都是一種榮幸，因為這是設計權威所對我們的一種肯定。作為參展商不單令我們有機會展出ziinlife的新系列，更令我們有機會與世界上其他的著名設計品牌聚首一堂，例如HAY, Morosso, 及Vitra等等。而會場亦分起了三個部分，分別是contemporary，classic及collectibles－我們則可以籍此嘗試探索新靈感及與其他設計師集思廣益一番。
今年，我們展出了ziinlife最新的系列Stretch Your Mind，名符其名，它們真的具有舒展心靈的功效。只是數天的時間，我們已經接觸到不少有具有創意的公司，設計師，及意念，最重要的是，這些經歷及體驗都會保留於ziinlife的歷史及我們的回憶當中。老實說，我們還能要求什麼？