After such a busy week since arriving home in the UK I’ve finally managed to have a look at some of the great pictures we managed to take whilst on our trip in Asia. My design assistant Huei and I embarked on a whistle stop tour of Asia covering Beijing, Taiwan and Hong Kong in just 3 days!
Day one: Beijing
Huei and I arrived into Beijing after a 9-hour flight from London Heathrow to find that my luggage had been tagged for a Taiwan flight at the check in desk in back in London. Huei being a Chinese language speaker was worth her weight in gold liaising with the ground staff and after a 3 hour wait in arrivals the luggage was located and we were able to get on our way. No rest for the wicked, we dropped our bags at the opposite house hotel and headed straight to present to my concept designs to my interior design client.
After a long day presenting I was invited to give a speech that evening for Alexandre my retail partner in the area at 798 art zone, a great creative hub in Beijing. There were over 150 attendees from the media and design sector. I love meeting my design fans; it’s so nice to be able to share my design inspiration in person.
This is an image of the exterior of 798 building. I love the industrial feel; it reminds me of the Truman Brewery space in East London which is also used by the creative industry. It was amazing to see my name on the billboard outside the centre, especially so far away from home.
Inside the space filled up quickly with attendees, all waiting patiently for me to take the stage.
At the end of my speech The chief editor of C-City Media Cici Yuan, kindly presents me with a hand painted gift from her father’s collection, never coming empty handed in return ask her to accept this Jubilee inspired signed Kelly Hoppen trunk as a gesture of thanks.
This group shot was taken after I had given my presentation with some of the attendees. It was such a great turn out and I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and enthusiasm on the day.
I always sign books at the end of my speeches, my fans bring entire collections of my publications all wrapped up in cellophane to keep them pristine. Truly dedicated Taupettes!
After my speech I returned to meet my clients for a beautiful dinner .I had the pleasure of being shown around the stunning private dining rooms at Tian Qu Yuan restaurant with Shi Lin the chairman of the Topwin group, the restaurant is a true gem and has a real feeling of old China. It is so fantastic to be taken to such amazing places by local residents, as you can never get an authentic feeling of a city by sticking to the business or tourist areas.
After the most elegant spread for dinner and a host of fine conversations with the project team and my good friend Zhao Yuji we finally say our goodbyes and I feel overwhelmed with the warmth and generosity of the Beijing people.
Day 2 Taiwan
After an early flight into Taiwan I started to mentally prepare for my next project meeting with Yuan Lih Construction and Richard Rogers, The design team behind the Da-An towers. This was a very exciting morning for me as I am passionate about being involved in the design process right from breaking ground. Initially due to its grand scale I felt it might present itself as a challenge maintaining the warmth and comfort of a home within such a vast build however I can happily say that I feel I have achieved a homely and comforting space. I strive to create a lasting first impression within my designs that begins from the moment you open the front door and take your first steps into the space and I am incredibly excited to see this project further down the line when the concept designs have become a reality.
I can’t help but feel enthusiastic trying to explain the importance of warm lighting in such a large-scale space. It is innate for us to have a natural need to feel nourished, safe and welcomed in an inviting space. This is what i explain that I have set out to achieve.
After such a hectic few days in Asia it was a delight to hear my clients speak so highly of my concepts for the Da-An project and to receive such a warm reception. A sense of relief and joy washed over me knowing all the hard work and time had resulting in a good outcome.
After my presentation Jensen Tsai president of Yuan Lih Construction, kindly surprised me with beautiful china set. My Asian clients have such wonderful manners; I love their customs and gestures of respect. It is incredibly important when working cross culture to understand and appreciate the way that business works in other countries.
Huei and I end the day feeling exhausted and head straight to our rooms at Le Meridien Taipei to catch as much sleep as we can before our morning flight
Day 3 Hong Kong
After 3 morning meetings at the hotel Huei and I are collected by our driver and taken to Taipei airport to catch our flight to Hong Kong. I have spent a lot of time in Hong Kong over recent years and am luckily to have some very good friends in the region so it almost feels like a home away from home.
We arrive into Hong Kong late afternoon and transfer straight to The Upper House Hotel for a quick freshen up before heading to a wonderful dinner hosted in my honour by the British Consul General in Hong Kong. It was a wonderful evening with great company. Thank you Andrew for your kind hospitality.
Day 4 Hong Kong
Up bright and early I try and instil some of my normal routine into my day in a bed to stave off the terrible jet lag that I am feeling. I train for 1.5hrs in the hotel gym and feel much more awake as a result.
I spend the morning viewing my newly installed project at the Winfield building with Nan Fung Developments. The apartments are within the Happy Valley, just outside of Hong Kong city and near to the famous racecourse. It is the first time I have been on to the site since installation and it was absolutely fantastic to see the design created in my minds eye brought to life. The project is being photographed at the moment and I look forward to sharing the images with you very soon.
I spend the evening catching up with my dear friends Ross and Darrel before finally heading to the airport to catch my night flight to London.
And so it’s the end of an incredible yet exhausting trip, I will be back in Beijing again in August to do it all again!