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Blossoming In Inner Aesthetic Space

王烨昇Johnny Wang 2017-03-15 16:33

For people with good taste, it is a pleasure to have life re ect their inner sense of aesthetics. After observing the works of the famous interior designer Cathy Wang, I found her temperament to be in line with my expectations when I nally met her in person. I do not want to call her a “beautiful girl”, because it is too tacky, but you can tell that she is a very brilliant woman from her appearance. She has already de- signed several exquisite works that demonstrate her passion for captur- ing the eastern charm and mixing it with a western essence, resulting in her own eclectic style. She is also good at giving soul, and personality to her design. In additional to interior design, Wang also designs household items and accessories such as bedding and bath room accessories.


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It All Starts With SpirItual Reflection

In Cathy Wang's view, interior design is not just about the beauty of the space, it is also about the re ection of inner aesthetics. This idea is one of the reasons why she became interested in interior design. “I think design is a way to show how beautiful a person’s heart is. When I was a child, I had no concept of interior design, but I liked to play a game called Ban Jia Jia, or The House Game. While I was playing the game by myself, I would imagine a space in my brain and it would display a picture. It was like this picture was telling a story. At that time, I was not good at communicating with others; my inner world was richer than the one of the average child, my way of thinking was more divergent. Then I had the experience of studying overseas, which broadened my horizons. It also made me realize how important it is to do something that I really like. 


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From then on, I decided to be an interior designer. After I graduated from college, I was lucky to nd a partner and set up my own company. Ten years of working experience in the United States and Canada gave me a lot of practical expertise because I did everything by myself; from designing to purchasing. It also let me learn about the working process of the design industry. At the same time, these experiences let me nd myself in business as well. Later on, I joined HBA as a designer and then I came to Shanghai after that to build-up HBA Studio. I think I learnt a lot at HBA during my time at HBA as one of its principals. The learning experience was more than just about professional designs, what was more important was that it made me understand the overall international hotel operation and how to build an international company in China. I also learned how to connect it with local companies. This knowledge gave me the courage to leave HBO where I have been a Principal and to establish the company Montaigne Design.”


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The Beauty Of Contrast

Generally speaking, a mature forward-looking architect or interior designer will have his or her own theoretical, abstract knowledge of design. Wang thinks that architects normally give a de nition about the building based on the light, the form, and the material. Interior design is a language in the continuation of external design, making it complete and perfect. However, according to the aesthetic value orientation of the interior design, she thinks that a good interior design work needs to be able to stand the test of time. The appearance does not need to be gaudy or complicated , but at least it should be accepted by different people with different cultural backgrounds. In this way, the classic works of interior design can be excellent.


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From her concept of the aesthetic value of interior design, it can be seen that Wang is not a designer who just emphasizes odd design charac- teristics. It would be incorrect to call her a maverick. “I do not want both,Montaigne Design and me to be locked into one style, but every designer has his own idol, so there may be a tendency in respect to the technique of design that will have some trace belonging to the original designer.” Years ago, Wang admired Japanese master Tadao Ando’s designs, but this master pursues purity while she pursues more of a sense of contrast. For example, contrasts between ancient and modern buildings, Chinese and European culture, different materials and gradations of light. For Wang, contrast enriches structures, feelings, and visual impact. “Of course, the contrast is not about forcibly putting two things together. Our design is for people to live within, a commodity with comfort... it’s not just a work of art. Therefore, the use of contrast must grasp a balance. A good designer should be able to combine business and art very well to make some commercial products have artistic value.”


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The Way Of Design

While interior design theory is mature, the interior design industry is practical. Therefore, after many years prac- ticing, she has her own experiences. While Cathy Wang bases her work on technical details, she emphasizes her feelings on the design process. She explains, “To do a project's interior design requires a lot of time. We have to pour certain feelings into the design; if a design has passion, it won’t be insipid like water. On the other hand, designers also need to have
a good cooperation with the team. A hotel interior design project generally needs ten or more designers to participate. It will need a leader to put all things together to form a theme and tell a story.” Her understanding of interior design is undoubtedly partial to art. “Architects set a framework and appearance for us so interior design is limited in light and structure. Instead, we try to introduce some themes into the 
interior space. In addition, when the interior designer meets a featureless architectural appearance of the commodity ‘house’, you need to make up with the interior space to make it better; this make up is related to the soft out t design. Therefore, we do more than a just an interior design company, we include hard and soft out t design. This requires designers to expand their horizons and enhance their own experience by crossing over with different elds. To let his heart to get the real practice, it is a comprehensive exercise.”


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The Technique Of Fusion

Wang not only has her own ideas about design practice, but also has an attained understanding about the differences between Chinese and Western designs, “I like the feeling of the collision between Chinese and Western culture and its fusion. Chinese culture is profound, so it is a good idea to take parts of the culture and combine them with design. In fact, you can only understand just a little about the profound philosophy, you can get bene t from it throughout a lifetime. Working in China, the way you behave is very important, morality is rst, and it achieves great wisdom. I still cannot understand ancient prose, so I read Western English books before I started to read Chinese classic books about Chuang Tzu, Confucius and Mencius.”

Wang believes that North Americans pay close attention to the quality of life; therefore they will keep improving the design of home, while Chinese, on the other hand, may pay more attention to their per- sonal image. For example, some people like to wear luxury brand out t and drive fancy cars, but you never expect that they look so glamorous outside, and have no taste in interior design. “Perhaps, they think clothes and cars represent identity and status. However, in my opinion, home is the place that we live for a long time, its comfort and beauty are directly related to quality of life.” Based on this feeling, Wang wants to introduce the North American concept of home through her own projects.


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Regarding the differences between Chinese and Western design, there is a cultural difference between Chinese and North American concepts of interior design. Relative to North America, Chinese interior design tends to be more complex. “In the early years,” she recalls, “I think the Chinese interior design was relatively backward, but with rapid development the level of interior design is no less than abroad. In addition, the international high-end brands have also entered the Chinese market. However, there are still many people trying to gain face by pursuing ultra-luxurious designs and large spaces. Meanwhile, we also see some owners from domestic cities such as Shanghai start to paying more and more attention to the accumulation of cultural ideas and the sincere heart- to-heart communication.

She also observed the growing trend for the use of natural materials and eco-friendly design: “Although it comes to such a high position on the surface, in fact, in the process of the project, the pollution of the interior design is still severe. The reality is way worse than the slogans. I think, in the way of environmental protection, we still have a long way to go.”


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