24 March 2010

A Shanghai Auntie Mame, courtesy of the New York Times

Thank you again Raina Cox for pointing out something wonderful. Again. I'm telling you, the woman has the eye of an eagle and great taste in wallpaper.

Doug Kanter for The New York Times

In December 2007, the New York Times profiled the 9,700 square foot Shanghai apartment of Pearl Lam. Pearl Lam is a Chinese art dealer who played a major role in the current popularity of Chinese contemporary art. She owns four galleries in China and has recently started to turn her attention to home furnishings produced by Chinese designers.

The Times described Ms. Lam thus:
Outspoken, enthusiastic and prone to shrieks of excitement, Ms. Lam is like a wound-up Chinese Auntie Mame. She stands just five feet five in high-heeled boots, but is a striking physical presence in her fuchsia-dyed chinchilla coat and her mauve-streaked hair, which resembles an unkempt chrysanthemum.

Her super-size persona, too, makes an indelible impression. Alexandra Munroe, the senior curator of Asian art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, calls her “a force of nature,” while Hervé Aaron, a leading Paris antiques dealer and a longtime friend of Ms. Lam’s, is more direct: “Pearl is sometimes insane,” he said.
She's also got some wild tastes. Wow. Get a load of this.

Doug Kanter for The New York Times

This dining table is 52 feet long.
Doug Kanter for The New York Times

The chairs are by Chinese designer Zhang Qingfang.
Doug Kanter for The New York Times

Eero Aarnjo's Ball Chair
Doug Kanter for The New York Times

A sofa by Mattia Bonetti
Doug Kanter for The New York Times

Sculpture by Zhan Wang
Doug Kanter for The New York Times

Porcelain hands plate holder by Peter Ting
Doug Kanter for The New York Times

Mark Brazier-Jones loveseats
Doug Kanter for The New York Times

So what do we think gang? Is it ever OK to go this crazy with a room's decor and then expect praise for it? Do people go this nuts because they want attention or because they like how it looks genuinely? Is this a twisted cry for help?

19 comments:

  1. In my humble opinion, her creations certainly can be defined as 'unique' and 'make for interesting conversation'. As for those that desire and purchase it, I feel they have a genuine love affair for 'n with it.
    -Brenda-

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  2. I think it's a bloody nightmare and evidence that she spends too much time in the echo chamber.

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  3. Paul...thank you for putting the spotlight on, I think it's a reflection of Pearl's personal taste, I see a common thread in her style and I also see comfortable seating...to me that's "authentic over the top" decor. NICE POST!

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  4. Thanks Aston, but I still say it's the manifestation of a personality disorder. But that's just my practical side coming out.

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  5. I would LOVE to visit this home, but as for living in it 24/7 - uh, no.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Mr. P!

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  6. Like everything else made in China these days, it looks cheap and tacky, a very poor and half-assed imitation of whatever it's trying to emulate.

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  7. Raina: You are my muse.

    Melody: I love when you get on a roll about China. You sound downright Japanese. That's a compliment.

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  8. That's not a house, it's another showroom for the dealership. She probably has her real house next door, like Flander & Swann in "Design for living".

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  9. ...each to their own drummer. I approve...in a night club.

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  10. Flander and Swann Chookie?

    You're a lot more generous than I am Laurie. I think it looks like something out of the DSMIV.

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  11. I think the Target dot like hallway would make me want to vomit. I think this definitely is a cry for attention, not something they like. However, my teenage daughter would love the ball chair and the pink wall!

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  12. Michelle, look again: the Target dot "hallway" is the KITCHEN!

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  13. Hmm... Ample evidence that there is some kind of zone between creative and insane, which we all demarcate differently. I'm not a huge fan of formal diagnosis (particularly of the personality disorders) but I believe the DSM-IV-TR (text revision) codes you're looking for are 301.50, Histrionic Personality Disorder (definitely applicable here!) and 301.83, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (she meets some criteria but I'd need to meet her in person to be sure... which could be a wild ride in itself). In any case, yeah, it's wildly impractical stuff, but I must admit to smiling at the rainbow polkadot chairs and hand plateholders....

    I so love your blog, Paul; thank you for the daily divertissements.

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  14. Mon plaisur! Thank YOU for catching my DSM-IV allusion!

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  15. Omg Johnna you are right! That patter was so distracting and dizzying that I didn't even notice the appliances! I get the feeling that something very scary is going to jump out from around the corner in there... maybe a creepy clown.

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  16. It has that funhouse mirror thing going on.

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  17. Yowza! She's the one that has to live there, so I guess that's OK by me.

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  18. How can someone think in a space like that I wonder.

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Talk to me!

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