As the world becomes increasingly connected, designers have endless possibilities when it comes to harnessing the globe’s cultural diversity to execute their creative vision. Thanks to the internet, we can access inspiration from around the world through the stroke of just a few keys—whether looking to source a textile pattern from Nigeria or borrow an architectural cue from Japan.
As boundaries dissipate as a result of this broader trend of globalization, however, designers have to make an intentional choice for every project: do you lean into the local customs and history so that the space is more reflective of its surrounding community and culture, or do you harness an international aesthetic to create a space welcoming for global citizens from all walks of life?
For the opening of HUŎ Bar & Restaurant in London, Rebecca provided a collection of art that was reflective of the brand—and that included both its location on Park Walk, a stretch of SW10 known to many as “Chelsea Beach,” as well as the culinary approach. HUŎ showcases a menu of Asian food encompassing carefully selected dishes from around China and Southeast Asia prepared from scratch using traditional Chinese, Thai, Malay, and Singaporean techniques.
To complement the space’s soothing yet aspirational aesthetic expressed through bleached wood and warm lighting, Rebecca provided eight photographs by two artists of Asian descent, one from Korea and one local to London. The five photographs from South Korean artist Keun-Ju Park have a unique painterly quality to them. To create the featured works, Keun-Ju crops and manipulates photographs of architectural settings, resulting in minimalist compositions that at once resemble abstract paintings and modernist cityscapes. The three other featured works in the restaurant are by London-based artist Cody Choi. The contemporary photographer and choreographer is best known for his stunning figurative portraits of dancers in motion. As a dancer himself, Cody is able to masterfully capture the dynamism and passion of his subjects. Working closely with the owner of HUŎ and with the artists, Saatchi Art commissioned the works in custom sizes to fit specific niches and walls, and then delivered them to the restaurant ready to hang.
Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Seoul is a world-class hotel presented by the Josun Hotel & Resort brand. Part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio, Josun Palace combines century-long hospitality with modernistic sentiments to offer guests a singular, storied experience in South Korea’s capital. The property’s dual-identity—it is based on the heritage of the first luxury hotel in Korea, Chosun Hotel, which was built in 1914 but it was reborn and modernized in Gangnam, one of Seoul’s most vibrant, energetic, and international districts—colored the art curation approach headed by Rebecca, in partnership with the Shinseage Group.
To reflect it’s global identity as a world-class hotel, the Josun Place wanted to look beyond local creators to a global group of contemporary artists. Taking into account the hotel’s budget, as well as the interior design approach, Rebecca suggested featuring work by two international emerging artists in the hotel’s public spaces. Milan-based artist Paul Bik’s work was a natural choice for the ways his subtle, minimalist spatial paintings reference Italian architecture and postmodernism. The main components of Paul’s artworks are geometric forms that create harmonious, rhythmic patterns of straight and circular lines crafted with a wondrous precision. These provide the perfect visual counterpoint to the works of Berlin-based Reinhard Görner. While similarly interested in architecture, Reinhard takes a more direct approach through fine art photography. His show-stopping, stunningly detailed images document interiors—from libraries to palaces—which immediately plunge the viewer into another place and time.