Alan Chan's Chamber of Art and Curiosities Illuminating His Lifelong Passion Behind Collecting
The year 2020 marks three important milestones to designer, brand consultant, artist and collector Alan Chan. It is a year to commemorate his 70th birthday, 50 years in the creative industry and the 40th anniversary of founding Alan Chan Design Company. In celebration of the multi-disciplinary achievements in the golden years, Alan curates an apartment-style private museum to share over 400 of his lifelong art collection – with this as a mission in mind in his forthcoming silver years.
The private collection is first of its kind to demonstrate a distinguished crossover between interior design and curatorial art programme. Alan reveals a fun and complimentary interplay between works of art and interior décor styled with European home furniture and fittings. Reimagined with layered and storied theatrical imagination, he creates a home away from home setting that marries a dream collection of London antiquities and Japanese Sunday market lost treasures with auction-worthy Parisian oil paintings across dynasties and continents, the inspiration behind which has unlocked the door to his creative journey ever since he started collecting at a young age.
"Of course I like to own things I like, but it's not just about curiosities. It's about holding an idea, or a piece of history with age-old wisdom, in my hands, I relish that feeling.” - Alan Chan
Currently showing is some of Alan's very first collectibles he began searching in the 80s - China trade silverware from over 100 years ago. Largely from London and Paris, they were once artisanal exports from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Japan. They carry western forms and serve their cultural functionalities but are decorated with exquisite eastern motifs.
The other glass cabinets include kewpies and childhood figurines which are among many handicrafts Alan admires that is beyond sheer craftsmanship but an art form that transcends with spirituality.
The last cabinet is a selection of miscellaneous figurines. They collectively symbolize Alan's exploration of his creative journey and individually represent different roles that he has taken in various stages of life. While his experiences are multi-faceted, rich and diverse, they all point to a distinct identity that remains strong and irreplaceable in Alan – a child at heart that is carefree, curious and energetic.
Featuring renowned black-and-white photography works by Albert Watson, Andre Villers, Mike Figgis, Masayoshi Sukita and Ringo Tang, ink painting by Zhao Wu-ji, calligraphy by Yūichi Inoue on black walls, the chiaroscuro contrast in the open kitchen setting compliments the visual experience of the artworks.
Hung on the walls in the modern, bright living room area are contemporary artworks including artworks from contemporary artists Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn and Futura to Japanese illustrator Hajime Sorayama and many more. While one side of the wall features artworks that are vibrant and energetic, the opposite wall presents artworks that evoke a calm and tranquil sentiment.
With Alan's design of a façade decoration that attempts to mimic the immersive surreal calmness in Kyoto's Arashiyama bamboo grove, one that mediates the contrasting yet complimentary atmosphere manifested by the artworks on the two walls, this room renders a stylish and relaxing vibe.
With an array of European oil paintings such as portrait of the French ambassador in China by Pierre Carrier-Belleuse, contemporary masterpieces such as Damien Hirst's All you Need is Love, Love, Love, portrait by Nobuyoshi Araki and exquisite European decorative crafts, Music Room recounts the fascinating era of European grandeur with Alan's personal touch of a contemporary mix. Having various portrait works across centuries and continents at the music room, it is attempted to resemble the universality of music – one that has no boundaries, no barriers, and connects everyone's hearts.
Being the founder of Alan Chan Design Company, Alan Chan is a designer, a brand consultant and an artist who has won more than 600 design awards locally and internationally with his company in the past 50 years. The ‘Oriental Passion Western Harmony’ design philosophy initiated by Alan has been well-recognised by the international design scene and has brought immense influence to young designers. He is honoured with the Hong Kong DFA (Design for Asia) Awards for World's Outstanding Chinese Designer in 2017.
Alan Chan has built a wide portfolio of over 1,000 brands; through strategic market analysis, he and his team has developed a total branding service that provides end-to-end focus on branding, product innovation, interior design, art programme and event management. The latest cross-border projects including ‘TEA JOURNEY’ tea trunk designed for Louis Vuitton in 2016 and 2017, ‘NOW’ timepiece collection in 2017 and CHÁN BY ALAN CHAN Oriental Tea Perfume Collection in 2018.
Since 2000, Alan has ventured into the new arena of fine arts besides graphic and spatial design. His works have been exhibited in various cities including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Osaka, Singapore, Chicago as well as Milan. His works of art and design have been collected by institutions such as the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich, the National Art Museum in China, M+ museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Heritage Museum, as well as private collectors in Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, Italy and the USA.
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