JOYCE WANG X ADRIAN WONG

Artist Adrian Wong, co-founder of art stu­dio Em­bassy Pro­jects, teamed up with de­signer Joyce Wang, who’s be­hind the plush in­te­ri­ors of Mott 32 and the Land­mark Man­darin Ori­en­tal, to check into the world of ho­tel rooms and how they are used

Hong Kong Tatler - - Joyce Wang | Adrian Wong -

“It’s the kind of place where you can eat a pizza in bed, you leave tow­els on the floor and you come back and they’re mag­i­cally gone,” Adrian says, de­scrib­ing the sus­pended re­al­ity of a ho­tel room. “It’s sup­posed to be this utopian area where ev­ery­thing has its use and ev­ery­thing has its place, but in re­al­ity, when you’re jet­lagged and scram­bling to get from meet­ing to meet­ing, it be­comes a place where the nor­mal world kind of falls apart.” It didn’t take long for Adrian and Joyce, who both travel reg­u­larly, to agree on the theme of ho­tel rooms—and what they don’t like about them. “We shared a lot of neg­a­tiv­ity about ho­tel rooms and why they feel ab­surd. We dis­cussed the re­ally odd pieces of fur­ni­ture ho­tels have,” says Joyce. “Like the luggage rack—this clunky thing that’s meant to make life eas­ier but in re­al­ity al­ways feels like it irks more than it al­le­vi­ates stress.” Adrian agrees: “You have this du­al­ity of the pre­scribed, pro­grammed func­tion of a ho­tel room and the ac­tual func­tion com­ing into col­li­sion on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

In­tend­ing to cap­ture this du­al­ity, they fo­cused on how peo­ple treat ho­tel rooms as play­grounds and de­cided to cre­ate a small room frame­work from cop­per pip­ing, a ma­te­rial tra­di­tion­ally used in chil­dren’s play­grounds. “We started think­ing about how ‘adult play­grounds’ and chil­dren’s play­grounds have a lot in com­mon in terms of lan­guage and ma­te­ri­als used. These metal tubu­lar shapes, things hang­ing from them, chains,” says Joyce.

The piece will also have a per­for­mance el­e­ment, de­signed to high­light the con­trast be­tween check-in, when ho­tel staff proudly show guests the fea­tures of a room, and the re­al­ity of the way it ends up be­ing used. “For the staff it’s a kind of temple of per­fec­tion,” says Joyce. “Whereas once the door closes, guests feel like they can do what­ever they want in the room. It be­comes a back­drop for scan­dal.” Two dancers will act out the push and pull be­tween the su­per­vi­sors of the space and the guests.

Ul­ti­mately, the piece is in­tended as “a way to open up a di­a­logue about in­te­rior de­sign and what it’s for,” says Adrian. “And how much of that is ob­jec­tive and based on the needs of the user and how much of it is some­thing a lit­tle more psy­che­delic or ab­stract.”

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