Food for Thought

Hong Kong Tatler Homes - - CON­TENTS - BY NA­DINE BATE­MAN

Cof­fee-ta­ble books to suit ev­ery taste

Delve deep into the worlds of art, de­sign and fine cui­sine with the lat­est cof­fee-ta­ble books to hit the shelves

AKADEMIE X: LES­SONS IN ART + LIFE (PHAIDON)

De­spite the slightly dry ti­tle, au­thor Ju­lia Hast­ing has achieved the near-im­pos­si­ble: a book fo­cused on the artis­tic process that’s nei­ther dull nor pa­tro­n­is­ing. On the con­trary, her writ­ing is en­gag­ing and down to earth, packed with in­ter­est­ing per­sonal anec­dotes from 36 world-fa­mous artists and tu­tors.

Laid out in an ac­ces­si­ble, open for­mat, the book com­prises il­lus­trated les­sons in art, phi­los­o­phy and life from the likes of Ma­rina Abramovic, Richard Went­worth and Ola­fur Elias­son. They draw on their di­verse ex­pe­ri­ences and share per­sonal sto­ries, as well as in­sights and ad­vice on the cre­ative process and the na­ture of learn­ing about art. In­spi­ra­tional and prac­ti­cal, this fresh, orig­i­nal ap­proach by Hast­ing, who is the cre­ative di­rec­tor of Phaidon Press, should serve as a les­son to all art-book au­thors.

FOR ART LO VERS ZHANG XI­AO­GANG: DIS­QUI­ET­ING MEM­O­RIES (PHAIDON)

Whether or not you’ve had the plea­sure of see­ing the haunt­ing works of Zhang Xi­ao­gang ex­hib­ited in some of the world’s most pres­ti­gious art mu­se­ums, you’ll ap­pre­ci­ate this de­tailed study of one of the most in­flu­en­tial Chi­nese con­tem­po­rary artists of his gen­er­a­tion. Zhang Xi­ao­gang: Dis­qui­et­ing Mem­o­ries is a trea­sure of a tome, fea­tur­ing many of his most fa­mous works and around 250 colour il­lus­tra­tions, as well as delv­ing deeply into the painter’s dra­matic life in Main­land China. It in­cludes per­sonal cor­re­spon­dence and pho­to­graphs that have never been pub­lished be­fore, in ad­di­tion to nu­mer­ous in­ter­views with the artist, his friends and peers.

It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re new to Zhang or an ex­pert on his work; this ma­jor mono­graph pro­vides ex­cep­tional con­text and fresh in­sights into his life and art. Rec­om­mended as an im­por­tant re­source for aca­demics, it’s also a very spe­cial cof­fee-ta­ble book that’s quite ev­i­dently a labour of love and a re­spect­ful trib­ute to Zhang’s re­mark­able tal­ent.

FOR AR­CHI­TECT URE BUFFS LE COR­BUS­IER: IDEAS & FORMS (PHAIDON)

This prob­ing study of Swiss-French ar­chi­tect Charles-Édouard Jean­neret- Gris—bet­ter known as Le Cor­bus­ier—by award-win­ning ar­chi­tec­tural his­to­rian Wil­liam JR Cur­tis cap­tures the mul­ti­fac­eted as­pects of the man who is con­sid­ered to have pi­o­neered moder­nity and re­de­fined ar­chi­tec­ture for the 20th cen­tury.

Le Cor­bus­ier was known not only as the creator of myr­iad land­mark build­ings and an in­flu­en­tial ur­ban plan­ner, but also as a painter, sculp­tor, au­thor, in­tel­lec­tual and philoso­pher who en­joyed ex­plor­ing the in­ter­ac­tion of ideas and forms. In a ca­reer that spanned more than 50 years, he cre­ated noble con­struc­tions such as a par­lia­ment build­ing and a chapel, but was ar­guably best known for his pub­lic hous­ing de­signs. He en­vi­sioned the city of the fu­ture as com­pris­ing large apart­ment build­ings in park-like set­tings and his “Cities in the Sky” the­o­ries were adopted world­wide. Since his death in 1965, Le Cor­bus­ier’s con­tro­ver­sial ur­ban sky­scraper de­signs have been the sub­ject of heated de­bate and this book de­liv­ers well-re­searched in­sight into his rai­son d’être.

BIG: HOT TO COLD: AN ODYSSEY OF AR­CHI­TEC­TURAL ADAP­TA­TION (TASCHEN)

Hotly tipped to re­design New York’s 2 World Trade Cen­tre tower, Dan­ish ar­chi­tec­ture firm Bjarke In­gels Group (BIG) has a rep­u­ta­tion for cre­at­ing new ur­ban hy­brids. One of their best known is prob­a­bly W57—a New York “courtscraper” that’s an amal­ga­ma­tion of a court­yard build­ing and sky­scraper, and guar­an­tees sun­light to all its res­i­dents. The com­pany’s am­bi­tious mis­sion is to cre­ate a prag­matic utopia and to help cre­ate the kind of world in which we wish to live.

Af­ter the global suc­cess of the BIG man­i­festo Yes is More, one of the best-sell­ing ar­chi­tec­ture books of its gen­er­a­tion, BIG presents this tome. Its launch co­in­cided with the Hot to Cold ex­hi­bi­tion at the Na­tional Build­ing Mu­seum in Wash­ing­ton DC, and fea­tures 60 case stud­ies in harsh cli­mate con­di­tions in or­der to ex­am­ine where and how we live on our planet. Through sear­ing heat to ex­treme cold, BIG presents a fas­ci­nat­ing se­lec­tion of ar­chi­tec­ture in ex­treme en­vi­ron­ments.

FOR DE­SIGN IN­SPI­RA­TION OT­TOMAN CHIC BY SER­DAR GÜL­GÜN (AS­SOULINE)

“Un­abashed op­u­lence” sums up Ser­dar Gül­gün’s per­sonal and com­mer­cial style. The Turk­ish in­te­rior de­signer is best known for his abun­dant use of or­nately pat­terned fabrics and wall cov­er­ings, com­bined with grand state­ment fur­ni­ture and mag­nif­i­cent ob­jets d’art. Fol­low­ing on his pop­u­lar 2011 book The Grand Bazaar: Is­tan­bul, Ot­toman Chic delves into the per­sonal and in­cludes pho­tos of Gül­gün’s own stun­ning home—a ma­jes­tic man­sion in Is­tan­bul that serves as a fu­sion of his home coun­try’s his­tory—as well as some favourite Eu­ro­pean and Asian dis­cov­er­ies col­lected on his trav­els.

The rich pal­ette of colour that Gül­gün flam­boy­antly cre­ates in each room serves as a vi­brant in­spi­ra­tion to those who strive to em­u­late the grand Ot­toman style in their own “palace”, while adding a touch of con­tem­po­rary chic from a melange of global sources. In Gül­gün’s own words: “I am a trans­la­tor. I trans­late the old into the new. It is a process of re­cap­tur­ing the ob­scu­ri­ties of the past and rein­vent­ing them in the light of the fu­ture.”

JAMES IRVINE: THE DE­FIN­I­TIVE MONO­GRAPH (PHAIDON)

The son of an ar­chi­tect, the late James Irvine was an out­stand­ing fur­ni­ture and prod­uct de­signer who was known for his in­dus­trial de­signs. These in­clude his S5000 sofa—an el­e­gant, min­i­mal­ist seat with a tubu­lar steel base—and his Tubo chair, a curved seat on splayed steel-tube legs.

The Bri­tish-born, Mi­lan-based de­signer worked for Ital­ian brand Olivetti be­fore set­ting up his own busi­ness and con­sul­tancy in Italy. He went on to de­sign for other well- known Ital­ian brands such as Artemide, Foscarini and Cap­pellini, as well as Ja­panese com­pany Muji and bent­wood fur­ni­ture com­pany Thonet. Irvine died in 2013 at the age of 54 and this is the de­fin­i­tive mono­graph—an in­ti­mate look into the life and work of a man who was con­sid­ered a de­sign leg­end. It fea­tures pre­vi­ously un­pub­lished draw­ings, sketches, mod­els and images from his per­sonal archives, as well as anec­dotes from those who worked with him, in­clud­ing Marc New­son, Jasper Mor­ri­son and Naoto Fuka­sawa.

FOR GAS­TRONO MES BENU BY COREY LEE (PHAIDON)

You know a book about food is go­ing to be good when the fore­word is writ­ten by two cel­e­brated world-class chefs—in this case, Thomas Keller of The French Laun­dry and David Chang of Mo­mo­fuku. Clean, con­cise, mouth-wa­ter­ing and vis­ually en­tic­ing, this book is ev­ery­thing a good meal should be. It’s an im­pres­sive de­but from Corey Lee, the man dubbed “the pi­o­neer of mod­ern Asian food” and the chef of San Fran­cisco’s three-Miche­lin-starred Benu restau­rant. The book is struc­tured as a sump­tu­ous, 33-course tast­ing menu cooked by the Korean-born Lee, with recipes com­ple­mented by per­sonal opin­ions and prac­ti­cal in­sights.

PERU: THE COOK­BOOK (PHAIDON)

Those in the know will tell you that Peru­vian food is the next big thing in in­ter­na­tional cui­sine. If any­one knows about the world’s hottest food trend, it’s the coun­try’s most fa­mous chef—Gastón Acu­rio of Astrid y Gastón, a man with al­most a mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers, his own TV show and fer­vent sup­port­ers that want him to be pres­i­dent. Leav­ing aside the hype, this recipe book is a pleas­ant col­lec­tion of 500 recipes des­tined to tan­ta­lise your taste buds. As Peru­vian restau­rants open world­wide, get your copy and be among the first in Hong Kong to sam­ple the coun­try’s de­li­cious, healthy fare.

THIS PAGEFROM TOP: HUS­BAN­DAND WIFE BY ZHANG XI­AO­GANG; RED­PLUMANDMEDICINE BOT­TLES, ALSO BY ZHANG; IN­SIGHTS INTO THE CRE­ATIVE PROCESS FROM AKADEMIE X:LESSON­SI­NART+LIFE

OPEN­ING PAGE SDE­SIGNER JAMES IRVINE’S STU­DIO, FROM JAMES IRVINE:THEDEFINI­TIVE MONO­GRAPH

THIS PAGEFROM TOP: AN IM­AGE FROM LE COR­BUS­IER’S SKETCH­BOOK; A SPREAD FROM BIG:HOT­TO­COLD:AN ODYSSEY­O­FAR­CHI­TEC­TURAL ADAP­TA­TION

THIS PAGEFROM TOP: OT­TOMAN CHICBY­SER­DARGÜL­GÜN SHOW­CASES THE TURK­ISH IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGNER’S OP­U­LENT STYLE; THE ÜS­TRA BUS IN HANOVER, GER­MANY AND A SKETCH OF THE JUNO CHAIR, BOTH DE­SIGNED BY JAMES IRVINE

THIS PAGEFROM TOP: SPRING POR­RIDGE WITH SEA URCHIN BY CHEF CORY LEE; STIR-FRIED QUINOA, BONITO SALAD AND A TRA­DI­TIONAL PACHAMANCA DISH FROM PERU:THE­COOK­BOOK

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