Food for Thought
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