Jessica Wong and Pamela Ting, Singapore
In an industry dominated by Danish and Italian designs, Scene Shang is a rare gem. Founded in 2014 by Singaporeans Pamela Ting and Jessica Wong, both 34, the homeware and furniture label puts an innovative spin on traditional Chinese furniture.
After the former schoolmates took on separate internships in Shanghai 11 years ago, they were inspired by the bustling city’s vibrant mix of tradition and modernity, which in turn sparked their appreciation for Chinese culture. They left their day jobs in 2012 and spent the following year and a half in Shanghai to learn the furniture trade, source for Chinese craftsmen, and refine their brand ethos. The label met with resounding success after launching online in 2014, and Scene Shang’s brick and mortar store debuted on Beach Road in April 2016.
One of the duo’s most popular furniture pieces is the Shang System, which takes its visual cues from the Ming dynasty. Boasting a set of stackable hand-carved drawers, the modular furniture system allows clients to customise colours and components. It received a special commendation at the 2014 President’s Design Award and won a Golden A’ Design Award at Italy’s A’ Design Award and Competition in 2016.
Last year, Scene Shang collaborated with a tattoo artist, an indie design studio and a fashion label to create an elm wood bench etched with koi and lotus patterns on the leather upholstery, a Chinese chess set with brass pieces carved by a local auto parts maker, and ribbed porcelain rice bowls made in east China. They also launched a Mid-autumn collection last October, of which the most notable pieces are the TANG tables. Inspired by the hue of duckweed in a rustic pond, the tables’ surfaces resemble jade and are constructed from brassplated rods, tempered glass, and handfinished patinaed laser cut steel sheets.
The beauty of Scene Shang’s designs is that they blend seamlessly with both vintage and contemporary interiors – a perfect marriage of old-world charm and innovation.