pau pau & gong gong’s living room2019
Dissertation Writing & Illustration
Royal College of Art, MA Architecture
Excerpt from the dissertation...
“The living room was one of the most used spaces in the entire house, especially for family occasions. Being the largest room in the house, it also became the most densely populated space. As you walked in, your eyes immediately began to wander through the collection of objects displayed. Facing the entrance was the family couch, a distinctive piece of furniture upholstered in red and gold damask and covered in patterned quilts. Above it hung four wooden inlaid panels. Each depicted beautiful Chinese women wearing billowing gowns in deep reds and greens, their skin
highlighted in ivory white. To the left of the couch was a six-legged chair, carved from
zitan black wood. The chair’s feet and headrest curled in, looking like a reposed
panther guarding its territory from the corner of the living room. In the other corner a
regal ceramic black horse was prominently displayed on an antique Chinese table.
A fine Chinese carpet in black, green and pink brought the room together. These expensive Asian artefacts were interspersed with an equal number of inexpensive items that held personal significance. For example, a strange series of ceramic busts, painted by Lily, lined the edge of the entryway between the living room and sitting room. Ceramic figurines of Santa and Mrs. Claus stood on the largest cabinet (brought out for Christmas but often displayed throughout the year), along with souvenir collections of matchboxes, and commemorative spoons. Opposite the cabinets was an upright piano, adorned with framed family portraits that also covered the entire wall. Three worn out plush children’s chairs for the eldest granddaughters lived under the piano legs. An immense collection of pirated Chinese and Hollywood films on VHS tapes was stacked high along the entrance wall. The deeper you looked the more objects began to appear. As a child visiting this room, you never questioned why such disparate objects were adjacent to one another; every piece in the house was equally fascinating and wonderful.”
**Dissertation entitled “Ceramic Horse and Plastic Rice Bowls: On the Value of Objects“ received level of distinction from the Royal College of Art.