André Fu has had a busy few months. The interior designer extraordinaire — Elle Décor China’s Interior Designer of the Year, 2019 — has recently added even more can-dos to his laundry list of achievements.
First is his role in the evolution of The Upper House’s top-floor space, previously holding court to Café Gray; now, Salisterra, which opened earlier this year. Second is his full-blown cover star status, fronting glossy Prestige for the month of June. And following that is his newly unveiled theme for the André Fu Living 2021 collection, the ‘Art Deco Garden’; which includes perfectly executed hints of the Japanese Zen garden.
A hybrid of design philosophies that spans culture, aesthetics, space and time, the ‘Art Deco Garden’ marries principles from two disciplines that may as well be from different galaxies. One luxuriates in the excessive and the decorative; the other is an exercise in stillness.
The point is: this is not a cross-pollination of details that could fit, if only for a slight push. In fact, Fu insists upon nuance. "My personal design approach is not just about combining styles,” he says. “Rather, it rests on an ability to navigate different cultures and reflect contemporary culture based on the inherent qualities of beauty itself, as opposed to just based on any one style.”
Of course, there are blissful moments of consensus. The geometric scoring of the Art Deco aesthetic follows the precisely raked sand on display at Kyoto’s Tofukuji Temple. There is intention embedded into each curved path and rigid line. In practice, this aesthetic collision also manifests in his collaboration with British heritage brand and studio de Gournay via silken murals that mirror lyrical strokes in sand, now gilded.