Elle Deco January 2012

Swirling through Shanghai, the Suzhou River has quietlyflowed past an entire century of change. In the past, grandmothers rowed theirboats on the river; now as I stand gazing at the riverbank with you, I can’thelp but wonder if anything has changed. Perhaps the Embankment Building -built by Sir Victor Sassoon in 1932 along the river and once the largestapartment building in the Far East - can give us an answer.

Eight years ago, Tucho, a Spanish collector and designerfascinated by Chinese culture, arrived here and began renovating apartments inthe Embankment Building, creating the EB Residences, a collection of luxurious,high-end serviced apartments. On the first floor of the same building, Tuchowent on to launch Bites Lounge, serving a fusion of Asian-Mediterranean finefood. He thus established CHAI Living, a brand dedicated to fine living.Recently, Details Gallery, with a collection of fine art and decorative pieces,has become CHAI Living’s third family member in the Embankment Building.

As founder and creative director, Tucho’s first creativeprinciple is “hybridity.” In this industrial design-style space, grey bricksand white walls set off Ming Dynasty bookcases, European antiques, and an assortmentof old Chinese-style side tables. Contemporary paintings by Chinese artistssuch as Li Wenfeng, Xiang Guohua, Lai Shengyu, and Yang Xiaogang hang on thewalls. The most eye-catching piece here is “Past and Present,” which seems to tella love story that overcomes even the barriers between past and present.

Here, you can find contemporary paintings, sculpture, antiquefurniture, innovative furniture, rare pottery, as well as books on Chineseculture. East and West, tradition and modernity, simplicity and complexity -Tucho wants all these original objects from different times and places to cometogether, becoming an utterly unique collection to share with visitors to theGallery.

Each month, Details Gallery will put on an exhibition basedon twelve elements inspired by traditional Chinese culture: Cocoon, BluePorcelain, Bronze, Purple Crystal, Ink, Calligraphy, Rice Paper, Teapot, Jade,Painted Glass, Red Seal, and Copper. The EB Residences are also designed alongthese same concepts, and are in high demand to international visitors. Now,however, by visiting Details Gallery you can see this Spanish interpretation ofChinese culture without paying the high Residence rental fees.




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