HBA teams up with Canvas Art Consultants to deck the interiors of NUO Beijing in Ming dynasty-inspired furnishing and art. Christie Lee writes.
NUO Beijing has taken extra steps in ensuring that its patrons come back at least a second time, if not for the well-appointed rooms, then for the refined collection of art.
The Ming dynasty was an era where scholars and artists flourished. Taking inspiration from the period’s restrained aesthetics, Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) and sister company Canvas Arts Consultants have conceived of a space that conveys a keen sense of classicism with a dash of whimsicality.
Zeng Fanzhi’s Le Shan, a 2.5-ton silver and bronze sculpture situated at the centre of Nuo’s lobby, both fascinates and daunts. The Chinese artist’s expressionistic style continues in Abstract Scenery, where China’s vast and unpredictable landscape is translated into a tangled yet balanced clutter of lines.
Taking pride atop marbled plinths are Wu San Bao’s porcelain vases. The vast motif is subtly echoed in Pascale Marthine Tayou’s Totems, which sees blue and white vases stacked atop one another to form perilous-looking pillars.
Inspired by Wen Zhen Heng, the Ming essayist, painter and landscape artist, the 42 suites are fitted with bespoke furniture and handpainted blue-hued plaques. Custom wall murals offset the muted palette, while Ming era poetry are carved on bathroom walls, should one need a contemplative moment.
It’s not just the great masters that the hotel pays tribute to. Works of 13 up-and-coming contemporary Chinese artists are also scattered throughout the hotel.
Hirsch Bedner Associates
Canvas Arts Consultants