A colorful personality transforms the apartment into a “welcome gallery”



Shot by Yang Di. Subtitles by Yang Di.

Shirley Zhao imbued her apartment with her personality and sense of style, reflecting her individual vision, wishes and desires.

It is a place where Zhao can show off his colorful personality, as well as a peaceful and serene space for his family of three. City life can be hectic, and she wants a comfortable and relaxing environment for her family to enjoy together.

The Shanghai native moved to the apartment in Gubei district, Changning district three years ago. Her experience in finding a home has convinced her that it’s all about timing – finding the right place at the right time.

Courtesy of Shirley Zhao / Ti Gong

The relaxing sofa is placed against the wall covered with large “Blue Notes” on silk by German conceptual artist Ute Lindner, whose works are dear to many European collectors and museums.

“It’s like finding your other half, right? Indeed, it’s not much less important,” she joked.

Moving to this location was mainly because her daughter’s high school is only a block away. And a generous outdoor space surrounded by lush trees and plants is an added bonus, especially in downtown Shanghai.

“The high ceiling, a sturdy garden and abundant natural light from the large windows and doors made me fall in love with this apartment,” Zhao said.

White walls provide a perfect backdrop for her favorite artwork, furniture, and unique accessories.

“A number of white walls inspired me to transform the space into a ‘welcome gallery’,” she said. Zhao, who lived in Berlin with her husband Marc Tempus and traveled the world, moved to Shanghai in 2005. She created documentary films and events in Berlin, and founded the 4C Charity (Children help Children Charity Council) in Shanghai.

A colorful personality transforms the apartment into a

Dong Jun / SHINE

The “He” dining chair is designed by Italian architect and designer Fabio Novembre.

Her personal style for interiors changes depending on the country she lives in, the different stages of her life and the type of house or apartment. But one thing that never changes is that she likes to mix and match “Shirley’s temple”.

Shirley’s Temple means a place of Chinese and European antiques, traditional and modern designs, antique pieces and contemporary artwork, world famous artists and children’s art. She opened an international artist residency project in the city center and invited 12 artists from various fields from around the world to Shanghai. As part of the project, she hosted several exhibitions, art dinners and workshops.

“After closing the residency project, I chose unique pieces for my“ reception gallery ”. And with my collections that I have enriched over the years, almost every corner of this apartment generates an artistic and playful atmosphere. The mixture of cultures and the arts creates an atmosphere of love at home, ”she said.

A colorful personality transforms the apartment into a

Dong Jun / SHINE

A welcoming entrance is made up of a “Happy Buddha” painting created by Shirley Zhao’s daughter, Marlene Tempus, as well as a vintage sewing machine from Zhao’s German mother-in-law.

The generous layout of the lounges and dining rooms offers the perfect opportunity to exhibit its collections. Behind the mix of inherited antiques and contemporary art lie personal stories. Each object contains a story and is chosen according to its life path.

The opium bed in the center of the living space was a wedding present from her family, while she found an Art Deco wine barrel in Budapest.

Two uniquely redesigned Art Deco chairs enhance the “East meets West” vibe, and a ceiling painting in the living room was created by German concept artist Patrick Huber, well known for his “l ‘philosophy. art can fade and disappear “.

“Patrick is an old friend from Berlin, and when he visited my apartment he wanted to leave his’ disappearing work ‘here. When he looked at the high shaped ceiling, I immediately said’ I can move away the big lamp, “” Zhao mentioned.

A colorful personality transforms the apartment into a

Dong Jun / SHINE

The opium bed in the living room was a wedding gift from Zhao’s sister.

The result is a gorgeous piece created with light colored chalk.

“As the light colored chalk will fade over time and we plan to live here only a few years, the artwork will eventually fade away. And why not ? There is a Chinese proverb: “There is no permanent banquet in the world, ‘and this can also apply to works of art,” she said.

A special rug with a silhouette of the Shanghai Bund and a crochet “household help” sculpture by textile artist Patricia Waller adorn the hallway.

“Patricia is definitely the pioneer of crochet sculpture in the world. I was honored to have her among my artists in residence in 2016,” she said, adding that she was co-hosting her new exhibition at the Leo gallery on Wukang Road. this month.

A colorful personality transforms the apartment into a

Courtesy of Shirley Zhao / Ti Gong

A special rug with a silhouette of the Shanghai Bund and a crochet “household help” sculpture by textile artist Patricia Waller adorn the hallway.

The White Room serves as an office where Zhao spends a lot of time, is a peaceful sanctuary of white hues, flattering lighting, and stunning white artwork. It contrasts with the rest of the space which is playful and colorful.

“We like to relax in this room to read, to think, to be dizzy,” she said.

But even in this all-white space, Zhao prefers to layer different textures and funky patterns. Highlights are a pair of white textile installations in plexiglass boxes made by multitalented Italian artist / designer Monica Bertini.

“The unique, self-made pair of boxes contain so many elements ranging from the artist’s scraps of woolen yarn from her collection of designs to her understanding of the five Chinese elements and the sonic magnetic energy injected by a healer. spiritual recognition during the process of artistic creation, ”Zhao says. “No wonder these two works are so magical in this white room, giving it power and calm.”

A colorful personality transforms the apartment into a

Dong Jun / SHINE

Shirley Zhao enjoys spending time in the outdoor space surrounded by lush trees and plants.

Ask the owner

Q: What’s the best thing about living in Shanghai?

A: For me, a Shanghainese, going back to Shanghai not only means going back to the hometown that I know, but also seeing new things and new developments that are constantly emerging every day. The harmony between the old and the new is Shanghai and the unique culture of Shanghai.

Q: Describe your house in three words.

A: playful, clever, mix-match

Q: How do you relax?

A: Have a drink in my garden.

Q: Where do you spend most of your time at home?

A: In the garden when the weather permits. Otherwise, my white bedroom or living room.

Q: What is the view outside your window?

A: Lots of green

Q: Where do you buy furniture from?

A: I bought furniture everywhere. The antiques were bought from local and European antique shops, while the more modern ones come from Italy and Germany.



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