An interview with Erin Tong

On contemporary art and design.

Why and how did you conceive the idea of a green home? Why is this important to you?

In a green home I can feel life, honesty and the passage of time. A green home requires care, love and patience. I like living in a house that reminds me to value time, to love people and care for them. All of these, in turn, give me peace and power.

Green often means modern – do you feel contemporary style is aesthetically more in tune with our perception of beauty today?

My perception of beauty today is informed by efficiency and adaptability. Contemporary style is perhaps more communicative, more universal and appealing to the general public, nd therefore more efficient and adaptable.

In terms of architecture and design, do you have a favourite country?

We live in a global world that is interconnected. My favourite city, however, is Shanghai, where I spent the majority of my life. Perhaps for most people it is a concrete jungle, but for me it is organic and vivid. I love discovering the stories behind each building, its owners and their lives.

What do you look for in a designer? Original ideas or a fine-tuned interpretation of your dream concept?

I look for empathy and curiosity in a designer. I appreciate a designer who is strong and sensitive – a designer who has the courage to put himself in a vulnerable position in order to form a perception of me, and at the sam time have the confidence, persistence and strength to create together with me and steer me through yet unexplored territories of my own imagination.

What is your favourite room in your home and why?

My living room and my bedroom garden. I can feel Shanghai down there, authentic and real, and at the same time, dream-like. When I look out, and I can see my whole life in front of me; my past, my present and my future. I can travel between reality and dream.

Do you prefer contemporary or traditional/fine art?

I enjoy art that can make my mind wander and take me to a different place every time I look at it. I prefer contemporary art because the works are more in tune with my current environment. I feel I can relate more to, and connect better with contemporary art.