Travel

Photoblog: Muji Hotel (Shenzhen) by Enoch Ho

DSCF5305.jpg

A couple months ago we visited the world’s first Muji Hotel, located in Shenzhen China.

A little confession, I have been a Muji fanboy since I was a teenager. I frequented Muji shops after school just to get a whiff of its scent and a visual flush from the clutters of city life. I was a fan of the simple elegant everyday designs that stripped away the unnecessary, and deeply bought into its warm, minimal aesthetics. Growing up in Hong Kong, a tightly packed, efficiency-driven maximalist city, Muji represents the antidote, an oasis of minimalism. Every time I walked into a Muji store I felt comfortable, not in the sense I was physically comfortable, but my mental state was at peace.

It’s been many years since I was a teenager, but my affinity to Muji remains, so when it was first announced that Muji was opening their first hotel in Shenzhen, it was only a matter of time before the visit happened. So without further ado, here are photos and some words of my experience.

DSCF5217.jpg
DSCF5365.jpg
DSCF5227.jpg

The first time you unlock the doors to your room, the curtain automatically draws open, letting the light softly flood the room through the veils. There’s an immediate sense of welcoming, that the space recognises your presence. As anything Muji, the room is very clean, with wooden floorings and furnishings, beige walls and tall ceilings.

Stepping in, it feels spacious, and the room is furnished with everything you’d expect from a hotel room, nothing more and nothing less. Almost all the products, barring the television set, is Muji’s own products, and the fanboy inside me was well pleased.

DSCF5246.jpg
DSCF5261.jpg
DSCF5240.jpg
DSCF5233.jpg
DSCF5274.jpg
DSCF5299.jpg

The toilet is worth a mention, which automatically lifts its lid when you swing open the door, I mean, who doesn’t love an inviting toilet?

DSCF5269.jpg
DSCF5268.jpg
DSCF5271.jpg
DSCF5309.jpg

The overall feel of the room is very comfortable, both physically and mentally. And the beautiful aesthetics and brilliance use of light is extended throughout the entire hotel, which also includes a large reading room/meeting area and a gym. Here are some more photos of the rest of the hotel.

DSCF5318.jpg
DSCF5316.jpg
DSCF5319.jpg
DSCF5321.jpg
DSCF5322.jpg
DSCF5327.jpg
DSCF5330.jpg
DSCF5332.jpg

The one word to describe the entire experience would be “zen”, a sense of wholistic peace. I enjoyed every moment there, being wrapped in thick bath robes and donning the cushioned slippers, the whole nine yard. After all, a hotel is supposed to provide respite, and where many others succeed in providing comfort, Muji excels at providing rest, for both the body and the mind.

For those who are visiting, it’s located in a new development called 深业上城, it is unfortunately not near any metro stations, but if you’re visiting from Hong Kong it is a short taxi (or Didi) ride from Lok Ma Chau border crossing. The development also has an interesting outdoor shopping area above its mall, which is a popular location for locals to take artsy photos, so be sure to explore a little.

This is also the first time we’ve made a video, if you haven’t seen it, please check it out from the first image/thumbnail or click on the link here.

Photoblog: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) by Enoch Ho

DSCF4075.jpg

Any day you get to see Rothko is a good day.

We managed to catch the Mark Rothko: Reflections exhibition at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, entering through the Seeking Stillness exhibition consisting of other contemporary minimal artworks.

DSCF4059.jpg
DSCF4063.jpg
DSCF4068.jpg
DSCF4074.jpg

Back to Rothko. This was a particularly interesting exhibition, as it showed Rothko's work from various time periods of his career, and gave context to his style journey until he arrived at the iconic coloured blocks.

DSCF4080.jpg
DSCF4087.jpg

As Rothko developed into his eventual settled style of blocks of deep, complex hues, he described his abstract style as "the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea and between the idea and the observer". By removing all elements that could lead to external references, Rothko's paintings manages to isolate and engage the viewers' emotions by submerging them into an enveloped experience of colours.

DSCF4069.jpg

Ultimately, like many abstract expressionist artists, his work invites the observer to give meaning to the art, and for what it's worth, your interpretation and experience as the viewer is as important as anyone else's. That is the precious equality that can be found in Rothko's art, along with his contemporaries of the field.

DSCF4072.jpg
DSCF4091.jpg

People often describe standing in front of a Rothko painting as a religious experience. If you're presented with the opportunity to see a Rothko piece, we highly recommend spending some time, submerging into the experience and engaging with the dynamics between the art and one's internal being.