tokyo: what ever

© stereotennis

stereotennis is a tokyo-based graphic artist and illustrator with a penchant for 1980s-inspired pop culture and music. both eclectic and colourful, this style has resulted in a series of collabs with a number of creative brands and retailers in the land of the rising sun, and not to say the least, it has gained quite a cult following as well. the artist currently has a solo exhibition at voilld gallery in tokyo's naka meguro district. antagonistically entitled what ever, this quirky showcase presents around 20 new works, all created while traveling and inspired by her hometown tokyo and the many destinations she visited: new york, hong kong and india. fans of stereotennis will be able to indulge in a special range of merchandise that will also be for sale at the gallery space [on through feb 18]. location: casa aobadai, 3-18-18-b1 aobadai [naka meguro].

© stereotennis

singapore: whitegrass restaurant opening

© takenouchi webb

while fine dining usually has connotations far removed from social buzz, fun atmosphere and culinary adventure, the newly opened whitegrass has arrived onto singapore's thriving hospitality scene to prove the city's refined palates otherwise. occupying a spacious ground floor unit at chijmes, a historic landmark complex which was originally built as a catholic convent in the mid-1800s, the venue is a collab effort of acclaimed australian chef sam aisbett and his business partners sean and karen h'ng, a malaysian power couple best known for setting up the design-infused macalister mansion in penang three years ago. whitegrass offers three separate dining sections, each with a vibe of its own and seating a total of 70 guests. the outdoor bar is able to host an additional 24 people, and also allows for al fresco dining.

local architecture practice takenouchi webb was enlisted to design the settings, and they've come up with a concept that offers a softened and a tad frivolous kind of formality that's subtly infused with soft pastels. the detailing of each room is elaborate, but is coherently framed by sandblasted parquet flooring and a ceiling that resembles an ornate wedding cake. the wooden furnishings are mid-century inspired, but have been given a contemporary twist. the restaurant's lighthearted vibe is further boosted by the wall art created by singapore-based artist zi xi a.k.a. messymsxi. chef aisbett, at 32 already a fast-rising star, has honed his skills at renowned establishments down under, and with this new venture he once again aims for the stars with sophisticated australian fare. open for dinner only, whitegrass offers five-course and eight-course tasting menus, featuring unexpected parings of ingredients flown in from australia and local produce. location: chijmes, 30 victoria street, unit 01-26/27 [city hall].

© takenouchi webb

tokyo: incursion

© hermès japon

ginza maison hermès is both the head office and flagship store of the illustrious french luxury house in the land of the rising sun. housed in a glass tower by starchitect renzo piano, it was the first of a huge wave of signature flagship stores in tokyo. a true showcase of the brand's artisanal expertise in a wide range of merchandise, the store has additionally been renowned for its evocative window installations by directional artists from across the planet. the most recent showcase is entitled incursion, and features work by british sculptor kate mccgwire. this year's theme is nature at full gallop and mccgwire fully complies, using organic materials for an alluring narrative with a slight dark undercurrent.

the main window installations, flanking both sides of ginza maison hermès' main entrance on buslting harumi dori, present a backdrop that resembles a rundown warehouse, replete with suspended leather bridles, and an ominous form that seemingly breaks through the corrugated back panels and sinking right into the floor again. crafted from shiny, colourful rooster feathers, it looks both appealing and sinister, and adds a strong sense of energy to the setting. in the smaller windows rooster feathers are used to describe much smaller forms, alongside a series of works made with pheasant feathers [on through mar 15]. location: ginza maison hermès, 5-4-1 ginza [ginza].

© hermès japon

paris: origin

© galerie perrotin

south korea's track record in contemporary art isn't one that's well known beyond its borders, yet the country has seen noteworthy developments that still stand their ground in this day and age. a current exhibition at galerie perrotin, one of the leading modern art venues in paris, sheds lights on a movement from the early 1960s which helped to lay the foundation of the the country's modern art scene. aptly entitled origin, named after the eponymous group of artists, it traces back the footprints of the original founding members: choi myoung-young, suh seung-won, and lee seung-jio. the accomplished trio was born in the early 1940s and they've witnessed the japanese occupation, the korean war, and the april revolution

these three events hugely influenced south korean society, and not surprisingly, also the principles and identity of the origin movement. although the exhibition exclusively presents works by the illustrious trio, it aims to demonstrate how south korean artists who are rooted in tradition, confronted and overcame the ever-changing contemporary issues of their era. each of the artists emphasizes asceticism through repetitive actions, such as layering, spraying, or markings, but they also clearly have a style of their own. choi myoung-young demonstrates the expandability of space and, assuming that the canvas is a small universe, hee feels obliged to make countless contact with it by using his fingers.

for suh seung-won, it's all about geometry, creating large sections of overlapping of diamond shapes in various colours, solid lines, and box-shaped structures. the style of lee seung-jio is largely composed of elongated rectangles that resemble of cold metallic matter. by repeatedly applying brush strokes, the artist painted horizontal, vertical or diagonal strips that were darker towards the border and lighter towards the center, essentially creating the appearance of a three-dimensional cylinder. at a later stage in his career, lee began to cross light and shade in blue or black hues and blur the clear borderlines [on through feb 27]. location: 76 rue de turenne [marais].

© galerie perrotin

los angeles: neuehouse opening

© neuehouse / photography: emily andrews

work and play. to many a professional working in the creative industry today, there's hardly a distinction between the two. such a perception creates a challenge when providing this savvy workforce with an environment that aims to facilitate both. well, they can always rely on neuehouse. following a successful launch in new york city in 2013, a new and much larger co-working space has been opened a little while ago in another global creative hub, los angeles. similar to the east coast location, great effort has been made to find an appropriate venue, and if we may say so, the scrutiny has certainly payed off.

neuehouse hollywood occupies the cbs radio building, an architectural landmark built in 1938 by swiss-american architect william lescaze. box-shaped with an austere façade, it was designed according to the principles of the international style, and as you can imagine, it was ahead of its time when it first opened. the sevent-storey building has been restored by acclaimed new york-based architect david rockwell, who in turn has created a series of interventions that enhances the modernity of these premises. members enter neuehouse hollywood through an open courtyard, finding a polished white marble reception desk behind a board-formed concrete exchange counter in the lobby.

directly opposite sits a coffee bar framed by textured board-formed concrete serves as the area's social hub. the original reception desk has been playfully converted into a flower shop. the ground floor also features a variety of working spaces, ranging from a gallery with lounge seating and rows of oak library tables, to a row of leather banquettes with up-lit wood-paneled high surrounds. one floor up, a library lounge can be found. the space is very much defined by two museum vitrines that display artifacts from the building’s broadcasting past. a wood-paneled banquette that runs along the back library wall of the library and a fireplace add up to the homely atmosphere.

this vibe extends onto outdoor terrace where it's captured by cabanas, outdoor rugs and rows of potted plants. on the third floor, the design of neuehouse hollywood once again takes a subtle turn, largely taking cues from the building’s original historic details and pairing these. the use of moroccan rugs echoes the abstract geometry and softens the industrial setting at the same time. the spacious outdoor event terrace, includes lounge areas, private cabanas, a covered conference room, and a refreshment table. the fourth and fifth floors offer a balance of atelier desks and more private studios, in addition to cozy lounge areas.

the conference rooms come with distractingly beautiful views of the hollywood hills and downtown los angeles. the historical corridors with modernist elevator indicators that can be found here, have been carefully restored. the sixth floor is home to the so-called paley penthouse, a spacious 18-seat boardroom. featuring a more lavish aesthetic, it's furnished with eye-catching bauhaus-inspired pieces, against a backdrop of plaster walls and millwork. a spacious foyer with a chandelier leads to a private roof deck with sweeping views of the urban surroundings. further boosting the appealing work/play balance of neuehouse hollywood is table restaurant. 

this welcoming gastro hub of sorts is furnished with a mix of banquettes and chandeliers and comfy poltrona frau chairs. vitrines serve as partitions, and are featured on the back wall of the restaurant, holding artifacts from the building’s days as the cbs studios. a third neuehouse branch is already in the making at adelphi house, a 1930s art déco structure on the banks of the river thames in london. the upcoming venue occupies an expansive 65,000 sq.ft. [6,039 sqm.] space and is scheduled to open late this year. los angeles location: 6121 sunset boulevard [hollywood].

© neuehouse / photography: emily andrews

online: tom clancy - the division survival bag

now here's a cool giveaway that'll surely get you in the mood for next month's exciting launch. best known for his novels and the films they inspired, the late tom clancy [1947-2013] is also revered for the videogame universe he co-created, one that marries hollywood’s thrill-seeking storylines with groundbreaking gameplay. the very latest entry in the series is clancy’s the division™. the story begins after black friday, when a deadly pandemic sweeps through new york city, knocking out basic services, such as electricity and running water. as the complex web of systems and services that make modern life possible begins to break down the city quickly descends into chaos. you play an agent of the division— a classified unit of self-supporting tactical agents that have been secretly embedded amongst us in society and are activated during this national catastrophe.

as an agent of the division, you'll work to stop society’s fall and take back the city on your own terms. with the highly-anticipated game slated to release on tue - mar 8, online lifestyle source hypebeast has paired up with video game developer ubisoft and the tom clancy universe to give away a special survival bag that includes a collection of essentials should you ever find yourself in a similar pandemic. this trophy bag is brimming with goodies, including danner black mountain pass shoes, a nixon all black/green unit ss watch, show peak black felxible pants, a maharishi black templar cap, a carhartt w.i.p. camo mono scarf and lots more! all you have to do is follow @hypebeast and @thedivisiongame_us, like the announcement image and tag a friend that you think would make the best elite agent in the comments. this special giveaway ends fri - feb 5 [2pm / est].

© hypebeast

seoul: hotel cappuccino opening

© 2016 hotel cappuccino

with a bustling cityscape that's constantly evolving, seoul rightfully ranks among the most dynamic capitals in the far east, and the appreciation of the city's many attractions shows in an ever-increasing number of arrivals from abroad. seoul's global connectivity has greatly improved over the years, making it a hot destination for an increasingly diversified range of visitors. not surprisingly, the local hospitality industry eagerly adapts to this trend, and as of late the south korean capital has seen a sophisticated new concept pop up that specifically targets a demographic of savvy next-generation travellers.

frivolously called hotel cappuccino, it's located in nonhyeon-dong, a lively residential part of town where streets are lined with shops and other businesses. the property is the country's first shared value-oriented urban lifestyle hotel, meaning that next to providing lodgings, it also aims to create an platform which interacts with local communities. the result is a truly unique space where guests can create their very own shared value through a range of services and programs integrated seamlessly into the hotel stay experience, and this quirky approach is called the cappuccino shared value.

so, what does it entail? quite a lot, but the concept's most striking element arguably is the earn & giveaway program which donates the reduced and unnecessary consumption of amenities and resources by guests during their stay to selected good causes or which are returned in the form of other benefits to the guests themselves. and if you're not using the spare amenities provided in each room, you'll be given a so-called angel coupon which is convertible either into a donation to non-profit organization water.org or a complimentary drink at hipster hangout caffè cappuccino. pretty cool, huh?

but let's go back to the property itself and talk hotel cappuccino premises. occupying an 18-storey highrise of its own, the hotel features 141 guestrooms in six appealing configurations. at 16.5 sqm. [178 sq.ft.] the one-person cappuccino king is the most budget-friendly, featuring a custom-made, and obviously comfy, king-size bed and a number of amenities that make your stay a memorable one. traveling with a friend? try the super twin which comes with two queen size beds and a well-equipped bathroom. for those who bring their beloved pet, there's the bark room which accommodates your furry pal in unexpected ways.

the most discerning of travelers are likely tempted to book the studio room. perched on the 16th floor, they're stylish, spacious, and come with stunning views of seoul's soaring skyline. mind you, there's also an entire floor exclusively available to female travelers. as a buzzing social hub, hotel cappuccino obviously has a few extras up its sleeve. the aforementioned caffè cappuccino, situated on the ground floor, already is a fave meeting place of guests and neighbourhood denizens alike. next to stylish indoor seating, the facility also has an outdoor terrace where one can lounge on balmy summer nights.

perched on the top floor, guests find the hot eatsue restaurant and rooftop bar where a variety of tasty asian street food and signature cocktails are served till late at night. the second-floor private rooms and meeting rooms are designed to accommodate a variety of events, from small meetings of four to six people to corporate conferences or family gatherings with around 50 guests. on the 18th floor is a rooftop terrace capable of hosting standing parties with 80 to 100 guests. anticipating the city's stature as a preferred place to do business, hotel cappuccino offers both a two full-fledged meeting rooms, in addition to a private function room that's suitable for various events. location: 155 bongeunsa-ro [nonhyeon-dong].

© 2016 hotel cappuccino

new york: unpacking the cube

© chamber / photography: guang xu

let's call it starchitectural experimentation. what exactly? the current showcase at chamber gallery in new york city. founded in 2014 by juan garcia mosqueda, the gallery ambitiously aims to be a leading platform for design in all its forms, and the current exhibition, entitled unpacking the cube, certainly adds up to the venue's growing reputation. andrew zuckerman, curator of collection #2 human | nature in collab with chamber, approached leading architecture new york-based practices leong leong, steven holl architects and levenbetts, to define and express their own d.n.a. through physical objects that have been especially created for the exhibition.

interestingly, the results of the inquiries of each practice approach the idea of fundamentals from different perspectives, focusing on social exchange, spatial concerns, and conceptual experimentation. in distinct ways, their proposals depart from and adapt the essential form of the cube, and propose different answers to the question of whether and how it's possible to collect architecture. to brothers chris and dominic leong of leong leong, their collection of nine objects that they present are an exploration of architecture's potential to connect the individual to the collective.

the designs of levenbetts architects stella betts and david leven are based on a hollow wedge-shaped building block, and represents a concept that's derived from their inquiry into strategies of aggregation, keen interest in prioritizing access to light, and an outside view when shaping physical spaces. last but not least, there's the presentation of steven holl architects, comprising of concrete, aluminum, walnut, and 3-d printed objets d’art. these objects have been developed as part of the practice's architecture think tank/lab explorations of in, and are the result of an investigation into what's possible in architecture.

the common thread of this exhibition's three distinct presentations is an abstract one, generating both answers and questions about the connections between our abstract understanding of space and form, and the practical ways in which people today inhabit and interact with architecture [on through mar 5]. location: 515 west 23rd street [chelsea].

© chamber / photography: guang xu