Beijing Fenghemuchen Space Design Pairs a Subtle Palette With Statement Artwork
When it comes to displaying contemporary art in the home, current practice favors paper-white walls, just like a museum or gallery. For a model town house in south central China, however, Beijing Fenghemuchen Space Design, a firm founded by two artists, took a more daring approach, one informed by the psychology of color.
The interior spaces are dominated by a subtle gray-on-gray palette that, for principals Yi Chen and Muchen Zhang, signifies calm, good sense, and maturity. Within this tranquil cocoon, the designers have hung paintings in saturated tones and graphic shapes resembling multicolor gemstones, and installed bright-hued angular sculptures that recall Memphis Group furniture. This juxtaposition may sound inharmonious, a visual collision between the art and its environment. “Think of it as a chemical reaction,” Chen advises. “Or the conflict between reality and dream, reason and passion. It’s like a man who appears serious and exact but is lively and hungry for freedom in his heart. The space is a vivid reflection of these two characteristics united in one individual.”
Visually, it is entirely compelling. In the living room, for example, the whimsy and childlike innocence of a chair sculpture that looks as if it were made out of toy building blocks is balanced against the crisp formality of classic Haussmann-style paneled walls painted dove gray. Yin and yang. Perfect.
Design Principals: Yi Chen; Muchen Zhang