To gather a deeper and more intimate connection with the artists and artisans we work with, we asked each to answer a series of questions. We will be showcasing each Q&A in correlation with our familial content. Enjoy!
x Shop Zung
Without giving away your location, describe where you are right now. What are the things you see, smell, or hear around you?
Ironically enough, right as I’m typing this, there’s a symphony playing down below. I can’t tell if it’s a live ensemble or if someone is really jamming.. but it’s definitely forcing me to pause my spotify! Long shadows pour in from the late-day sun. It smells like warm wood floors, freshly sanded, and primed for the next phase of change. It’s definitely a random but beautiful Tuesday moment.
Taste, touch, smell, sound, sight — which of the five senses do you rely on the most? Why?
I would say sight, touch and sound probably the most. I don’t care too much about taste or scent in all honesty. Sight feels like an obvious one, but touch is so important to me... texture, weight, density. And with sound it’s kind of this binding force that brings it all together— either the presence or the absence of it can frame a whole moment.
Tell us about your relationship to Studio Zung. To begin, when and where did your relationship with our Studio start? What drew you to working with us?
Adrian Gaut is a mutual friend, but the first time I actually saw the studio and met the team was for a US Ark Journal launch. I’ve since styled a project for them in Tribeca and— coming full circle— shot it with Adrian.
At Maison Duane, an inventive interior reimagining of a Romanesque Revival pre-war building by Studio Zung. Styled by Colin King. Photo by Adrian Gaut.
How has this relationship evolved over time? Could you describe one of your favorite moments or projects working with our Studio?
It’s definitely a relationship that has room to evolve! The Tribeca project has been my only one so far but it was a collective of moments where the collaboration was easy and fun; something I always appreciate.
We want to know more about your creative process, walk us through it. How do you begin your projects? Do you anchor it with an image, a material, color, feeling? How do you come to a stopping point and know your work is complete, if you ever think so?
Negative space and asymmetry. Edit, edit, and edit some more. I remove and add, playing with different combinations of items until I find the contrast in an arrangement that seems like they shouldn't make sense together but somehow they do. I am inspired by nature and what nature produces - nothing about nature is linear or symmetrical or immune to decay.
Styling is instinctual, as it pertains to standards of beauty - which are subjective. The job is done once one takes a step back and can’t imagine the space being any other way than it is at that moment.
How would you describe your work? How do other people describe your work?
Warm minimalism. I am drawn to anything of quality, whatever the period or style. Although the aesthetic strands running through my work are pretty consistent, the influences feeding into the design process are typically eclectic and even the most unlikely of subjects can provide food for thought.
What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
Jack Ceglic's home was one of the first I pitched as a stylist to T Magazine. I remember it was filled with so much character and strength in presence. The styling portion we kept simple. Jack’s unique sensibility is one of my strongest references today. There was a real and unique lesson in that shoot that taught me so much about design and interiors through the lens of an artist.
Think of an object in your home that has the most significance to you. Could you share with us what it is and the memory behind it?
I have these fiberglass rock lamps by Andre Cazenave, which are quirky and fun. When I was little I used to collect rocks. In my mind they were geodes with treasure inside so I'd try to crack them open. But also they were creatures of weight and texture, and I'd bring them home to live inside. It's a memory I keep and maybe pay a bit of homage to with my Casenave lamps.
"I was immediately drawn to this piece as it reminds me of Isamu Noguchi" — Colin King
"Mexico Calling", Josh Isherwood. 1998. Photo by Nicole Franzen.
We live in a society where so much of our identity is surrounded by the things we consume whether that be the things we buy, the food we eat, or the content we see, along with the fast paced nature of it. How do you approach mindful living and sustainability in the context of your work and in your everyday life?
At least for me, I run from the noise and the consumption by owning child-like curiosity. Curiosity pushes me to go that one step further. By constantly questioning myself and my thoughts it allows me to see the same things, from different angles. This eagerness allows me to be inspired by almost everything, even a conversation with a friend or the puddle of a drape on the floor. On a good day, it’s all about being open to the world and allowing room for it in my head - finding focus in between chaos and concretising subjects to order and understand them.
What do you envision for yourself in five years?
It’s basically full steam ahead for a total multi-disciplinary studio. I imagine my practice having arms of product, styling, interiors, and creative direction all connected to a core stylistic hub. It’s a big goal but it’s something I feel blessed to pursue and make come to life.
What do you want people to take away from your work? How do you want to be remembered? What is the legacy you imagine for yourself?
If there’s any takeaway, it’s that everyday ritual, pedestrian gestures and unstyled spaces can be inspiring. As a creative, nothing is better than observing a scene where a person has seemingly left a mess (a table at a restaurant, an unmade bed, a perfectly unorganized desktop) and absorbing all the nuances to find what it is you love about life. I hope people see the images I make and realize they’re just imitations of what is both beautiful and real.
Are you looking forward to anything in the next few months? Any new exciting projects or plans?
Right now my studio is building out a live-work space in tribeca where all things design will come together. I have a book in the works as well as multiple multi-faceted projects where each dips into a different genre of design, aesthetic and stylistic directions. It’s all exciting and it’s all in motion; it’s a very big chapter of life I’ve found myself in.
Photo courtesy of Colin King