Shanghai Chic, Hong Kong

The China Club may only have been around for a decade or so, but it is now a quintessential part of Hong Kong Life. A private members’ club located on the top three floors of the old Bank of China building in the Central district, it is the brainchild of one of the city’s leading public figures, David Tang. Here Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial elite with a place to do business and relax afterwards amid stylish surrounding which ooze tradition and history. The interiors evoke the glory days of old shanghai, generously borrowing items from different eras and cultures. Meticulously replicated, the club has an air of charm and nostalgia with oak and mahogany paneled walls, sweeping staircase, latticed silk paneling and gently whirring ceiling fans.

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Photography by Michael Freeman

The main dining room is said to serve some of the best dim sum in Hong Kong. Its high ceilings, art deco chandeliers, Qing chairs (over 140 and no two are the same) and red leather banquettes are modelled on the concept of the tradition Chinese teahouse. A curved staircase lined with modern Chinese artwork accesses the upper levels. The Club’s impressive collection was compiled with Chang of Hanart TZ Gallery, an authority on contemporary Chinese painting and includes everything from premier work by established artist such as Yu Youhan to sculptures by Taiwanese artist Ju Ming to kitsch Revolutionary porcelain figures and old Mao posters.

Tang has expanded his China Club concept into Beijing and Singapore. In the former, the club is located in a well-preserved, countyard-style royal palace built in the 16th century for a prince descended from Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing dynasty. The Singapore venture is housed in a rooftop space at the top of one of the city’s new skyscrapers. Together with Shanghai Tang department stores in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York – which sell contemporary Chinese Chinoiserie such as Mao-style suits in sizzling colours and Cultural Revolution T-shirts – Tang aims to bring his particular brand of Chinese style to a global audience.

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This article was published in the Jan-Feb 2017 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!

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