Reinstated Interiors Inspired by Asian Culture

Antique, art, furniture and fabrics that tell the story of Asian heritage and culture, enliven modern spaces.


Blue and white floral bowl from the Ming Dynasty sold on auction for USD721,800 at Sotheby’s.

CHINESE ANTIQUE CERAMICS AND PORCELAIN are stunning art pieces beloved by taste makers for their craftsmanship, elegance, and beauty. Of all the Chinese antiques, vessels and ceramics are the most popular and highly prized. Precious porcelains that date back to the Ming Dynasty were made in the porcelain town of Jingdezhen, Jianxi Province. They are considered the most superior of all the antiquities from the region.

These distinctive blue and white jars and vessels are characterized by intricate depictions of daily life, nature, and the times. Art and antiquities experts describe them as elaborate compositions that “convey and glorify that majesty and benevolence of the Ming Dynasty.” At Sotheby’s, avid collectors of blue and white Ming porcelain can access these precious pieces of Chinese art. Through the work and research of its global Chinese Ceramics and Works of art department, the revered auction house has managed to grow a collection of over 1,300 rare porcelains and antiques. Bidders from all over the world can also access these iconic gems through dedicated live and online auctions. 


INDIAN BONE INLAY is an ancient art form that originated in the Rajasthan region of India. These meticulously handcrafted pieces, similar to marquetry, were first made solely for the royal palaces and maharajas. This revered craft has been passed down through generations, taking at least a month to reach completion. The meticulous process begins with shaping of fragmented bones into the design. Each shaped bone is then attached onto the surface, piece by piece. To fill the empty spaces and create evenness on the surface, colored resin is poured as the finishing layer. The result is a mosaic-like visual narrative that brings centuries of culture and art to life.

As more modern homes adapt to minimalist and contemporary sensibilities, designs for bone inlay furniture have also evolved. Artisera, a curated space for Indian furniture, antiques, and fine art from India, showcases a more contemporary take on bone inlay furniture. Decidedly streamlined and intended for living spaces of today, patterns are more subdued and geometric. Often, they draw from the shapes and forms of the art deco movement. Similarly, color ways hint at modern French interior design palettes. From bedside tables, to consoles and lower coffee tables, the modern iterations of inlay furniture are striking accents that lend eclectic flair to well-designed spaces.   


JAPANESE SILKS AND OBIS echo an approach to luxury that is distinct only to Japan. Instead of gold and gems, the affluent were have said to distinguish themselves through the kimonos and fabrics they wore. These beautifully woven and embroidered silks, referred to as Nishijin were regarded as jewelry and used to dressed nobles of Kyoto’s imperial courts. There are countless other tales, best told through silks, kimono, and obis, that echo Japan’s rich history. While these narratives go as far back as 1,200 years, they continue to live on through emerging designers.

Mikan, an up-and-coming sustainable brand founded by French designer Clementine Sandner, was born out of a passion for antique Japanese kimonos. Since relocating to Japan in 2016, the founder and designer has been collecting pre-loved textiles from across the region and repurposing them into beautiful pieces. Clementine shares, “In Japan, as in most countries, the younger generations tend to lose interest in national costumes. With the modernization of Japan, people switched to western clothing, leaving behind beautiful and precious hand-woven fabrics, resulting of a precious heritage passed on through generations. Mikan looks at these discarded kimono and obi like treasures from the past and brings them back into a new life.”

Although primarily a maker of bags, Mikan has recently expanded into the home décor realm. Panels of rare kimonos or silks are hung all throughout the Kyoto-based studio. Like landscape paintings, they light up the space and serve as windows to the past. Clementine adds, “I wanted to create pieces that also decorate the room. During an exhibition I had in Kyoto, I hung more than 30 pieces of obi around the gallery so people could walk around the enjoy the beauty of the materials.”


Art Galleries That Enhance Mindful Living

Gallery spaces are where art and its observer can engage and interact. It is also where one can begin to find a sense for mindfulness and conscious thought. 

Cuturi Gallery

A next-generation gallery in Singapore, dedicated to nurturing the Lion City’s art scene, CUTURI is challenging the conventional dynamics within the art world. The team begins, “Unfettered by conventions of the traditional art gallery model, founder Kevin Troyano Cuturi united his love for art with a disruptive entrepreneurial passion to challenge the norms and bring fresh perspective to invigorate the industry.”

Cuturi believes in art as a medium for empowerment and meaningful living. To achieve this, the team takes on the role as “curator of change and custodian of artistic diversity.” Breaking free from the usual processes and practices of most galleries, they endeavor to establish a mindset for transparency, inclusivity and openness. The team adds, “We connect broad audiences to high quality art by diverse talents that speaks to the heart and tells the story of an undiscovered generation of aspiring artists.” 

When it comes to promoting mindful living or spaces, the CUTURI team chooses to walk the talk. They’ve started from within their organization in hopes of inspiring other stakeholders in the community to follow suit. “We present an inclusive and democratized art ecosystem, that fosters collaboration, understanding and appreciation among artists, collectors and the industry at large.” In harnessing an industry that thrives on support and cooperation, art collectors are able to bring home a works of art made, exhibited and sold following the very ideals of mindfulness. After all, our private spaces and the art in it reflect the energy with which we surround ourselves. 

Manila, Philippines

Established in 2010, Salcedo Auctions is the premiere auction house in the Philippines specializing in fine art, decorative art, jewellery and other collectibles. Its team has played an integral role in supporting the appreciation and understanding of various art forms from all over the globe. Salcedo does not only work with seasoned collectors and acclaimed critics of the art world. They have also harnessed a sense of community that welcomes new enthusiasts through its subsidiary brand, Gavel & Block. 

Since moving to a new and expansive space at the Mezzanine of the NEX Tower, Salcedo has continued to mount exhibitions and seasonal auctions to fit a wider range of art collectors. Through these creative engagements, the team hopes to match treasure works of art with new homes and enthusiasts. The partners at Salcedo share, “We always look at art in the context of space—whether it’s in our homes, in a gallery as part of an exhibition, or even online as part of a visual show. An art work inevitably interacts with the space you place it in and has a lot to with a piece’s size. Is it big enough to engulf you? Or is it small enough that you need to step closer to be drawn in?” Color palette and subject matter also factor into how an artwork can make its viewers feel and how it ultimately affects your space. And while these intimate interactions between art, viewer and space may vary, the team advices, “Generally, when you find the perfect piece that fits your space—and you’ll know this when an artwork seems to anchor the room instead of overpowering it—it will naturally lead to people feeling at ease in the space.”

There is no one definite rule or guide to creating calm through art, asserts the esteemed curators at Salcedo. “It ultimately depend on the person, and that’ the beauty of collecting in general. Historically—and psychologically—however, certain colors really do lend themselves to creating more calm, peaceful atmospheres.” Exhibits that complete a home while giving back to community also add a sense of mindfulness to the art journey. Salcedo’s Gavel & Block will open the bidding floor on July 24 for its much-awaited “Interiors” auction. “It is another opportunity to find pieces that will fit into your home. For this sale, we’re excited to be working with local charity organization, Hands on Manila, raising funds to support its community development programs.”

Hong Kong

An emerging space that carries fine art pieces from around Asia, Soluna Fine Art aims to revitalize passion and interest for Eastern design and philosophy. Its founder, Rachel Lee, had the intention of taking Asian contemporary artworks to the international arena when the doors of Soluna Fine Art opened. At the same time, the founder also had a vision for ringing in mindfulness through a curated selection of works that harnesses good energy, intention, and inspiration. 

Rachel explains, “Artworks that harmonize with a space can add a wealth of experiences that awaken an individual’s psychological inspiration beyond the synthetic experience created by design… When choosing an art piece with considerations to the space, it is important to first understand the characteristics and purpose of the space. This is because each work of art is a product of the energy created by the artist and has its own physical properties.”

Art, regardless of size, medium or genre, is food for the soul. When filling our homes or private spaces with art works, we essentially welcome new energy. Rachel expounds, “Space designs and reflects our lives. Humans create different thoughts, energy and inspiration depending on what kind of ambience they are in.” Case in point, the current solo exhibit of Kim Young-Hun at the gallery drawing inspiration from our experience of the digital world. 

Aptly dubbed, Ripple Ripple, this showcase of oil paintings uses vibrant colors and energetic strokes (using a leather brush) to convey modern perspectives or points of view. Each canvas is filled with colors and forms that convey one’s take on the ever-changing digital world. Although inspired by a new and faster way of living driven by technology, the exhibition “retains a kind of peaceful composition of Asian art.”

Cuturi Gallery

Salcedo Auctions

Soluna Fine Art

Corporate Wellness Practices

The global pandemic has affected everyone in many ways and has been a fundamental shift in the advancement of Corporate Wellness. For many employees, the health crisis ushered in significant changes to the workplace, with a major shift to remote work, heightening health consciousness as a prioritynot just physically but also emotionally and mentally as well.

In response to this shift, companies have given in-depth focus to their employees’ holistic wellbeing through designing and managing wellness initiatives that will boost the productivity output of team members, foster mental and emotional health, improve physical wellbeing, and make them comfort in all areas of life—including work.

Why invest in corporate wellness programs?

As Sarah Kalmeta, Success Coach and head of Pivot Point, shares, “At the end of the day, your business is run by people, and happy people are productive people and productive people are happy people. By taking care of your people, your business will see reduced costs, reduced stress, lower turnover, greater productivity, increased morale, and improved employee and client relationships. Corporate wellness programs are shown to have a positive impact on both the employer and employee.”

How does corporate wellness play a role in the effectiveness of a team/business?

Judy Xu, life coach and owner of Balance Health Hong Kong, shares that wellness programs are an integral part of business and how keeping the employees happy, motivated, and engaged equates to high productivity and overall business performance.

“It used to be the case that working as a team towards a common goal made everyone happy. But nowadays, millennials in particular, have a clear sense of purpose in their work and are aware of how the company can take care of them.

Our approach to corporate wellness is to take a holistic view of our employees’ work lives as well as their lives in general, and by taking care of their mental and physical health, we can align their life purpose with the company’s purpose while increasing their satisfaction and fulfillment at work. As a result, we aim to improve the productivity of our employees and teams and their ability to solve problems.

What kind of corporate wellness programs are currently being executed considering COVID-19?

The five elements theory categorizes everything in nature into wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Thiz Traditional Chinese Medicine wellness program, which includes meridian exercises that help to balance each of these elements, is very effective in boosting the immune system. This self-healing workout is designed to unblock major meridian (energy pathways in the body) and stimulate the circulation of ‘Qi’. Practices such as meridian stretching, acupressure, and meditation with singing bowls, and lead to a healthy body and mind.

Also recommended are interactive, remote workshops that can be practiced at home. These are designed to take care of mental fatigue, strengthen connections within teams, and maintain wellness in the workplace. Breathing techniques, self-awareness, mindset, meditation, and moderate exercise can all help you take control of the mental fatigue one experiences when working from home.

By implementing a situational wellness program, companies can create a healthier work environment for their employees. This allows for maximum performance, high productivity, and minimized economic loss.

Wellness Retreat Destinations in Asia

The Global Pandemic has made a huge impact to all of us in different ways and wellness has been one of the industries that found opportunity in these challenging times.  Many people have been craving for relaxation and recovery. The importance of wellbeing and immunity has been a priority for most and the demand for wellness retreats has been high.

And while there are a variety of ways to relax, there is nothing quite like a luxury wellness retreat to relax the mind, body and spirt. Asia’s luxury health resorts are now re-aligning their holistic wellness programs to support one’s wellness journey. Whether you are dreaming of the sea, the sand, or the mountains there is a wellness holiday to suit your needs.

Life Reset at Nay Palad, Philippines

Naturally sheltered on the southeastern tip of the island of Siargao, an hour flight from Manila.  The hideaway is nestled between two distinct marine ecosystems where guests can enjoy the serene isolation of these untouched beaches that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

You can bask by the pool in hanging pods scattered around this sanctuary and lounge all day at the private bay. You can also cap off the night at the outdoor bar, play around trampoline in the afternoon and choose to spend mornings in two pagodas – one in the mangroves and one in the sea. A relaxing treat awaits you in this unique spa which is adorned with handwoven fixtures and is particularly atmospheric at night.

Nay Palad takes pride in their wellness treatments at the Boathouse pavilion where they offer yoga meditation outdoors.  Their resort has a functional gym area and offers a relaxing ‘Hilot’ massage, a traditional Filipino massage, acclaimed for its healing properties. Luxury at its finest, Nay Palad highlights open-air living and sustainability, harmoniously merging traditional architecture, contemporary interior design, and breathtaking nature all in one luxury experience.

Holistic Retreat at Chiva Som, Thailand

Chiva Som, an award-winning Luxury wellness destination in Asia, exudes modern interior design featuring 54 exquisite rooms, including traditional Thai Pavilions to curate an authentic experience. 

Located along the Gulf of Thailand and straddling over seven acres of greenery of Hua Hin, Chiva-Som offers a variety of newly renovated ocean rooms and suites highlighting warm tones and made out of natural materials. Each villa comprises a dining area, dressing room, mini pantry, and two toilets. They take pride in customer-centric service and personalization to create a unique experience. Travelers can choose their desired scent of oil burners, the amenities in their bathrooms, and even the linen and pillows used inside the bedroom depending on their preference.

Chiva Som is also known to offer one of the best wellness programs in Asia. Bask in their indulgent and thorough wellness retreat, accompanied by the invigorating holistic healing programs facilitated by some of the world’s best medical practitioners.  Their wellness offerings include detox, yoga, fitness, physiotherapy and weight management designed to guide personal transformation.

Remote Healing in Como Shambala Estate, Indonesia

Set in the lush rainforests of Ubud, Como Shambala Estate is widely known as “luxury retreat for change” featuring state-of-the-art, residential-style accommodations aiming to spring an optimistic ambiance of healing and lifestyle changes.

Tucked in by the splendor of the tropical jungle, they offer healing experiences with highly trained wellness experts such as life coaches, energy healers, yoga masters, and nutritionists, all there to help one achieve a healthy mind, body and spirit while connecting with nature.

The villas and suites are located around the 23-acre site to craft a restful and serene environment. Each room is furnished with natural wood furniture, including an alfresco terrace, and semi-outdoor bathrooms. Unwind by the outdoor pool, explore paradise with guided tours, or book massage therapy and other wellness treatments customized to give visitors a memorable experience. 


UNESCO Heritage Sites to Visit when Travel Allows

Our travel bucket lists are put on hold for a while due to the global pandemic, and as lockdowns are slowly lifting, and as countries will hopefully begin reopening their borders, we are all looking forward to traveling again. This experience teaches us to be mindful of our environment and how we can create a catalyst in preserving cultural heritage for the next generation to explore.

Enjoy a relaxing and environmentally conscious stay by visiting these UNESCO Heritage sites that can inspire your next adventure when travel permits, featuring outstanding architectural wonders of cultural and historical value.

Taj Mahal India

A symbolic icon of India’s affluent history, the embodiment of Mughal architecture at its finest, this ivory-white mausoleum, with its bizarre luster and texture, is a true “monument of love” built by Shah Jahan to mourn the death of his beloved wife. The monument covers an area of 42 acres surrounded by lush green gardens, lovely pools, and fountains.

The chief designer of this mesmerizing union of Indian, Islamic, and Persian architectural styles was Ustad Ahmad, who was an architect in the court of Shah Jahan from Lahore. ‘A teardrop on the cheek of eternity’ is how the famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore described one of the most fascinating architectural marvels in the world.

Kiyomizu-dera (Japan)

One of the most visited and celebrated temples in Kyoto named after a sacred waterfall located on the hillside which means “Pure Water Temple” (Kiyo-mizu-dera). It features a distinctive wooden stage complex made of 168 pillars and offers an exceptional panoramic view of Kyoto rising from a sea of maple trees.

The main sanctuary of this temple is what makes it iconic. The wooden structure of this building that overhangs the mountain is called “Kiyomizu no Butai”. The worship hall is supported underneath by a complex weave of wooden beams. One of the highlights of Kiyomizu-dera is the Koyasu, a notable three-story pagoda inspired by Momoyama architecture, originally designed to house sacred texts and relics.

Potala Palace (Tibet)

The historic ensemble of the Potala Palace symbolizes the pinnacle of Tibetan architecture with gold roofs soar high above the town and rise more than 300 meters above the bottom of the valley. Situated on the red hill in the northwest of Lhasa, this grand architectural heritage site covers an area of over 360,000 square meters and is a complex of palaces, castles, and temples which is at the highest elevation, of the largest scale, and is the most well-preserved.

The main structure measures 400 meters by 350 meters. Its sloping stone walls covered in clay aver 3 to 5 meters thick. Molten copper was poured into the foundations in order to protect the building against earthquakes.

Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

Angkor Wat, a classic example of Khmer architecture consisting of pyramids and concentric corridors, is located deep in the Cambodian forest and its magnificent spires are the pride of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat sits in the midst of a vast archaeological complex of more than 400 square kilometers, and its hundreds of ruins use about 10 million pieces of stone weighing 1.5 tons, more than the pyramids of Egypt. The iconic lotus-shaped skyscrapers, vast walls, and endless corridors are adorned with ornate carvings. These sculptures represent historical events and folklore stories of Angkor Wat. The World Heritage Site is not only a global masterpiece that combines human creativity and cultural significance, but also a way to boost tourism and the local economy.

The World Heritage Site is not only a global masterpiece that combines human creativity and cultural significance, but also a way to boost tourism and the local economy.


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