AD: FEATURE – EAST & WEST @ POP-UP BEIJING 安邸：话题 – 东方遇见西方 @ POP-UP BEIJING
“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
“我们深深热爱的地方就是家 – 无论走到多远，她都系着我们的心。”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
To celebrate the year of the Rooster, Architectural Digest – AD – featured four different Chinese Spring Festival family dinner table settings, including one with the POP-UP BEIJING family. Check out pictures of our special table settings below – including an English translation of the text. A huge thanks to AD Editor and Stylist Chen Jin, Photography team Phillipe le Berre and Zhao An, and Writer Wenting. Bon appetit, and Happy Chinese New Year to all!
为庆祝2017鸡年农历新年，安邸杂志为大家展示了四席风格各异，喜庆美好的团圆家宴，其中就包含POP-UP BEIJING! 想知道我们的春节餐桌是什么样子的吗？答案就在下方图片文章里哟，中英双语，希望大家喜欢！在这里特别感谢安邸编辑兼造型师金晨，摄影师Phillipe le Berre、赵安以及文章作者雯婷。祝您新年幸福快乐，好胃口！
EAST & WEST
In the 70s, after a trip to Hong Kong, Glenn’s parents brought a set of mahjong back to New Zealand. From that time on, whenever there is a holiday, there was also the ‘click-clack’ sound of mahjong in Glenn’s family!
“I felt like my family was the only one in New Zealand that played mahjong,” says Glenn Schuitman, our dear Dutch-Kiwi friend, and also the host of this special Chunjie family gathering at POP-UP BEIJING. To make this day special, Glenn dug deep into his wardrobe the previous night, for his grandfather’s vintage red shirt, to wear together with a ring which used to belong to his father. Although his family is far away, he still feels the warm memories of the good old times. When talking about the origin of his connection to China, Glenn says it all started with mahjong. When he was still a young boy, Glenn’s parents often travelled around the world. In the 70s, after a trip to Hong Kong, Glenn’s parents brought a set of mahjong back to New Zealand. From that time on, whenever there was a holiday, there was also the ‘click-clack’ sound of mahjong in Glenn’s family! “To be honest, I never truly figured out why my parents played mahjong back in New Zealand, where nobody else played it.” Reflecting on this warm childhood memory, Glenn smiled thoughtfully: “Maybe this is what people call ‘destiny’.”
As time passed, Glenn’s interest in China grew with him, as he started to collect Chinese antiques, and learn more about Chinese culture. Eventually, what triggered him to make a life here in China was his first trip to Beijing, “I was traveling around China at the time, and Beijing was the last stop of my journey. I fell in love with this magic city the moment my feet landed here, and decided to stay for another week, then I convinced myself to stay another month – from week to month, month to year, I never thought I would eventually become a ‘Beijinger,’ and yet now I’ve lived here more than ten years.” The depth and fascination of Beijing not only nourished Glenn with its ancient culture, but also inspired him to pursue his life passion for design, with like-minded friends. When he first met business partner Vito – an Interior Architect – around four years ago, they soon discovered a mutual understanding for both life and design, and decided to create a place together that allowed them to express their shared perspective on quality living. Out of this grew POP-UP BEIJING.
It will soon be Glenn’s 11th anniversary living in Beijing, and the Chinese Spring Festival has become one of the most important annual celebrations in his life. Chunjie has a very unique meaning to him, when compared with the Western traditions of Christmas or the Roman calendar New Year. Glenn believes that Chunjie is not just a one-day festival, but also an actual physical seasonal change, and a celebration of life. “In the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, starting from the 23rd of December [in 2017, equivalent to 20 January in the Roman calendar] all the way to the Lantern Festival on 15th of January [in 2017, equivalent to 11 February in the Roman calendar], every single day has a different meaning and related traditions, so it takes a lot more time for people to prepare, and to celebrate. In addition, The Chinese Spring Festival also brings the transition to the next Chinese Zodiac, and the beginning of a new spring. It represents closure of the previous year, and a fresh start for the future.” Of course, there are similarities between Chinese Chunjie and Western Christmas, and that is the family reunion, “Whether you are in the East or the West, there’s always a special time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company.”
Glenn has spent the last few Spring Festivals in Beijing, and although he still does not speak good Chinese, he has already become somewhat of a local. During Chunjie Eve, he usually goes to a friend’s house to make dumplings, cook Chinese dishes, and feast together while watching the CCTV Spring Festival Party, and – of course – enjoy a couple of shots of Chinese Baijiu! After dinner, it’s mahjong time, and even if Glenn doesn’t win much, he still enjoys this game full of happy childhood memories. It’s become a tradition for Glenn to watch the CCTV Spring Festival Gala with friends, “last year, I watched the entire show – from beginning to the end, and my friends were somewhat surprised that I am so curious about Chinese culture.” He also shared one of his special experiences of celebrating Chunjie: riding his bike alone around the city of Beijing, like a silent spectator, watching the hustle and bustle of a city literally exploding with happiness and celebration. In watching Beijing during each Spring Festival, Glenn experiences the height of festivities in China, and it always touches his heart, while also helping him to understand Chinese culture more deeply.
At the end of this interview, we opened a bottle of Champagne to celebrate. Glenn made a toast, as the lovely bubbles arose in the glass: “Although I never spend Chunjie with my own family, Beijing is now my second home, and all my dear friends here are clearly also my close family.”
Photographer: Philippe le Berre
Photo Coordinator: Zhao An
Stylists: Chen Jin & Glenn Schuitman
Editors: Wenting & Chen Jin
Chunjie Decoration Tips from Glenn
1. East meets West: in this scene, I wish to show how easily ‘East meets West,’ with simple yet elegant western elements – like plants and flowers – combined together with traditional Chinese food. This Chunjie gathering to me is not only a reunion with friends, but also a union of different styles and ideas, it’s a dining table that truly represents the beauty of East and West together.
2. Communication and brainstorming: here we specially invited several of our talented and uniquely skilled friends to join us. Graffiti artist Lin Xi especially painted these artworks, combining traditional Chinese New Year posters with a modern witty street style, to give a feeling of Chunjie from his perspective; and jewellery designer Gengyi shares several of his extraordinary headpieces, which have been used in several famous Chinese costume dramas, and elevate the style of the dining table with a sense of drama. We wanted the styling of the whole scene to be sophisticated without being boring.
“我们家可能是新西兰唯一会打麻将的家庭”，荷兰和新西兰混血的主人Glenn Schuitman一边整理麻将，一边笑着打趣。他10年前从新西兰来到中国生活，为了这次的春节餐桌主题派对，他前夜翻箱倒柜找出祖父穿过的红衬衣，又戴上曾属于父亲的戒指，如此一来， 即便远隔万里，也感觉像和家人在一起。Glenn与中国的缘分，还真是从麻将开始的。年少时期，父母常年去世界各地旅行，上世纪70年代旅行至香港，竟“鬼使神差”买了一副麻将带回新西兰，还学会了基本玩法。从那时起，他便和很多中国人一样有了一段与麻将有关的少年回忆—每逢佳节，家里便传来热闹的麻将声! “我也想不明白父母为什么爱打麻将，当地没人玩这个，”他乐呵呵地讲述着这段小插曲，又若有所思地说，“命中注定吧!”
如今Glenn已在中国生活了11年，中国的春节已然成为他心目中最重要的节日之一。从他的视角来看，中国的春节与西方的圣诞节、 新年，有着非常不一样的气质。他认为，西方的圣诞节或新年，只是几个时间点上的节庆日，然后人们很快就回归正常生活了; 而中国的春节，却是一段长长的时间轨、一个传统节气上的循环、一个层层递进的欢聚时光。他如此解释:“在农历节气表上，从过小年到元宵节，每 一天都有着不同的意义和内容，人们需要更长的时间去准备，并长久沉浸在辞旧迎新的喜悦中。而且，中国春节还意味着生肖的转换、春天的到来，既是承上启下，也孕育着一段新生活的开始。”当然，在他眼中圣诞、新年与春节也有相似之处，那便是回家团聚，“我觉得似乎每一种文化中都有一个节日，是让人们和家人、朋友聚在一起的。”
这几年的春节，Glenn都留在北京度过，尽管他的中文不太好， 但生活方式已然是个“中国通”。大年三十，他通常会去好朋友的家里做客，大家就着电视里喜气洋洋的背景音乐一起包饺子，朋友再贡献几道拿手好菜，美美地吃一顿，喝上几杯中国白酒，真是爽快。 吃完饭，必不可少会打上几圈麻将，Glenn无奈地抱怨自己的牌技“几乎就没赢过”。更多的时候，是大家聚在一起看电视，他感叹地说:“去年，我甚至和他们一起看完了整场春节联欢晚会，朋友们对我的中文听力水平都惊讶了!”他还兴奋地讲起一个自己专属的庆贺方式: 骑着自行车环绕北京城，像一个安静的旁观者，去看满城的烟火，看人们如何庆祝，却并不感到孤独。虽然中国人自己都觉得年味越来越淡了，但在Glenn眼中却是很浓，穿行在这浓浓的东方欢乐中，反而让他更深刻、直观地了解到中国文化和中国人的生活方式。
摄影师：Philippe Le Berre
造型师：金晨 和 Glenn Schuitman
2. 集思广益:我们特地请来了几位“各怀绝技” 的好朋友。林溪是涂鸦艺术家，他创作了几幅带有传统年画韵味却极其现代诙谐的涂鸦作品，过年的味道一下子就出来了; 庚艺是饰品设计师，曾为很多知名电视剧创作过古代头饰，他也将自己的作品带来，摆在餐桌上，成为提升气氛 的点睛之笔。整体呈现的效果很有趣。
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