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FAYE WEI WEI

 


FAYE WEI WEI wearing the Antonietta cardigan no.002. She is an artist living in London, England.

What takes you to cloud 9?
Spaghetti for breakfast.

What’s for Sunday dinner?
Sundays have such a special mood like an opal. I live near pudding lane and all the streets are cobbled and the street lamps gleam golden. The best sunday dinner...beef wellington at the Grenadier paired with London pride, or a candle lit dinner at Andrew Edmunds, or if I'm lucky maybe a long luxurious dinner party at Jago and Lowena's place surrounded by their candles and love and wine and wine and cheese and wine...and three different kinds of butter...and Lo's cakes, more beautiful than two swans dancing in love seen alone through the keyhole of a secret garden at night silent in dew...and a perfect roast piglet.

Do you have a soundtrack to your life?
Honestly I love Laura Marling so much.

What is good design?
Those antique musical boxes with the little mechanical birds that sing and quiver around, or anything by JB Blunk, the beautifully expressed feelings in a single piece of clay with emotion pressed into its material by his hands, rolled up the sides or pinched into pots, they are so divine. Or a feather. When I was etching the other day Colin told me that you use feathers to disturb the bubbles on the surface of the acid, he has a big pot of lovely raggedy brown feathers.

Where do you find good design?
I would wander around with Adrián and Julian in Vienna! One day I bumped into them at a flea market and we snuck into an apartment building and walked to the very top, it was so wonderful the art nouveau details made the elevator look like a precious box with flowers in bloom and intertwined around it, the lights looked like little cakes made of moon and the stairs curved and swirled its way up like the curly bits that grow off the stems of garden pea plants. I couldn't believe that people live in and amongst such beauty.

What does your house smell like?
Oil paint.

What does your house sound like?
My family, nattering in cantonese.

What is dear to your heart?
Hong Kong, my cantonese food culture, roast duck and rice.

What do you collect?
Photographs people have taken of the sea that I find in junk shops in new york. I love the idea of us all finding the ocean so overwhelmingly beautiful that we must pocket some of its luck in a photograph. Sometimes you can't tell at first what is the sea and what is the sky, just the tension of the line in between them, which I often think of when I think of the tension between colours in a painting, vibrating and jostling for attention next to one another to form the planes of colour that make a painting full of feeling. I also collect so many books and old oil paint colours and old paper to draw on and ceramics and antiques and recipes and furniture and pearls and rings and cooking utensils and beautiful plates to decorate your dinner with, and table cloths and different shades of the same red lipstick.

The best arthouse films?
Happy Together is my all time favourite film. It is perfect in my mind, I cry every time I see him crying into the cassette recorder. It is the most poetic poignant heartbreaking thing that takes my heart away--burying words unsaid or secret things of your heart in the silence of your own breathing, heart thumping, lungs filled with thought and sadness. All of Wong Kar Wai's films even though they are full of love, are imbued with awareness that the world and what we love in it will forever keep slipping away from us... Recently too I watched Beanpole, Selfish Giant, Our Little Sister, Le Havre, Little Forest, the fountain scene in la dolce vita and i loved all of these so much.

What thoughts occupy you currently?
My mum just told me that all the chestnuts on the common got blown off the trees before they were ready and ripe!! So we won't be able to forage for chestnuts this year, which is so sad because it's my favourite treat, but actually the fishmonger has a really good batch this season, so big and full of sweet flesh right up to the husk, so maybe it's ok.

What was the first piece of cultural work that really mattered to you?
I remember when me and my brother discovered the radio, we would listen to classical music and write down what we thought the story of the music was. It was our little music club and I would make miniature invitations to listening parties with little envelopes. The music--the lulls and leaps in the velvet blanket of music would wake up our imaginations. I remember, we would think of all the stories and tell them to each other, a white horse running through a field of blue flowers or a bird in flight we thought.

What do you still wish to learn?
How to write a song.

What is your favourite representation of simplicity?
Painting a flower.

What is your favourite representation of complexity?
Painting the interlocking chains in the chain mail part of armour.

What was the last thing you photographed?
Me in this too pretty makes me squeal gorgeous Leorosa cardigan <33

What do you see outside your window?
A huge stained glass window as my home abuts a really old church in old london town - I really have the most special view in all of London. My own private stained glass window that occasionally glitters alight when there is someone singing opera in the church and I can hear her through the stone.

What stands the test of time?
Having dinner with someone you love will never get old and will always be my absolute favourite thing to do, and ordering cheese before pudding and always getting at least three puddings with dessert wine pairing.

Any last words?
I have a book of drawings called 'Hooker's Green Lake' that I made with my friend Manon Lutanie and Cob Gallery, it is coming out next month and it is a lovely little precious thing that is just so simple but is one of the most meaningful things I have ever made and I am just so proud of it! I can't really think of anything else so I hope it's ok for me to mention, thank you for this sweet interview, I think it is clear that I am feeling rather hungry... and I am a little greedy. <3 xxx



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