The marketplace for designers and Makers in Vietnam
But, where does Agnes Thierry, founder of Agnes Thierry CeramicSouls brand lives in Saigon? Agnes found in love with this Saigonese Penthouse located in a quiet but lively and central area close to the cafes, galleries and good shopkeepers in Dist 2. The apartment has an elegant but sober decoration where you feel rightfully incredibly well. A space with an atypical design, authentic and delicate, open with a pleasant view on the urban nature. It seemed to offer the “plan” she and her husband wanted. The artist has recreated there an atmosphere in her image, mixing furniture and objects found in different styles and genres, pieces of designers, memories .. While she has just dragged some of her creations in her living room, she opens us the doors of her apartment. The interview begins.
Agnes, How long do you live in the City?
We settled in Saigon in December 2015. For professional reasons, it was a good time for us to leave Hong Kong where we lived for 11 years our first expatriation. My husband is Artistic Director and at the time was leading a team for L’Oréal. For eight years he was in charge of the Asia Pacific region, developing Design Shops for all the Luxury brands of the group and then took over the management of the design for the Australian brand Jurlique. Finally, he created his company in interior design and Retail Design: LAB:OM. On my side, I was working as Designer in Free-lance in Hong Kong. I used to developed collections for brands. In parallel, I explored the ceramic world. A Chinese master trained me, and I quickly began to develop a Collection resulting from my past experiences and knowledge. Live in Saigon was a turning point for us both, who naturally pushed us to change our way of life. The choice to settle in Vietnam came naturally from our attraction to the Vietnamese culture and meetings with people. The energy of the country and all the possibilities it offers to rebound and blossom pushed us also to come here.
How would you describe your home? If you had to describe his style in one word?
For me to develop a living space is an intuitive approach. The house is a reflection of our personality. The first thing is to choose the place according to its priorities. Personally, I need light, to see the sky, like a “climate theater” continually moving. I also need physical and visual perspectives allowing me to move from the inside to the outside. So open windows on the outside, terrace or balcony are essential. The choice of the furniture and objects is made somewhere unconsciously but says a lot about who we are. I like to surround myself with objects and furniture that have a link with my past, no matter the mix of styles, to mix the modern with old, the New Age with Baroque or even with the Kitsch or with objects picked up by chance on a beach or in the forest. I like elements like wood, water, glass, metal, stone, earth, and so neutral colors as chestnuts, beige, white, grey, black and gold or copper brass. These last colors have to appear only in rare spots here and there. I do not like to overload, so I have to choose with a relatively minimalist spirit.
Which room do you prefer in your home?
The place you’re feeling the most relaxed?
After a day spent standing up in my studio, I need to relax and lay down, on the living room’s sofa watching the clouds pass…This place brings a soothing atmosphere and a promise for relaxation.
Could you show us something we can only find in your home and nowhere else?
I love to surround myself with particular pieces of my ceramic creations, which are designed with the desire above all to decorate my home. They are the result of years of maturing experience and elements that have always inspired me.
Thus I create tirelessly with materials like rock, wood, textures like fiber, cells, still trying to control and even to exaggerate the small accident, the imperfection coming of the natural state of the material, going straight to the point, without overload or frills. My motto: “let the inspiration come to the evidence, and make each ceramic piece perfectly imperfect.” Since I am autonomous with a functional art space and my electric ceramic Kiln, I produce enough now to sale to the public.
Do you have a deco idea not expensive, maybe a DIY you were particularly proud of?
Yes, there are many objects that I created myself, transformed or diverted from their original function, like the metal furniture in the living room which was a dark-green painted office furniture found at a flea market that I had sandblasted, then rusted in an accelerated manner using various corrosive products. In the end, it looks like wood and is very amazing.
Where do you find your inspiration, your ideas?
As I describe it above, more than nature itself, elements coming from earth inspire me. Andy Goldsworthy was my master as one of the forerunners of Land Art. I discovered him when I was a student at the School of Art and Design in Paris; I have all his illustrated books and hundreds of photos. His approach is to use the elements collected in nature and to sublimate them with respect, and that’s absolutely incredible! I realize not long ago that my artworks’ was inspired a bit by my unconscious inspiration for Mr. Goldsworthy’s works.
What was your last decadent buy?
When I was living in Paris, I had a huge crush for the work of an artist not very well known at the time but stuffed with talent. She exhibited in Japan a collection of “shields” in Laque, just when I got a good business contract as young Designer. This money allowed me to acquire this first piece of art. Since that day, this lacquered piece sits majestically in the middle of the lounge and follows us everywhere.
Do you have any new deco project?
Everyone creates his space according to his priorities, whether they are functional (practical), aesthetic (pure deco), or symbolic (memories). My next deco project is to place curtains for functional reasons because the light is often too intense in the living room and the dining room. They will also bring a final touch. Still, I hesitate between curtains in light material able to move with the wind, (I like this effect of movement) or wooden blinds, maybe warmer and ready to creates wonderful shadows on the white walls…
SoNice – 42 Lý Tự Trọng, Dist 1, HCMC
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