Exuding mystery and magic, oriental art and design are the height of elegance. Whether you choose a traditional Japanese print from our V&A collection, or opt for a contemporary artist inspired by the motifs and symbolism from the Orient, there are many ways to interpret the trend. Read on for expert advice on how to get the look.
Kimonos, opulent silks and patterns are synonymous with oriental elegance. Bring this luxurious look to your walls by choosing prints of fabrics or textile designs. Don’t be afraid to use bold colours. Not only will they look fabulous, they might even have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Reds and purples, for example, are believed to bring prosperity and happiness. Complete the look with bright soft-furnishings in mix-and-match patterns.
According to Japanese Zen Buddhism “Quiet the mind and the soul will speak”. Calm your busy mind and create a peaceful environment with delicate prints in neutral, papery colours. Give your room a clear, balanced focal point by opting for a single print in a large size, or team a collection of prints with a display of neutral ceramics.
Being in harmony with nature is key to the art of Feng Shui, which has been practiced across Asia for thousands of years. Introduce the elements to your interior by choosing prints featuring water, wood, bamboo or flowers. The lotus is an especially popular motif in oriental art, as the flower is considered a symbol of purity and divinity in many eastern religions.
The geishas and their rituals represent a rich Japanese artistic heritage. ‘Geisha’ roughly translates as artist (‘Gei’ meaning art, and ‘sha’ person), and they are usually trained in classical music, dance and the art of conversation. Known for their unrivalled beauty and feminine power, prints featuring geishas bring a fabulous oriental flair to the home.
Adding traditional eastern furnishings, such as dark-stained, lacquered wooden cabinets, porcelain vases or silk screens, is a classic way to evoke the atmosphere of the Far East. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century “ukiyo-e” woodblock prints by famous masters like Hokusai and Hiroshige perfectly complement a classic oriental look.
The ceramics industry has long flourished in East Asia, with some of the oldest pottery traced back to 20,000 BCE. Bring traditional ceramics culture to your walls with a painting of an ornate oriental vase. For a beautiful contemporary work, look to Wilma Stone for limited edition pieces that celebrate and question porcelain history and tradition.