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Quick Takes With: Spencer Fung

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Quick Takes With: Spencer Fung

June 2, 2024
spencer fung portrait by sarah weal 17

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“My work is all about work in process,” Spencer Fung told us over a cup of coffee a few years back. “Stop: Don’t cover it up. It’s so beautiful, with shadow and light.”

The self-described naturalistic architect, artist, and furniture designer begins and ends with the land, whether he’s painting or designing a home, an English pub, or a spa. And that means making the natural world—and all its textures, materials, and imperfections—evident in everything he does: think hand-hewn wood, collected stones, plaster that shows the trail of the hands that applied it. Spencer takes the same approach in his art: “I make abstract paintings with local natural pigments that I collect, like local clay, minerals, and foraged plant inks,” he says. “This is my way to connect to the land and the landscape. I hope to raise awareness to restore our fragile nature.”

Today, the Hong Kong-born, London-based architect/artist shares the book on his bedside table, go-to sheets, and the three things he never leaves the house without…

a glimpse of spencer&#8\2\17;s art (this from his \20\20 show &#8\2\20; 28
Above: A glimpse of Spencer’s art (this from his 2020 show “Hidden Lines”).

You’re invited to dinner. What are you bringing?

A homemade jar of seasonal pesto or chutney and a bottle of our foraged elderflower cordial.

What’s on your bedside table?

A large black pebble that I hand polished.

What’s your desert island design/art/architecture-related book?

Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin.

What playlist do you put on when you need inspiration?

Cesária Évora and Verdi.

What’s a film or TV show whose aesthetic has stuck with you?

All nature programs by David Attenborough, my hero.

collected finds in spencer&#8\2\17;s london home (see: slow architecture: a 29
Above: Collected finds in Spencer’s London home (see: Slow Architecture: An Elegant, Monochrome Home in London by Spencer Fung.) Photograph by Richard Powers.

Which Instagram account do you go to for design inspiration?

@hiddenscotland.

My favorite sheets are…

Vintage linen.

My favorite paint color for the bedroom is…

Natural hand-polished plaster in a bone color.

First design love?

All sculptures and sketches by Henry Moore. He lived locally in Hampstead, London.

Quick Takes With Spencer Fung portrait 7 30
Above: Spencer’s work.

Three words that describe my design style:

Natural, simple, local.

Favorite design shop to visit (online or in person)?

Christopher Farr.

What is the last thing you purchased for your house?

A hedging plant for the garden.

I don’t leave the house without…

My sketchbook, graphite, and pencils.

Thank you, Spencer! Follow his work via Spencer Fung Architects and on Instagram @spencerfung_architects and @spencerfung_art. You can also see his exhibit of paintings, “Regeneration”, with works created in the aftermath of forest fires, at Ralph Pucci in NYC; and a launch of three new rugs coming up at the Christopher Farr Chelsea Showroom in London.

N.B.: Featured photograph by Sarah Weal.

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