The traditional Chinese lanterns soul is made of wires, perfectly handcrafted by an artisan who has spent years and years looking for the ideal balance between every single wire of the thousands which composes it.
Mr. Zhao is an old Beijinger artisan, who has learnt this art from his grandfather. His manual skills reached the top in the tradition, and Atlas Design Studio used his ability to create new designs bringing wires and illuminations to new steps. These new lamps are now in the most avantgarde hotels and private places of Beijing, and Mr. Zhao and Atlas are now developing new application to bring this artisan skills into new lives.
Our three kind of tea leaves – white, red, and pu’er – have inspired three special tea-containers, each wired with a different metal and with a peculiar pattern. It sums-up everything we are looking for our mountain and our leaves, an open sharing that leaves us so enriched.
I personally spent several hours with Mr. Zhao, trying to learn how to build a [potential] wired lantern, in the shadow of an old hutong, with the rain outside, the humid smell that blew in from the interstices in the wooden windows, and the solid feel of the thin iron wire marking my fingers, wire after wire. It was a peaceful, slow, serene, micro but steady improvement movement after movement, that lead eventually to an object.