THE DUO BEHIND LOCAL FURNISHINGS BRAND SCENE SHANG.
Photos VERON WONG art direction YEW XIN YI
Back in their university days, Pamela Ting and Jessica Wong bonded over a fascination of East-meets-West designs and ideas they were exposed to during their internship in Shanghai and travels around China.
Today, Scene Shang is the result of this – the 32-year-olds founded the brand in 2013, and recently launched their shop on Beach Road, along with the Jia Ju collection.
Scene Shang offers contemporary Asian furniture inspired by Asian Art Deco and traditional Chinese styles. The furnishings are designed by Jessica, who has experience in interior and graphic design, while Pamela handles business development. The store also carries decor items from other brands in line with the Scene Shang aesthetic.
What inspires your designs?
Jessica: Ideas and stories shared by people I know, or meet. Also, things that I already know, for example, the memory of my grandmother’s Chinese furniture. It’s about giving a contemporary spin to culturally significant pieces, which connects a lot of people.
Tell us about the Jia Ju collection.
Jessica: Previously, we were designing mostly statement pieces, such as the Shang System (a customisable drawer console), but Jia Ju is a basic dining set. The pieces were inspired through interacting with people, asking them what an heirloom means to them. We focused on the memories evoked by the stories, using particular pieces of furniture that people love. There also is an element of fun in the collection, as seen in the rocking stool and plastic string on the chairs.
What materials do you like to work with?
Pamela: Wood and brass, which are classic materials for Chinese furniture that have been used for centuries. They have a timeless quality – wood is organic and warm, and joinery can be tight without the use of nails. As for brass, it is an element that, like wood, gets better with age. We also like steel and marble, as accents.
What do you look out for when you select items by other brands for the shop?
Pamela: We select them based on the voice of the brand, and things that catch our eye. For example, US brand Middle Kingdom does vases that are inspired by the imperial age and made in a kiln known for doing the finest porcelain and ceramic ware, but the pieces are modern with pastel colours and come in miniature sizes. Also, Julie Williams is an Australian artist based here who is very inspired by Peranakan beads and fabric.
Jessica: In general, people who embrace Asian culture and heritage in their work, but put their own voice in their designs!
Pamela (left) and Jessica with the latest Jia Ju collection, which is made using ash wood and comprises a dining table, a chair, a rocking stool and a sideboard.
Scene Shang offers contemporary Asian furniture, inspired by ideas and stories shared by people the duo know. A key piece is the Shang System (pictured), a customisable drawer console.
VISIT SCENE SHANG’S FLAGSHIP STORE AT 263 BEACH ROAD, TEL: 6291-9629.