Pop-Up Beijing

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  • Furniture & Interiors
Critics' pick
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Amy Chung 
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Amy Chung 
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Amy Chung 
4 Gongti bei lu

The backstreets of Sanlitun South just got hipper thanks to Pop-Up Beijing, a home décor shop that lifts Chinese antiquities from the rubble and revitalises them with a touch of modernity.


Launched by design duo Vito Zhang and Glenn Schuitman, Pop-Up Beijing feels similar in many ways to Lily’s Antiques, the gorgeous furniture shop in the city’s famed furniture market Gaobeidian. That’s because Schuitman, a Kiwi designer, was Lily’s former chief designer and stylist for two years before branching out on his own.


The 160sqm loft-like space is artfully decorated with works by emerging Chinese artist Kim Xu (starting at 4,500RMB) and centuries-old Qing and Ming shelves, tables and chairs that are lacquered up in contemporary, bright hues to contrast the ageing wood. Custom tables, couches and chairs made from elm and walnut can also be made to order.


At the centre of the showroom sits a round, lacquered white table listed for 8,000RMB; a larger, solid elm table – fitted with garden hoes as cross braces in a playful touch – goes for 16,000RMB.


One of our favourite pieces is the maogui or ‘cat cabinet’ (14,550RMB), a mahogany antique food pantry inscribed with the characters for the four seasons. Wooden frames shielding the shelves beneath the pantry were intended to keep your cat’s paws off the food, according to legend.


Dotted around the shop are potted herbs and succulents (40RMB) and glistening porcelain vases (1,540RMB), tea sets (785RMB) and cups (28RMB) by an artist referred to as ‘Brother Wang’ from Jingdezhen, the ‘porcelain capital of China’, lending the space some rustic charm. No matter what your budget, you can find something to brighten up your home.


Take for example, the comical pillows shaped with prints of sardines, cupcakes and baguettes (starting at 265RMB) from local label PoOtsh!


Pop-Up aims to share its space with the artistic community by transforming it with – yep, you guessed it – pop-up events such as monthly flea markets by emerging designers, wine tastings, art exhibitions, even Sunday afternoon jazz. With a new liquor licence in hand, Schuitman plans to put a handful of tables inside the shop where he will serve drinks.


‘It’s called Pop-Up not because we’re transient, but “pop-up” because we want to head up events and have them popping up in our space,’ says Schuitman.


‘We want to show curated living, not just with interiors or homewares, but a selection of things that really enhance people’s lives, whether that’s a beautiful vase we designed or really good cup of coffee. Something that lifts someone’s spirits and makes them feel special for a moment... that’s our central ethos.’

Venue name: Pop-Up Beijing
Contact:
Opening hours: midday-10pm daily
English address: Office 22 4 Gongti bei lu (located near the west gate of 1949 compound) Chaoyang district
Chinese address: 工体北路4号院22号楼北侧首层
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