Liu and de Biolley studio, Beijing
Tucked away in the former library of a Ming dynasty temple, in a hutong maze of downtown Beijing, is the showroom of one of China’s pioneering creative couples Harrison Liu Li Nian and Jehanne de Biolley. Liu is a furniture designer and de Biolley a jeweller but this is barely the surface of what they do.
See the couple's showroom and examples of their individual and joint work
Their portfolio of accomplishments reads like a listing of creative disciplines from a university prospectus: opera singing, film and television acting, writing, directing, fine art, gallery management, art direction and interior design. And that’s not all. Liu, born in China, and Belgian de Biolley have, since 2003, run the International Talent Agency HL Productions, putting together their wealth of experience in their respective fields and masterminding solutions to numerous creative projects.
Loosely described as ‘living concepts’, just a handful of the projects they’ve recently completed include Temple Living, an artist’s residence in the Hutong District; the VIP Club of Jun Wang Fan Palace; the Duge Courtyard boutique hotel and Liu Yin Park, an architectural renovation project of four lakeside houses.
‘It’s like a puzzle,’ explains de Biolley of how their experience boils down into a double act, ‘it eventually all fits together and makes sense. We have both travelled so much, lived abroad, learnt different languages and from these experiences we’re both able to create not only a new design style but also the whole lifestyle to go with it.’ It’s undoubtedly this attention, from individual details to the greater whole, which has the couple swamped with commissions.
Selling a lifestyle mightn’t seem like a groundbreaking development but in China it’s still an area gaining ground and one that Liu and de Biolley are at the forefront of. We spent time the couple to hear their take on what they do and why China is ready to be sold a lifestyle concept…