Shop: Gentle Monster
Situated on Middle Huahai Road, one of my favourite streets in Shanghai to do some window shopping & sometimes real shopping. I walked past this place many times & always thought it was an art gallery as the art kept changing every few months. One day I decided to pop in & check it out & I was pleasantly surprised that it's actually a shop selling glasses. I instantly loved the space & how the gallery & the shop were incorporated together & made it work.
On the ground floor, you're welcomed to a space presenting workspace/office/gallery/shop kind of set up. But it all works! It takes you on a journey & experience how the brand executes their final product. At the workspace part of the floor, it has sketches & initial thoughts of the art installations presented through out the store. The work is very abstract & you decide what you take in & out of it all. Personally, I loved them because of the textures, colours & the variety of materials used.
Once you're done with the ground floor, you are taken upstairs & welcomed by the sound of buzzing. When you look up, you can see the target sheets that you get from shooting ranges moving back & forth. If you look closer, some sheets have mosquitoes on them. Like a little child, I couldn't stop watching these. I loved how these moved across the whole room too. It was almost like, "come explore with me".
Throughout the whole floor, you had other pieces laid out & many glasses on display for you to try out in perfect lighting.
Second floor, the first part of it, felt a bit something like in a sci fi movie with those boxes & not much else.
Still on the second floor, a little bit to your right, there's a curtain that you need to open & that opens up a whole different world. First, you see these two water installations using lab tubes & round glass baubles, which I found interesting. & then you are taken to yet another space which kind of transports you to another world, a little bit more natural & realistic - seaside. There are many wooden boats & sand. There is a seating area on the right, if you'd like to rest or just sit & think of what you just saw. & I think at the end, that's where you actually pay for your items & get prescription glasses. Half of the time, I didn't even feel like I was in a shop, shopping for something. You are being distracted too much but in a good way. Can't wait for the next installment!
I thought this was a unique shop in Shanghai, but I did some research online & it's actually a high end Korean brand & it has international locations all over the world, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, the US. The brand develops itself under the philosophy of "high end experimentation".