When it comes to planning and hosting the perfect fête, Kelly Randall Sia has nailed down the splendid formula. “Make sure the guests are happy, make sure the glasses are full and always make more than enough food,” she says. The avid cook also lives by the maxim of entertaining in style: “You want your dishes to come out looking great—and you want to make an entrance yourself.”
Recently, she has begun expanding her eclectic collection of tableware with unique pieces—“kind of an Alice in Wonderland sort of thing”, as she puts it. “If I break a cup from a matching set, I have to replace it. But now I’m thinking of buying unique pieces and pairing all the different patterns together to make the table setting more interesting.” Ahead of the festive season, this makes her visit to Huls Gallery Singapore ever so timely.
Situated in a pedestrianised area in Duxton Hill, the gallery is the very portrait of tranquillity.
Step inside the light, bright space to find delicate porcelain pieces, lacquerware and ceramics crafted by Japanese artisans, with each piece arranged in neat rows on the wall shelves, alongside a selection of home accessories and decorative items.
The provenance of each artful piece forms the heart and soul of Huls, which is headquartered in Tokyo. The gallery, which opened in September, specialises in homeware and accessories made using traditional, time-tested methods in Japan.
“We call this location a gallery, not a showroom because of our concept themed around the ideas of ‘roots’ and ‘touch’,” explains Yusuke Shibata, the founder and CEO of Huls.
“We want to share the story behind Japanese craftsmanship and its long history, as well as the details of how each product was made, while encouraging customers to touch and experience these items.”
The founder travels regularly to regions across Japan to source products and meet artisans to discuss new designs. “We want to support these artisans by giving them advice on the colours, shapes and sizes that are suitable for overseas buyers,” he explains. “For example, Japanese tableware is traditionally a bit small—so we suggest that they create larger pieces that can be used for international cuisine.”
Wooden bowls, sake glassware, enamelled tea sets and more porcelain pieces line the gallery walls, encouraging the visitor to hold and discover the intricate details of each item. These are features that Kelly appreciates, as she explores the well-curated selection.
“I find the collections in Huls Gallery Singapore very serene and simple, with clean lines and beautiful textures—the food is still going to be the highlight,” she says, professing a love for such sleek and minimal pieces. “It’s kind of like a blank canvas where the food is the star.”
In particular, the rock-like serving plates from Arita Plus catch Kelly’s eye; she envisions them as the perfect pieces for dishing up sushi and sashimi.
“I find the collections in Huls Gallery Singapore very serene and simple, with clean lines and beautiful textures”
“My repertoire comes from my Japanese mother and the things she made for me as a child: a mix of Japanese, American, Chinese and European dishes,” shares Kelly. “She’s the one who ultimately inspired me to learn to cook all those years ago.”
Her mum’s influence has continued to inspire her culinary pursuits—Kelly has recently written a cookbook that compiles her favourite recipes. “I’m still honing my culinary skills and am very interested in experimenting, because that’s how I learn,” she says. “If I try a dish I absolutely love, I have to learn how to make it.”
The self-taught cook plans to conduct more cooking classes to share her knowledge and love of whipping up a feast that looks as good as it tastes, all the while raising funds for a good cause, such as medical equipment for rural hospitals abroad.
The American-born epicurean now calls Singapore home, 13 years after she first moved to the city. She loves everything about Singapore and its myriad cuisines, although she has just one quibble: the need for more space for her growing porcelain collection. “I have the great luxury of having more than one dinner service—but it does take a lot of space to keep these pieces, especially in Singapore,” she enthuses. “If I could, I would probably have dozens of sets of plates!”
(Related: Kelly Randall Sia's Beauty Routine Revealed)
This story was adapted from Singapore Tatler Homes December 2017-January 2018.
Art direction and production: Khairul Ali
Photography: Jasper Yu, assisted by Tan Ming Yuan
Hair and makeup: Zhou Aiyi/ Makeup Entourage, using Chanel and Keune
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