Chinese Philosophy

Freeman Lau takes inspiration from the elements in his latest design

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 March, 2011, 12:00am

Freeman Lau Siu-hong, who went from humble graphic designer to award-winning visionary who shapes corporate identities - most notably the award-winning Watsons Water bottle design in 2002 - has teamed with Malaysian pewter manufacturer and retailer Royal Selangor.

At a launch event on Friday at Azure in Lan Kwai Fong, Lau (pictured, right) and a group of friends greeted visitors with a smile, a handshake and a mini element-inspired game based on the guests' colours of choice.

The elements, the Chinese wu xing, are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Upon picking a colour, one of Lau's workers recited a speech on what the corresponding element meant, and guests were then given a pewter charm.

Lau, a Polytechnic University graduate, said he wanted his collection, including a tea set, mug and pendants, to fully represent the elements.

'Everybody talks about the five elements, but nobody really gives much thought to how they actually complement each other,' the 51-year-old said.

Lau did some thorough research to fully understand the meaning of the elements.

'Water gives birth to wood, wood to fire, fire to earth, earth to metal and metal to water. It is how these elements co-exist in a perpetual cycle,' he said. 'And that represents life.'