What’s the story behind the company name? McLin: “The name was chosen after a long day discussing the history of Chinese ceramics exported to Europe by boat and [via] the Silk Road. We were drawn to the idea of the lines connecting famous kilns in Asia to trade ports all over the world, hence the ‘latitude’. And ‘22N’ marks the origin of our own wares – it’s the latitude of Hong Kong.”
Where does your inspiration come from? Progin: “Nature, history, science, architecture, watching a skilled craftsman at work … a wide range of sources. Our greatest inspiration is clay – we have a soft spot for porcelain and, as we’re both inquisitive in our work, we love investigating its beauty, limits and failures. It sparks a lot of ideas.”
What is your most unusual item? McLin: “Our Ding porcelain pendant lamp, named after the sound of bells ringing, has an amazing ring. A stripped-down version of temple bells, its unusual aspect comes from the handwoven cotton cord from which the lamp is suspended.”
Who inspires you? Progin: “We’ve recently returned from Paris, where we discovered the work of French artist Patrick Neu, at Palais de Tokyo. We were struck by his use of unusual materials – bee wings, smoked glass – and the notions of time and fragility in his pieces. We also admire Le Corbusier.”
Do you collaborate with other artists? McLin: “We work hand in hand with highly skilled craftsmen in Jingdezhen [Jiangxi province] who provide us with valuable insights into their traditional processes. We often have to learn new techniques in our work and it’s always a thrill to collaborate with other individuals who share the same passion for ceramics.”
What are you working on right now? Progin: “We tend to work on multiple fronts – projects for clients, new collections for Latitude 22N and exhibitions of pieces for our [design] label, Julie & Jesse. We’re currently working on large-scale installations for a mall in Shanghai, getting ready to launch some unique wares while also prototyping a collection of mirrors for Latitude 22N.”
Latitude 22N is in Man Foong Industrial Building, 7 Cheung Lee Street, Chai Wan, tel: 2480 1182.