Wong Ying Interior Design Co(黃鶧設計樓)
York Lo: Wong Ying Interior Design Co(黃鶧設計樓)
Left: Artistic ad of Wong Ying Interior Design in 1975 celebrating Lo Pan’s birthday (the Chinese characters on the left) and its sixth anniversary (KSDN, 1975-7-21); Right: Wong Ying in 1974 (KSEN, 1974-6-7)
Earlier in the group, we have covered Ip Chung-sang, a leading HK interior designer and decorator for Chinese restaurants locally and abroad in the 1960s and 1970s. Wong Ying Interior Design Co led by its eponymous founder Wong Ying emerged a leading interior designer and decorator in HK in the 1970s and 1980s with its more modern and Westernized designs serving a broad group of clients ranging from restaurants to residences but found a particular niche for jewelry stores counting some of the leading chains such as Chow Sang Sang, Tse Lee Yuen and Emperor as his clients.
Left: sketch of the VIP room at the Chinese Restaurant at the Sheraton by Wong Ying in 1973 (WKYP, 1973-3-21); right: article about Wong Ying heading to Canada for a project in 1974 (KSEN, 1974-6-7)
Little info is available about the early life and career of Wong Ying before he started his firm in July 1969 around the time of the birthday of Lo Pan, the deity worshipped by veterans of the HK and Chinese construction and decoration industry. The original office of the firm was located at 183 Sai Yee Street in Mongkok. Two major projects for the firm in 1973 were the3000 sq ft flagship store for jeweler Tse Lee Yuen (謝利源, to be covered) on Nathan Road featured Oriental designs from the early Republican era and the 30,000 sq ft Chinese Restaurant & Nightclub (中華酒樓夜總會) at the Sheraton Hotel, which was founded by a group of businessmen including the king of industrial buildings Yeung Yiu-chung and featured British palatial designs.
In June 1974, Wong Ying spent a month in North America where he completed work on the Lee Garden restaurant in Vancouver and visited other cities for business and research. The next month, Wong Ying Designs celebrated its 5th anniversary and the birthday of Lo Pan. (KSEN, 1974-7-29) In October 1974, Wong Ying Design opened its new office at 144G Boundary Street in Kowloon featuring designs inspired by his trip to the US and Canada. (KSEN, 1974-10-15)
Wong Ying (third from the right) and guests at the opening of his new offices in 1974. Left to right: Yuen Ching-kong (袁正剛), Mrs Lai Sze-luen (黎時媛), Ho Hon-chun (何漢珍), Lai Siu-fong (黎少芳), Wong Ying, Lai Sze-luen, fellow designer Leung Lap-but (梁立拔). (KSEN, 1974-10-22)
In 1976, Wong Ying did the interior design for the Kam On Snake Restaurant (金安蛇讌酒家) at the ground floor of 162 Prince Edward Road (KSEN, 1976-10-11)
In May 1977, Tse Chi-chiu of Tse Lee Yuen opened La Mode Jewellery(羅曼首飾) at Ocean Terminal which was the largest jewelry store in the mall at the time featuring modern designs and special lighting by Wong Ying. (KSDN, 1977-5-21) In July 1977, Wong Ying Interior Design celebrated its eighth anniversary and Lo Pan’s birthday at the Champion restaurant in To Kwa Wan with several hundred staff and guests. (KSDN, 1977-7-30)
In January 1978, 33 Jewellery(三三珠寶行, incorporated in 1977, dissolved in 1983), which was opened by Fung Chak-ping (馮澤平) of Sam Hai Jewellery (三喜珠寶) in HK and Singapore and Sheung Hai Yue Jewellery& Goldsmith(雙喜月珠寶金行) and Ka Loi Hotel, opened at B21-22 of the new wing of Miramar Hotel featuring designs by Wong Ying. The On Hong Ning dispensary (to be covered) at the same shopping arcade was also designed by Wong Ying. (KSEN, 1978-1-14)
Wong Ying with the sketch of the Yuen Long District Sports Centre in 1978 (WKYP, 1978-4-10)
In early 1978, Wong Ying was hired by the Yuen Long District Sports Association to design and decorate the 6-story Yuen Long District Sports Center on a 6000 sq ft site. The center which opened in April 1978 included conference rooms, offices, restaurants, bowling alleys, badminton and table tennis courts, billiard rooms, gyms and dormitories.
In July 1978, Ben Hur Restaurant (賓虛餐廳) designed by Wong Ying opened at the ground floor of Yee On Court at 128 Argyle Street in Kowloon.The design style was American featuring open air café and American Western decorations. (WKYP, 1978-7-10)
In April 1979, the New Majestic Restaurant (新大華酒家) founded by Lau Yuk-wah opened at 316-318 Lai Chi Kok Road featuring designs by Wong Ying (KSDN, 1979-4-19)
To promote his image as a top expert in interior design, Wong Ying frequently discussed interior design with both the print and broadcast media in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In August 1978, he went on the popular RTV women program “Afternoon Tea” (下午茶) to talk about interior home design with host Huen So-ha (禤素霞). (KSEN, 1979-8-7) In September 1979, he went on the popular TVB youth show sponsored by Bang! Bang! (see article) as shown below.
Wong Ying (center) with Dodo Cheng and Ching Sze-chun, hosts of the Bang! Bang! TVB show in 1979 (KSEN, 1979-9-9)
In March 1980, Po Sang Jewelry (寶生金行) at 1-3 Sung Ling Street in San Po Kong opened featuring designs by Wong Ying. (KSEN, 1980-3-1)
In July 1981, Chow Sang Sang Jewelry (周生生) opened at 61-63 Chung On Street in Tsuen Wan featuring designs by Wong Ying (KSEN, 1981-7-8) Chow Sang Sang hired Wong Ying again for the interior design of its Sang Sang Securities (生生證券) on the third floor of Man Hing Building at 83 Queen’s Road Central which opened in July 1982 as shown below.
Wong Ying (center) with Chow Kwan-lim (right) and Chow Kwan-yam (周君任, left) of the Chow Sang Sang group at the opening reception for Sang Sang Securities in 1982 (KSEN, 1982-7-5)
In November 1982, Carson Jewellery (嘉新珠寶鐘表) founded by Chow Fu Yuk-bun opened its door at Imperial Centre at TST East featuring the latest European jewelry store designs by Wong Ying.(KSDN, 1982-11-5) The same month, Wong Ying designed the new North Point store for Emperor Jewellery at the Metropole Building.
Article about the opening of Emperor Jewellery in North Point designed by Wong Ying in 1982 (KSDN, 1982-11-19)
In January 1983, Wong Ying gave a 1.5 hour talk to 150 students of civil engineering, interior design and arts at Hua Hsia College on the evolution of the interior design business in HK from the 1940s to the 1980s covering some of his colleagues such as Shum Ying, Ip Chung-sang, Leung Lap-but and Ho Tao. (KSEN, 1983-1-20). In May of the same year, he gave an interview where he claimed 80% of interior design in Hong Kong was copying the styles of Italy and France which the HK designers were very good at and second only to Japan in Asia. He complained that too many HK clients focused on decadence over elegance. (新報人, 1983-5-8) As a firm, Wong Ying Interior Design Co was never incorporated and had since faded into history.
Sources (other than those cited above):
This article was first posted on 16th July 2021.
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