TASTE is hidden deep in Shanghai’s Tianzifang area, a dense compound of small alleyways and shops on the edge of the French Concession. At once a shop space, gallery, café and restaurant, TASTE is the treasure trove and creative playground of owners Viko and Yutaka, a husband and wife duo whose combined backgrounds in photography and fashion design make their mark on every inch of the space. On the ground level of the shop, the deceptively small space holds a carefully curated collection of goods sourced from the owners’ travels around the world. Upstairs, a minimal display room leads visitors into a spacious café, a dramatic alcove, and an expansive lounge area set to become a restaurant in the near future.
The concept of TASTE is playfully modeled on the idea of brainwaves, says Viko. Entering TASTE is meant to be like walking into a person’s brain. The space can be defined infinitely – it’s unlimited in its possibilities. The space itself is constantly growing and learning as humans do.
Coming from a family who loves antiques, Viko started collecting as a young child. Small objects and perfumes were especially attractive to her. After becoming a documentary photographer in 2009, she traveled around the world, bringing small objects from far-flung places. As her collection grew, she decided to open a shop so that these carefully selected treasures could be shared with more friends and outsiders. TASTE is the result: an ever-changing space filled with many curiosities, stories, and experiences.
Walking through the TASTE space, there are markedly distinct personality shifts in each room. Viko says, “For the new TASTE Space, we had this idea that it would be like a musical score. The first floor is weird and decorative, while the second floor is warm and light-filled. There’s a friendly and sunny coffee area. Finally there’s a quiet and solemn exhibition zone. The space gives surprises, which I love, and it’s a surprise for everyone.”
在TASTE，每个房间都有着各自独特的个性。Viko说: “关于这个新的TASTE Space，我们当时有这样一个想法，就是让它看起来像个乐章。现在，一楼古古怪怪，富有装饰性的；二楼是温暖的，灯光盈盈；还有一个阳光直射得到的、轻松友好的咖啡区。最后，我们还有一个安静、单独的展览区。这个空间常给人带来惊喜，这点我很喜欢，这种惊喜是为每一个人准备的。”
In the megacity of Shanghai there are few things which can’t be found; however, the collection at TASTE includes perfumes, cutlery, leather goods, and beautiful objects that have no functional use. One-of-a-kind things or product sourced from small international labels are clustered together, ranging from jewelry, coffee devices, stationary, money clips and wallets, to tailor-made scissors, rare scents and aromas, and unique ceramic pieces.
“I’m looking for creations which grab my eye, no matter where it’s from, who made it, if it is new or antique. I want to share these wonderful things with more people. That is the essence of TASTE,” says Viko Wu.