by Omar Khan
The Japanese word rei is an elusive one with many interpretations, among them the concept of “spirit”, “soul”, and “the divine”. It is a fittingly inscrutable title for an edition whose own mysterious and ethereal quality is punctuated by clefts of startling brilliance.
"...these craftsmen embrace the whole history of an object, treating age and breakage as things of beauty to decorate and embellish rather than to disguise."
The inspiration for this interplay lies in the ancient Japanese art known as kinstukuroi, whose practitioners use resins enriched with precious gold, silver, and platinum to mend broken pottery. By imbuing these damaged pieces with a luminosity not present in their original form, these craftsmen embrace the whole history of an object, treating age and breakage as things of beauty to decorate and embellish rather than to disguise. The designs within Rei echo these beliefs, celebrating the damaged made whole again.
Here, as in all his work, designer Omar Khan explores textures and dimensions in ragged organic patterns that are marbled with metallic rivulets running like arteries through each design. These flashes of brilliance suggest a landscape on the verge of breaking open to a brilliant promise just beyond. They represent a search for meaning beyond the prosaic; one that compels and inspires us to look more deeply into the so-called imperfections around us to find transcendence.
“We’re thrilled to present Rei and are incredibly proud of our collaboration with Omar Khan,” remarked Bill Palmer. “As we begin a new chapter at Royal Thai, we are committed to continuing the practice we developed at Tai Ping of bringing world-class designers into the hospitality space to redefine expectations with new visions that continue to push boundaries.”
Across an expansive body of work ranging from furniture design, interior design, and illustration to his groundbreaking creations in rug design, Omar Khan’s work is defined by intricate textures and foundational flourishes that display an eclectic mélange of cultural influences.
This should come as no surprise considering the designer’s unique multi-cultural background. Born in Singapore to a blend of Dutch, Chinese, Egyptian, Pakistanki, and German heritage, and educated at New York’s Parsons School of Design, Khan now makes his home in Kuala Lumpur. Together, this range of influences presents an inexhaustible source of aesthetic inspirations for his designs. His work is rich with ancient symbolism and historical motifs that are reimagined in modern contexts through abstraction and contemporary color palettes.
As his profile has grown to position him as one of the today’s most sought-after designers, Khan’s work has been featured prominently in both commercial and residential spaces throughout Asia and beyond in collaborations with brands as legendary and disparate as Christian Louboutin and St Regis.