Hey, remember when I found that Pink Staircase at an Asian Department Store called Teso Life, and I wished there was one in my neighborhood? Well, guess what? There is! I found this impossibly adorable, Smiling Pink Cloud Kitchen Sponge at a Teso Life that I only just discovered hiding on St. Marks Place in the Village. Fuckin’ A!
Above you can see that they also sell a Cat-Shaped Pink Sponge, for you cat lovers out there. OMG, the cuteness is deadly.
From the look of these inviting Pink Stairs — not to mention the mural of an elaborately-dressed woman and her cat on the wall — you probably would not guess that you were inside an Asian Supermarket called Teso Life (evidently, it is a chain). On second thought, perhaps you would. I mean, maybe that is why people shop there: for the fantasy.
Though Edward Godwin initially worked in the Gothic Revival style, beginning in the 1860s he was increasingly influenced by the culture of Japan; collecting Japanese art and studying that country’s architecture and furnishings in ukiyo-e prints and Western publications. Inspired by such sources and frustrated with the commercial furniture then available, Godwin created spare designs such as this Sideboard in which the structural supports are the dominant, decorative element. The work’s primary aesthetic is achieved, as Godwin said, “by the mere grouping of solid and void.” Godwin made the first version of this sideboard for his own home in 1867.
This spectacular bureau cabinet reflects the European fascination with Japanese and Chinese luxury goods in the early eighteenth century. The bright red surfaced imitated Asian lacquer, which was made from materials not available in Europe.
The motifs evoke the people and sights of the Far East, but they reflect the limited knowledge and stereotyped views that Europeans held of these distant countries. at the time the cabinet was made, this technique of using imitation lacquer was called “Japanning.” The original owner may have displayed small Asian porcelains in the upper niches of the cabinet.
Photographed in the Clark Institute in Williamstown, MA