“Translating what was just an idea, a concept, into reality is, in fact, never easy. But you need to keep on pushing the boundaries, to stick to your vision and do whatever is needed,” Kezia Karin tells Chris Hanrahan.
What do you do about a young woman who describes herself as crazy, a happy misfit, “an alien to her crowd” – or even sick? When she’s Kezia Karin, you smile and laugh along with her. The founder of Kezia Karin Studio is not crazy, of course. She’s merely searching for the right words to encapsulate how she feels about the adventurous work she does for her clients.
Whether it’s “Sanctuary of a Modern Louis Vuitton Woman”, a luxury apartment design for Louis Vuitton or “The Lucent Reverie”, an installation of Tom Dixon copper and gold pendant lights for the Moie showroom at Pacific Place; whether it’s a five-star city hotel in Surabaya, a fabulous resort-in-the-making in Ubud, or a beautiful office, house or apartment somewhere else in Indonesia, Asia or even America, Kezia approaches each of her glamorous projects with an overpowering sense of enthusiasm.
“Some people find me a bit hard to take,” she admits during an interview at Moie in November. “To finish all this on time,” she says, indicating the blurry, disorienting Tom Dixon installation within which we are sitting, “my team and I were working until the early hours of this morning.”
The Lucent Reverie installation is all about day dreaming. “I want people who come in here to feel like they’re floating,” Kezia says. “That’s why we have the copper and gold pendent lights, the black floor and the stainless steel walls. I love how light can transform a space to create another mood or ambience. This affects how humans behave.”
Kezia says her studio’s “multi-disciplinary approach” to projects “is driven by an endless curiosity. We gladly take risks to present a strong point of view, a concept to begin the design process, crafting a unique and individual narrative concept for each project – from the big picture to the smallest details. Design is a matter of problem-solving. Interior design is solving spatial problems.
“Those who know me, they know I am addicted to perfection. Some people call me demanding. OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is in my blood. Some people call me sick! For me, it’s just the ingredients we need to get the result we want. Our team has been working and preparing this installation with the Moie Living team (which has been nothing less than terrific in doing their job) for months.
“Countless samples and discussions about how to get things done right… and believe me, it’s not always easy. Translating what was just an idea, a concept, into reality is, in fact, never easy. But you need to keep on pushing the boundaries, to stick to your vision and do whatever is needed.”
Moie’s Michelle Shang certainly appreciates Kezia’s gung-ho approach, saying: “Thank you Kezia Karin… so happy to work with someone with so much passion for perfection like you do. We surely have something in common when it comes to killing something… or someone.”
Laughs Kezia: “I have known Michelle and Nick Shang for 10 years or more. I said to them that it was about time we did a project together, something that went beyond the regular client-supplier relationship. That’s how this project with Tom Dixon came about. It took about a month to put the installation together, working with a couple of contractors.”
A month earlier, Deborah Iskandar’s ISA Art & Design asked Kezia to work with renowned furniture providers such as Laflo in providing a holistic curation of artworks that enlivened “The Sanctuary of a Modern Louis Vuitton Woman”. This was part of a “Louis Vuitton: Exotic Skins” event held during the first week of October. The week-long collaboration presented an extravagant show unit at the newly built Langham Residence in the SCBD.
“That was a tough assignment,” Kezia says. “We had 10 days to design a 500 sq m apartment, which was just white walls and completely empty when we began. We worked with 14 vendors.”
More than 70 Louis Vuitton Exotic leather bags were brought to Jakarta for a private preview and lavish display at the prestigious residence. The Exotic collection was displayed in each room of the apartment, along with Louis Vuitton lifestyle pieces among selected Objets Nomades and made-to-order hard-sided trunks. One space, “Her Secret Wardrobe”, featured the fall/winter 2019 ready-to-wear women collection by Nicolas Ghesquière.
Hailing from Yogyakarta, Kezia, who recently got married to an entrepreneur and musician from Singapore, moved to Surabaya in 2001 to study Interior Design at Petra Christian University. She stayed on in the city after graduation to pursue her career in design.