Hubert Burda Media

Three coffee table books that we love

And no, you don’t want to use them as a lap desk.

To quote prominent Roman philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero, we think “a room without books is like a body without a soul”. But since many books and magazines have been digitised these days, it is hard to find an office or home with a stack of paperbacks. You will still see that coffee table books have become a permanent fixture in many living rooms and lounges, but they are simply decorative, or used as boring lap desks. Well, we’d like to think otherwise. Here are three interesting ones that you might like.

A Bigger Book

Named one of the most influential British artists in the 20th century, David Hockney published his first ever art book for Taschen’s SUMO-sized collection. A Bigger Book includes an extensive collection of works that he has accomplished for the past 60 years. Hockney is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, photographer and even a stage designer that has greatly influenced the modern and pop art scene during the 1960s. This book displays paintings that were painted by Hockney himself when he was just 16, studying at the Bradford School of Arts.

It comes with an adjustable three-legged stand, custom-made by renowned industrial designer – Marc Newson. Limited to 10,000 copies, each signed by David Hockney himself.

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Mert Alas and Marcus Piqqott

Often applauded for their decadent approach to set arrangements and image execution, iconic fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott launched an XXL limited-edition publication with Taschen, titled Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Housed in a clamshell box that shouts the names of these two, the publication explores the unique vision of their creative partnership that often pore over the subject of female icons being comfortable and strong in their own skin. Lady Gaga, together with various renowned brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi, as well as Gucci, are subjects of masterful images that were built upon this fascination. Impressive is also their peculiar standards of haute couture that are often bewilderingly expressed through nudity, executing images that exude an alluring combination of sensuality and art.

This super-sized publication of 408 pages features 300 pictures from Alas and Piggott’s portfolio, an account of how they redefine standards of glamour and luxury. Only 1,250 copies are available.

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Octaphilosophy: The Eight Elements of Restaurant ANDRÉ

coffee table books

Taking you through a year in the culinary life of chef André Chiang, Octaphilosophy: The Eight Elements of Restaurant ANDRÉ documents every dish he has served in 2015. This 340-page publication explores the creative process he famously coined as “Octaphilosophy”. The word combines the eight most important words in chef Chiang’s dictionary: Unique, Pure, Texture, Memory, Salt, South, Artisan and Terroir. Each element plays a part to every dish created in his restaurant.

A strong believer of communication, Chiang wants to convey meaning, story and intention of every he has created into this book, translating his knowledge for ingredients and passion for the craft into words that could be understood by guests and believers of his culinary creations. Between the pages are also illustrative monographs of 150 recipes. This will be a perfect memento of chef André’s time in Singapore that we can keep, seeing as he will be heading back home to Taiwan later in 2018. The last service at Restaurant ANDRÉ would officially this February 14, Valentine’s Day.

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