INTERVIEW WITH LISA MOK —
FOUNDER OF LUNE 1860
Lisa Mok is the founder and artistic director of Lune 1860 — a living and breathing space for intimate gatherings and celebrations.
Lune’s origins begin as a country house that was rescued from the fog of history. Originally built in 1860, for the past 160 years its grand rooms served as both a private residence and a place for lavish entertaining. To enter these grounds today is to walk among past dignitaries and bon vivants alike.
1. During this unconventional time, what does a day in your life look like?
The pandemic really made me realize how fickle life is. It might be cliche to say, “life is short,” but it really is! It’s been such an extraordinary time for everyone--good and bad. So, these days, I’m just taking each day as it comes and relishing the moment. I've learned to extend certain life routines that I would normally rush through. I cook most days and take the time to eat breakfast and lunch at the dinner table vs. at my desk, which I always did before. I’m very blessed to be surrounded by so much nature so I make a point of enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. I feel incredibly lucky with each day that passes, and this slow way of working and creating is something that will stay with me for a long time.
I recently left a Creative Director position at a global fashion brand and decided to fully commit to Lune. The decision was directly affected by the pandemic, but it’s been the best decision I’ve made professionally in a long time. It’s been liberating not to have to justify my creative decisions to anyone. (Well, maybe my husband!) Now my mind is always thinking about ways to bring Lune to life. The more life has slowed down, the more I want to conceptualize. Right now, I feel most excited about collaborating with other artists and creating multifaceted projects together. Our canvases have gotten so much smaller during the pandemic, and yet we are all still yearning for beautiful objects, beautiful images and beautiful moments in our lives. My world may feel smaller than usual, but it’s been one of the most creative times in my life.
3. Is self-portraiture a form you generally gravitate towards? Why or why not?
I personally don't gravitate to it as I dread having my picture taken. For many people though it's a form of self-expression and a reflection of how you want others to see you-- and if that makes you feel confident, then I say, why not! Is it a healthy practice? Well, that's all subjective. We all look for instant gratification in life and for some, whether it's on social media or in person, having someone tell you that you look great, well it makes no difference to me where it's served from.
4. Where are you finding creative inspiration at the moment?
Gosh, everywhere! There's so much time now to look at everything! I’ve been going back to my art history studies, specifically looking at installation artists. Lune is a living, breathing space, and I think since being in ‘lockdown,’ and spending so much time in these rooms, I’ve become incredibly passionate about inspiring others to see Lune as a three-dimensional canvas. I’m currently exploring scale and depth and I hope others will too when using the space. Since spending so much time in nature, I’m also thinking about new ways of bringing the forest to life inside. Many of my friends would argue this, but I find Instagram an amazing source of inspiration for me. I also love Facebook marketplace. Yes, I love finding unique objects, but I'm fascinated by what people considered beautiful at one point in their lives. It inspires me to think of new ways of making objects beautiful again.
5. Name one thing upcoming that you're excited for, personally or professionally
If this last year has taught me anything, it’s to relish ‘the now’ and just be excited for the moment--as quiet as it is sometimes--because no one knows what might happen tomorrow. But there are a few things that I’m looking forward to. I have a European tour I'm hoping to take this summer/fall if this pandemic recovers enough to do so. I'm excited to have my parents come see Lune as well, should traveling be safe again. In the meantime, my husband and I are going to start landscaping around the property. I know nothing about plants, so this is going to be a new adventure and definitely a learning curve. The house, of course, is a lifelong project and it's constantly being worked on. We have new front doors coming, a back wall being removed and many other little improvements that makes each day feel new and exciting.
6. What rituals or activities keep you grounded & clear-minded right now?
I swim every day, I read every day and eat dinner with my husband every day. All those things anchor my day and make me feel especially grateful. I also make a point to take long drives in the country every couple of weeks. It clears my mind and I often come up with my most creative ideas on the road.