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Floriology Magazine July 2016 issue

July 6 2016

Special interview article with Dr. Solomon in the July 2016 issue of Floriology Magazine published by BloomNet, alongside interviews and inspirations from international florists Piet van Kempan, Ria Becker, and Timo Bolte.

The Language of Flowers


Award-winning Hong Kong floral designer Solomon Leong discusses the latest trends in China


By Megan Sullivan


In recent years, floral design has become very popular in China. Just ask Solomon Leong, AIFD, the award-winning floral designer behind Solomon Bloemen studio in Hong Kong. Cafe/florist/fashion lifestyle stores are a growing trend in his native country. “You see them almost everywhere, from large cities to smaller towns,” Solomon explains. “Flowers are also used quite commonly in shops and restaurant displays, adding extra value to the experience enjoyed by the customers.”


Both European and Korean/Japanese styles are influencing the current floral trends in China, Solomon continues. “The interesting thing is that you can often see these styles co-existing in the same shop.”


Young people in China prefer pastel colors over the more traditional red and gold, Solomon adds, and various preserved composite roses are also quite popular right now. “As for fresh flowers, peonies are the all-time favorites,” he says. The most in-demand arrangement at the moment is the mini gift bouquet. “Small and cute, customers buy them for all sorts of occasions.”


While Solomon has held an interest in flowers since he was a child, he has only been in the floral industry for a little more than 12 years. That’s hard to believe for someone who has amassed a long list of awards and achievements, including gold medals at the world-renowned Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London (see pg. 4) and the World Flower Garden Show in Nagasaki, Japan. “I am very happy with my design at the World Flower Show in 2015 in Japan, where I won Best in Show, Best Use of Colors, and a Gold Award,” he shares.


In addition to being a frequent design competitor, Solomon is an active floral demonstrator. He also teaches floral design courses for both serious learners and hobbyists. “Education is very important for floral designers because it provides ways to systematically digest raw inspirations into workable elements, which then can be turned into successful and marketable designs,” he says.


Solomon’s work is influenced by the English garden style and the European flower-arranging ethos. “I love the English garden style because it’s free and full and it has a certain sense of nostalgia in it,” he states. His overall design approach and aesthetic presentation are often driven by colors, and his favorite material to work with is flexi-grass. “I like designs that are either very clean and geometric, or very soft and feminine,” he describes. “I work with lines a lot.”


Solomon brings a rare combination of skill sets to the floral profession. He is a doctor of philosophy in cultural studies with extensive knowledge of cultures and history in relation to floral art. “My background in cultural studies is extremely useful, as it makes me aware of the difference in interpreting different designs in different cultures,” he explains. “A good design must speak the same cultural language as the audience viewing it in order to have impact.”

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