Be tabula rasa studio, a floral studio based in Hong Kong, originated from the philosophy theory "Tabula Rasa", which states that people are born with a pure state of mind. The founders, Tabu and Jam hope that people come to the studio to clear their minds as in a blank slate and enjoy this quiet space.
Read more about the concept behind be tabula rasa studio by Tabu and Jam, and enjoy the shots of work taken with the Lomo'Instant Square!
Hello Tabu and Jam! What inspired you to set up be tabula rasa studio?
Tabu: I used to work on pressed flower craft, but the market is saturated since it is more and more popular. Therefore, I would like to work on something else. As I still want to work with flowers, I decided to try florist design. When I had this in mind, I did not know that Jam was working in a flower shop, even though we had been friends for long!
Jam: I worked in a flower shop two years ago. Three or four months later, Tabu invited me to collaborate in creating this studio, so I began to work on florist design.We have known each other for many years, but we didn't keep in touch. Since I also had an idea to start a project or shop of my own, we directly began the be tabula rasa studio after Tabu contacted me.
How would you describe the be tabula rasa studio?
We do not have a deliberate definition of this space. Guests can simply come and enjoy the space. As Jam worked in the catering industry for ten years, we initiated an idea of providing food and drinks here a few years ago. However, because of some legal issues, we cannot continue to provide food in this place. Therefore we opened a cafe in Prince Edward instead, the Feed Your Nerves. And this space is used solely for florist design now.
What is the most difficult thing to run the be tabula rasa studio? What keeps you going?
Maintenance is not particularly difficult. The hardest thing is the great competition in the market. We started the business when there weren't many competitors of various quality. If the opponents set a lower price than us, consumers may not know how to distinguish the quality in between but only choose the cheaper one. Therefore it is difficult to survive. Luckily, we gain support from customers because we only produce best quality products.
What is the most memorable thing for you so far?
It is memorable when we encounter large-scale activities and rush of bitterness. For the recent exhibition in Harbour City, we have worked 20 hours straight to complete the decoration. Hard works are memorable.
Do you enjoy instant photography?
Very much! The outcome always comes with a little bit of surprise. And instant photos always has a special sense of life.
What do you think about the square format? What is the difference compared to the previous formats?
I prefer square format as it is easier to avoid something that goes against the composition.
If you are given a Lomo'Instant Square, where would you like to go and shoot?
We want to take it to the flower market, take pictures of all the flowers we love, stick them on the wall and make it a large flower pictorial illustration.
If you can go back in time, would you still open the be tabula rasa studio?
We are now preparing to open a new shop. But if we can re-select, we will still decide to open be tabula rasa studio because this place was actually just a rotten house at the beginning, but we all thought it is beautiful so we immediately decided to rent the place and set up the studio.