Malin Ohlsson glanced through a restaurant window and said, ‘eureka!’. Photo: Martin Adolfsson
Malin Ohlsson glanced through a restaurant window and said, ‘eureka!’. Photo: Martin Adolfsson


East meets west in Hong Kong based Malin Ohlsson’s silver design

Hong Kong is a great place to start a small business – provided you can find your lucrative niche. Swede silversmith Malin Ohlsson has adapted to the life in the Chinese city of Hong Kong, and so has her design.

Hong Kong-based Malin Ohlsson had been invited to exhibit at a fork exhibition in Stockholm. Right off the bat, she wanted to create a product combining influences from both east and west – her new home meeting her heritage. Coming home from her studio in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong’s creative district, she glanced through the window of a restaurant and a light bulb went on in her head. Chopsticks cast in silver with tiny tines on the ends!

“At the time,” Ohlsson says, “I was thinking about how people eat here compared to people in Sweden. I wouldn’t say I find it difficult to eat with chopsticks, but sometimes, when I’m trying to catch something slippery, I give up and just skewer the food like a kebab. I have tested my fork and it works really well.”

Malin Ohlsson’s designs. Photo: Martin Adolfsson

Her creation is not yet available for purchase, but this wonderfully practical idea is typical of the smart thinking behind Ohlsson’s designs.

After graduating as a silversmith in London three years ago, Ohlsson moved to Hong Kong with her husband. Today, her designs are increasingly geared towards the local market. In luxury-obsessed Hong Kong, that means working with gold. She also has a jewelry collection based on the leaves of the Chinese gingko tree.

“I think I have successfully adapted to life here,” Ohlsson says.

“I notice increasing interest in what I’m doing, and I’ve been fortunate enough to exhibit and win awards in Singapore and Taipei. The biggest adjustment is getting used to the crowdedness. I would love to make large silver bowls, but there is simply no room for them.”

 Text: Marcus Joons

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