Cultured Pearl

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Where East meets West, you'll find gallery owner Pearl Lam ­ lover of Western chic, but also Chinese art's fiercest champion "Shanghai is changing so fast it is shocking," says Pearl Lam as she snaps open yet another Diet Coke. We are sitting at a glass table supported by two clutches of curvy golden legs, entitled Tagliatelle, by hip British designer Danny Lane, and are faced with a row of terrifyingly fragile vases created by Czech artist Boris Sipek, as well as more ornate glassware by Lane. To describe Lam's central London flat as maximalist would be an understatement, but it becomes clear as we speak that her penchant for excess is underpinned by healthy doses of humour and erudition, vast self-confidence and a rather sophisticated brand of showmanship writer Sophie Leris

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