Art has always been an indispensable element in life to Flora Cheong-Leen. She was a talented ballerina and entered the Royal Ballet School at the age of 9—she was also the first Chinese ever to enroll at the prestigious ballet school. She was a performer and an actress, and now she is a world-renowned designer. There is one constant theme among all these identities—the pursuit of beauty and art.
Flora grew up in the embrace of art. Her father, Hilton Cheong-Leen, was the first chairman of the Urban Council of Hong Kong, in charge of cultural affairs. Her mother was a soprano. Even as a little girl, she was no stranger to the arts of drama, musical and dance. When there was a home party, the family would entertain the guests with guitar, piano, songs and dances, turning the house into a mini theater. Flora’s mother would also pick out fabrics for making clothes, sofas and curtains. The splendid products impressed Flora and her sister, planting the seed of their love for fashion and aesthetics.
Flora can be compared to a diamond, her many identities sparkling and shining, like different facets reflecting the light. Or, perhaps she is like water, fluidly transforming from a ballerina to an actress, a designer, a successful business woman, and then, like a wave, moving back once again to the sphere of dance: board member of the Hong Kong Ballet, founder of her own dance school, and co-creator the Wu Tian Yuan Ballet.
Flora is full of possibilities, hence hard to define. She is simultaneously a student and a teacher – after getting her Master’s degree, she further pursues towards a PhD in arts and culture. Art was everywhere in her upbringing, and she more than anyone understands the importance of introducing children to art. That was also the reason why she founded the Conservatory of International Style and Cultural Arts (CISCA) in China.
In all her fabulous manifestations, Flora continues to lead the next generations towards colourful experiences of the arts, guiding them through the bewildering sea of different cultures, and stimulating their interest and appreciation of the arts. The Conservatory effectively reflects Flora’s interest in bridging qualities from the East and the West. CISCA teaches classical ballet, modern dance, jazz, and hip hop, together with martial arts such as Baguazhang. Additionally, the Conservatory represents the Royal Academy of Dance and the Royal Academy of Music. Flora never ceases to affect life through the arts—her own life as well as the lives of many others.
Moving forward within the world of arts training, Flora understands the importance of differentiation and change, now more than ever. However, continuous progression can at times feel exhausting, which is why Flora takes a minimalist approach in designing her living space. She prefers simple and natural form rather than complex, man-made artefacts. The calming texture of stones, wooden furniture, and sparkling crystals: a flow of clean lines that gives the room an increased sense of space. Flora always keeps on challenging herself, through contemplative thought and the acquiring of wisdom, chiselling herself as a living sculpture. Always striving to improve, this dynamic piece of art pursues her way towards perfection.
Extracted from Squarefoot – Luxe Indulgence Magazine
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