Floral.today’s first glimpse of Dr. Solomon Leong AIFD was actually on Facebook when someone shared one of his pictures with us. Our fascination grew from there. Solomon is the owner of Solomon Bloemen, where you will find expert floral consultations and design services for everything from weddings and corporate events to couture specialty designs such as bouquets and corsages. Solomon Bloemen prides itself as a company with the highest standards with their floral services which are artistic, bespoke, highly original and tailored to each clients’ specific needs.
Other than his great designs and company located in the Central District, Hong Kong, Floral.today instantly took notice of Solomon’s devotion to floral education and the many levels of floral education that Solomon Bloemen offers. Solomon offers many different levels of classes so that everybody can experience the wonder of working with flowers. It was through this educational path that really struck our notice since no matter the subject or skill level, Solomon always filled the class to the brim without sacrificing the attention to each student or the content.
We here at floral.today are super excited to bring you Dr. Solomon Leong AIFD to you through this interview. When he isn’t jet setting around the world presenting or competing he enjoys photography, music and just traveling in general. Come get to know Solomon and after the article go check him, his work, and all he is up to and make sure to go show your support to someone that is making all the right waves promoting unique design and strong floral education.
Where did you get your start in the industry and what do you see for yourself personally in the future? S. I got into the industry first via designing wedding flowers. I started with friends who were wedding and event planners. Since then I have diverged into the education and also corporations. The future is to expand and further on this side of the business. With all the class you teach, what are some of your favorite topics or design styles to present? S. I don’t really have a favorite topic as such but I do enjoy the interactions and experimentations being carried out during classes. Sometimes original ideas come by accident. How has being a Doctor of Philosophy in Cultural Studies affected how you design? S. I guess coming from an academic background helps me to look at floral design in a completely different way. Alongside the obvious shapes and forms of the flowers themselves, I also tend to look at every plant in relations to our cultures and social economies. S. For example, I am very interested in how some flowers are perceived to be cheap in some parts of the world but expensive in others, such as orchids. These discrepancies in perceived value directly influence my designs. Sometimes I will go along with these stereotypes, but sometimes I will try to challenge them. Of all the awards you have won and events you gotten to design at, what are some of the most memorable? S. There are quite a few but the most memorable one was to design a wedding using completely oncidium, all in huge glass vases. It was quite a daunting project to undertake as the orchids were so easily ruined, but we made it in the end. I also enjoy designing extravagant pieces at various 5 star hotels in Hong Kong. Once I created a design with globe chrysanthemums that looked like a pair of giant earphones! Are there any exciting projects or shows we should be looking forward to for the rest of 2014 and coming 2015? S. Yes! I have just finished competing at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and won Gold and Best in Show. Next will be the world show in Dublin in June. Afterwards I will be back in Hong Kong with various commercial installations. In late August I will be in Oxford for an event called FLOWERS@OXFORD. I will be creating a large scale installation as well as performing a few demonstrations. In September I will be in Croatia to hold a few workshops for the World Flower Council, and in October I will be in Japan, Nagasaki for another flower festival creating yet another floral installation. All at the same time I am also writing a book to be published next year in 2015! What are a couple of your personal goals you are working on right now? S. I am preparing for my new book, which I really hope I will be able to finish by the end of this year to be published in 2015! With our ever-changing industry, where do you see it changing and where do you see it heading in the next 10-15 years? S. I see floral designers are gradually having to become interior and fashion stylists as well, and brand marketing is as as the products themselves. Who are a couple of your greatest inspirations right now? S. Karl Blossfeldt, Gertrude Jekyll, and the Pre-Raphaelites. None of them are floral designers but I think they are very inspiring. What advise or words of wisdom do you have for new designs all over the world? S. Always remind yourselves why you love flowers in the first place and stay true to it. If you could write a book on any topic, what would your book be about and why? ( We didn’t know about Solomon’s coming book) S. You will find out when it’s published!
Keep your eyes peeled for all the amazing things coming from Solomon in the coming year. With his many awards and accolades we wish Mr. Leong the greatest of luck in his adventures and also with his book. You can click on Solomon’s name anywhere in the article to follow him and show him your support as he sets a strong bar for what design and education will be for the future of floral design.Till Next Time,