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The Year of the Metal Ox Starts on February 12 – Congratulations from Bellavista Collection!

It’s quite obvious that at the beginning of the third millennium, our world became small as never before.  In spite of all cultural diversity, various ethnicities actively communicate with one another. The interpenetration of cultures is usually beneficial for all sides. People of different nations got used to tasting one another’s cuisine, reading books, listening to music and watching movies created by foreign authors, and celebrating one another’s holidays.

Nowadays you needn’t be from South-Eastern Asia to celebrate the Lunar (a.k.a. Chinese) New Year. Since it is calculated according to the Lunar calendar, the date of the first day of the year varies. For example, the upcoming year will begin on February 12, the first day of the current year was on January 25, 2020, and the previous year started on February 5, 2019.

Interestingly, the Chinese New Year festivities are known under the name “Spring Festival”.  Although it seems that spring is far away, but remember that from the astronomical point of view, such a name does make sense. The days are already getting longer, which means spring is getting closer.

People all over the world, from Europe to the Americas, enjoy this holiday and know by heart 12 animals that form the Chinese Zodiac (Sheng Xiao).  Unlike Zodiac in Astronomy, which is an imaginary circle of constellations, the Chinese Zodiac in Chinese Astrology is a repeating 12-year cycle, where each year has its own animal sign. The Chinese Zodiac starts with the Year of the Rat (actually, currently we’re living in the Year of the Metal Rat, which began on January 25, 2020 and will last till February 11, 2021).  As to 2021, it is a year of the Metal Ox, starting on February 12th, 2021; it will last till January 31st, 2022. It looks like plenty of work is waiting for us in 2021 – oxen symbolize hard labor and perseverance…

Are you wondering why Chinese symbols of both 2020 and 2021 are called ‘metal’? Well, each animal symbol in the Zodiac is linked with one of the five elements. They follow one another in a never-ending circle: metal, water, wood, fire, earth. For example, 2021 is the year of Metal Ox, the next year of the Ox (in 12 years, i.e., 2033) will be the Year of the Water Ox, 2045 will be the Year of the Wood Ox, et cetera.

Of course, most people don’t take Chinese astrology too seriously, but it clearly shows that some ideas, notions and concepts know no borders.

You may ask why Bellavista Collection, an Italian brand that produces top-quality Italian luxury furniture, is so fond of Chinese culture. The answer is simple.  Attilio Zanni, Bellavista’s all-round designer and the brand’s co-founder, admits that Oriental culture, particularly art and design, serves as a constant source of inspiration for him. The twelve amazing pieces united under the name “Dulcechina Collection” he created in 2018, still occupy a separate section of the company’s website. After scoring great success at the 57th edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile – a prestigious annual trade show in Milan, these showpieces instantly turned into bestsellers. An oriental influence is quite visible in their design, so it’s no coincidence that Dulcechina Collection contains 12 items, like the Chinese Zodiac has 12 signs.

This pretty assorted group of pieces includes lovely and elegant TAO BENCH and TAO SIDE TABLE, beautiful DULCECHINA sofa and DULCECHINA BENCH, interesting and extraordinarily-looking side tables named SHENZHEN, GONG, and PECHINO, the eye-catching SHANGHAI armchair, as well as two gorgeous lighting fixtures (ISABELLA floor lamp and YISHI sconce), and two consoles (MAO and RITZ).

Oriental Influence: Chic and Well-Thought-Out Laconism

However, the design of Dulcechina pieces has nothing to do with imitating or mocking items from South-Eastern Asia. It is masterful amalgamation of Western and Eastern traits that makes Dulcechina Collection really unique.  The Oriental influence varies from noticeably Chinese-inspired pieces to ones with design so laconic and elegant that you’ll most likely think of Japan rather than China. Just compare outwardly luxurious SHANGHAI armchair and the coffee tables named MAO, SHENZHEN, and RITZ, with, say, the items named TAO (a bench and a side table) and DULCECHINA (a bench and a sofa).

When you look at SHANGHAI armchair, you can’t help wanting to sit down and try it. Padded with variable-density polyurethane foam, with the back cushion padded both with extra-soft goose down and variable-density foam in the central part, this armchair even looks extremely comfy. And it definitely is.

A wide variety of colors, including bright red, is available for its fabric or leather upholstery. Actually, when SHANGHAI was first showcased at Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2018, this armchair was upholstered in red fabric, which harmonized with the Chinese-inspired design of the structure perfectly. As you most likely remember, red is extremely popular in China. Similar to the color of an open fire, bright red is said to symbolize good luck, energy, prosperity, happiness, love, and lots of other enjoyable notions in China. In Western culture bright red is the color of love and passion.

Shades of red are among color options for other upholstered items as well – for instance, you can have TAO and DULCECHINA benches in red leather, if you wish.

Three impressive coffee tables – MAO, SHENZHEN, and RITZ – will grab anybody’s attention at once (as they did at the Milan Furniture salon in 2018). MAO, with its lovely pattern made of Vienna straw on the top, looks sophisticated indeed. So does RITZ, the tabletop of which is decorated with a thick slab of polished white onyx – a semi-precious stone, much-loved in China.

SHENZHEN table, named after a city in South-Eastern China, has a wooden structure (7 wood options available) with a really unhackneyed lower shelf, constructed out of rectangular wooden blocks, which form an interesting pattern.

All in all, whatever Dulcechina piece you choose, it’s a masterpiece of design – and the same is true for any item produced by Bellavista Collection brand.

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