“ This is the most expensive suite in the Plaza Hotel,” Terence Koh says with a smile, pulling back the cardboard curtain to welcome me into his secret hideaway tucked behind a neglected storage space. During the last week, Koh—a one-time art-world provocateur who has taken a contemplative turn in recent years—has been holed up in the Manhattan landmark as an unofficial artist-in-residence (squat isn’t quite the right term when there’s an Instagram account as proof). In the ground-level gallery space, a trampoline strewn with roses echoes the shape of the moon and its buoyant gravity; a winter solstice event takes place there tonight. Upstairs, accessible only through a thicket of back stairwells and locked doors, is Koh Island. Here, above the murmur of lobby chatter and passing taxi horns, he is offering free scalp massages and tea, flipping the commercialism of the season for a gift that is all about human connection.  “Are your shoes easy to take off?” Koh asks gently, wearing a royal blue sweatshirt with a snowman over the heart. Bing Crosby croons softly from a portable record player; in one corner, a fallen bough from Central Park is taped to a makeshift stand and decorated with colored lights. “I made this space almost like a Japanese tea hut,” he explains—only instead of tatami mats, the floor is tiled in Amazon Prime boxes scavenged from the East Village. “I wanted the room to be just scattered materials of New York City as much as possible.” That’s where the Beijing-born Canadian launched his career, with a diverse body of work that has included zines, monastic performance pieces, and his own gilded waste. After relocating to a mountaintop in the Catskills—a utopian dream that proved too isolating—he and his boyfriend have settled north of Los Angeles; hence Koh’s recently acquired mustache (“I’m living in California now, so that’s what we do there”). The word chill now dominates their vocabulary, he adds with a laugh. “After the first month, we were like, ‘Why didn’t we move sooner?’ Everything was easy; nothing was a struggle. ” 
   
   — VOGUE 
     
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This is the most expensive suite in the Plaza Hotel,” Terence Koh says with a smile, pulling back the cardboard curtain to welcome me into his secret hideaway tucked behind a neglected storage space. During the last week, Koh—a one-time art-world provocateur who has taken a contemplative turn in recent years—has been holed up in the Manhattan landmark as an unofficial artist-in-residence (squat isn’t quite the right term when there’s an Instagram account as proof). In the ground-level gallery space, a trampoline strewn with roses echoes the shape of the moon and its buoyant gravity; a winter solstice event takes place there tonight. Upstairs, accessible only through a thicket of back stairwells and locked doors, is Koh Island. Here, above the murmur of lobby chatter and passing taxi horns, he is offering free scalp massages and tea, flipping the commercialism of the season for a gift that is all about human connection.

“Are your shoes easy to take off?” Koh asks gently, wearing a royal blue sweatshirt with a snowman over the heart. Bing Crosby croons softly from a portable record player; in one corner, a fallen bough from Central Park is taped to a makeshift stand and decorated with colored lights. “I made this space almost like a Japanese tea hut,” he explains—only instead of tatami mats, the floor is tiled in Amazon Prime boxes scavenged from the East Village. “I wanted the room to be just scattered materials of New York City as much as possible.” That’s where the Beijing-born Canadian launched his career, with a diverse body of work that has included zines, monastic performance pieces, and his own gilded waste. After relocating to a mountaintop in the Catskills—a utopian dream that proved too isolating—he and his boyfriend have settled north of Los Angeles; hence Koh’s recently acquired mustache (“I’m living in California now, so that’s what we do there”). The word chill now dominates their vocabulary, he adds with a laugh. “After the first month, we were like, ‘Why didn’t we move sooner?’ Everything was easy; nothing was a struggle.
— VOGUE

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