Doris Duke's Shangri La
Yet the concept and home are stunning. If I had an afternoon to waste fantasizing about my dream home, this would probably be it. The architecture, design, furnishings, and objets d'art--so exotic and lavish and built overlooking the Pacific Ocean, near Diamond Head, with a pool and high dive (for crying out loud!)--are all too much.
The exhibit showcases Shangri La through photographs, video, and artifacts. There's a mysterious and striking clarity to the newly commissioned photos by Tim Street-Porter, with their artificially constructed shadows. Looking at them is like looking through a window; you really feel like you're there. Screens constructed from fabric, carved wood, and marble are everywhere in the home, including motorized wall panels in the living room that can be raised to reveal views of the Pacific (a particularly telling piece of Duke's artistic aesthetic). I'm struck by the richness and imagination of this extensive and very personal collection.