Wellness. Happiness. Goodness.
Seattle-based multidisciplinary art studio, Electric Coffin , recently completed an art centric cocktail lounge called East Trading Company.
Located in the former Sun Liquor distillery space in Seattle’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood, East Trading Company aims to celebrate the intersection of eastern and western culture through art and design.
Electric Coffin was brought onto the project at the beginning of the development process to create artwork and conceive a narrative that recontextualizes the essence of Eastern history and traditions and its assimilation into Western culture. The story of East Trading Company is based on the owner’s personal experience moving to Seattle’s International District from China as a child, as well as a fictional twist about an apothecary bar in early 20th century Shanghai.
The collection of murals, art pieces and brand elements bridge the divide between contemporary design and traditional iconography. The three murals seen in the space each represent a piece of East Trading Company’s narrative including the Palm Mural, inspired by palm readers common in Eastern culture, which leads guests to a “basement” that doesn’t exist; and the Poster Wall installation, inspired by the unintentional compositions that are naturally created within dense city environments. This piece utilizes textures and custom graphics that solidify the origin story of East Trading Company.
Electric Coffin also created a number of art pieces including an 8-foot Baijiu bottle (a popular Chinese liquor), a glass painting inspired by old Chinese firework packaging, and the Zodiac Drink Wheel which allows guests to leave their cocktail choice to fate.
The cocktail menu is comprised of original concoctions that use unique ingredients and unusual elements to bring a new flare to eastern drinks—such as the Dragon, a bourbon-based cocktail smoked in a teapot with Cherry Wood bark. Behind the bar, Electric Coffin designed branded elements including zodiac coasters to accompany each cocktail and jars full of mysterious Eastern oddities.
Various brand elements including menus, table graphics, matchbooks, fortune cookies, business cards and t-shirts were also designed by Electric Coffin to reinforce the story behind East Trading Company. The team is currently working on a new website, which will include an old kung fu compilation video. With this immersive approach, Electric Coffin aims to help brands visually tell their story and create inspired experiences, using art as the defining filter.
East Trading Company opens to the public in September 2018.