Asia Miles Presents: Up Close With Dragonfly’s Ashley Sutton


October 3, 2018 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

The design maverick behind Dining Concepts’ latest venue at Tai Kwun shares his vision and his love for art and design

Asia Miles launches meet-and-greet event at Dragonfly. (Video: Asia Miles)

Located within the vintage Superintendent’s House at Tai Kwun is Dragonfly, Ashley Sutton’s latest cocktail bar creation. The art and design aficionado returned to Hong Kong earlier this summer to unveil his vision for the Central cocktail haven, which replicates nature’s beauty throughout its interiors. As part of Asia Miles expands its range of dining coverage for its members,  the organization holds regular meet-and-greet sessions with chefs and esteemed interior designers for its members, alongside with creating unique dining experience and memories.  Ahead of Dragonfly's grand opening, we sat down with Sutton who shared with us how he brought Dragonfly to life.

Since deviating from the formal education system at the age of 14, Sutton has continued to pursue his passion for creativity through apprenticeships and workshops on art and metal work. With his keen eye for beauty in the details, Sutton naturally gravitated towards the art of stained glass when he was just 18. “I discovered stained glass art from my love for Louis Tiffany,” he explains. Tiffany had a huge influence on the young Sutton, and Dragonfly is a clear homage to the American artist and designer’s signature dragonfly lamps; the motif is replicated as a centrepiece of the bar. “I would like guests to visit Dragonfly and admire the interiors and designs with as much respect as I have for Louis Tiffany, the inspiration for it all,” says Sutton.

Apart from the hand-blown and hand-cut Tiffany-inspired lamps that embellish the ceiling and interiors of the cocktail bar, dragonflies fashioned from molten steel are neatly lined around the corners of the space, representing the beauty of nature.

It’s meticulous details like these that can be found in each one of Sutton’s bars, from aviary-themed Ophelia to Iron Fairies, J.Boroski, and Dear Lilly. Each time, his creative process begins with a first impression. “It is about the building to begin with. I have always been fond of history, and Tai Kwun has so much of it,” he explains. “You enter the interior quarters, look at how the space faces towards the light, and within 10 mere minutes I had the design in my head. I always do sketches and drawings for the sake of the construction side of things, but most ideas spring to my mind as an initial reaction—the rest come as specifics later.”

“I love the beauty of nature, not only to look at, but also to create something related to it. The design of Dragonfly creates a jewellery box effect to the interiors, and I love every bit of it, and we hope our guests would see the precious part of it the way I see it too.”

Watch the above video to recap on the highlights of Asia Miles' one-night-only exclusive evening, as its members experience Dragonfly for the first time with Ashley Sutton, the establishment's esteemed interior designer.

Dragonfly, Shop 10, G1, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2777 2633  


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