Ikigai Arts Center

Creating a center to bring the creative community together and to support each other

I recall how one day in 2020 I was looking for a premise to relocate our Italian restaurant “Luna”. We had the restaurant for 15 years and now the lease is about to expire and we needed to move as the landlord has sold the place. I ended up renting a terrace shop house with three floors right next to our apartment block and Enso Café. I was quite excited we could have the Italian restaurant next door, however when I showed it to our new Italian chef he said he didn’t want to be in a terrace lot without a garden. In the end, we rented a villa with a lovely garden on the same street as where the current Luna restaurant was. The only problem was I was left with an empty terrace house not knowing what to do with it? I had signed a 10 years lease with a 6 months deposit on it. I couldn’t just walk away now. I asked my designer to come up with a business idea for the place. She proposed we do a bedding furnishing shop as it was really difficult to find good quilts, bed sheets etc. It was a good presentation so I agreed, but a few days later I had an epiphany. I kept asking myself is the bedding store necessary? If not then why are we doing something that’s not necessary? I met up again with my designer and I asked her was it necessary? And she said “No, it’s nice but not necessary”. After a long while she said “Joy, giving people joy is necessary!”

Elain Younn - Ikigai Arts Center