Occidental tourist: Katie de Tilly has filled her home with a priceless collection of Asian art

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The Independent Online

It was the location that sold this house to me. The original building was little more than a granite shell but it was set high in the mountains in the countryside near Sai Kung, in the east of Hong Kong's New Territories, and was completely secluded. It's only a half-hour drive to central Hong Kong, but a world away from the crowds.

We remodelled the place: we had huge rectangular windows and a terrazzo floor put in to preserve something of the local architecture of 1950s colonial buildings. I kept the walls white for a modern finish, so all the colour comes from the furnishings and artwork.

I'm from the US but I've been in Hong Kong for 14 years. The influence Asia has had on me is everywhere in this house. I'm always picking up bits – such as Buddhas – on my travels in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. It's getting harder to find the really special stuff, but that's probably a good thing, as I've filled the house now.

My passion is contemporary pieces. The black-and-white painting here in the living-room is by Zhang Xiaogang. Last month, one of his paintings fetched the highest price ever paid for a work by a Chinese artist – the scene here is exploding. This is one of a series called "Amnesia and Memory" about the Cultural Revolution – there's suffering in the image, but it's incredibly beautiful.

The wooden pieces are by Wang Keping, China's foremost sculptor. He works with the natural characteristics of the wood so the knots and cracks dictate the sculpture.

This is the centre of the house and we spend a lot of time together here – with four kids, it can get crazy but I like that; I don't have time to worry about the artwork.

De Tilly's gallery, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, will show pieces at Art HK 08 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 14-18 May (www.hongkongartfair.com)

Rise in the East: Wake up to the Asian look

Floral chair: Full of Chinese character. Made to order at Liberty, £450, tel: 020 7734 1234

Candle holder: Designed by Fiona Gray, £40, www.glimpseonline.com

Dessert plate: Taste of the Orient, £5.50, www.debenhams.co.uk