Miguel Chevalier unveils his latest works with three monumental installations specially created for the Jing An Kerry Centre in Shanghai. These new creations are an ode to nature, announcing and celebrating the arrival of Spring.
A recurring theme in the history of art, nature is the core theme in Miguel Chevalier’s work. He transposes it, reinvents it and exalts it using digital tools. Chevalier questions, poetically and metaphorically, the link between nature and artifice as they coexist and enrich each other. Departing from a process that began for him at the end of the nineties based on the observation of the plant kingdom and its imaginary transposition within a digital universe, Chevalier creates for these works virtual seeds and flowers found in Shanghai.
Dreamed Gardens transforms, through translucent imagery, two of the glass bridges at Jing An Kerry Centre, given a sensation of a stained glass spring chapel. During the day, the soft light and richness of colour will create a magical environment reflected on floor and ceiling and embracing visitors. By night, the two footbridges will beam as vast suspended lanterns.
Trans-Natures turns the indoor tunnel connecting the South and North towers of the complex into a 360-degrees’ lush garden of mysterious arborescence, hiding and revealing flowers which generate a symphony of luminescent forms and colours.
Trans-Natures announces the revival of nature. The stationary frescos on the walls are accompanied by four interactive virtual flowerbeds projected on the ground thus creating a fully immersive sensation. Visible during the day, Trans-Natures announces and invites viewers to experience the grand installation Digital Water Lilies coming live after sunset at the Piazza of Jing An Kerry Centre.
Digital Water Lilies is a new site-specific virtual interactive garden, a lush parterre of flowers and different varieties of luminescent plants. The garden brings to blossom treasured flowers rich with symbolism and good auspices during the Spring in China. African lilies, orchids, camellias peach blossoms, all come to life in different sizes, colours and shapes. They appear randomly, come to full blossom and fade away only to be reborn again. The garden renews itself time after time, constantly changing and flourishing into its summer glory creating an endless enchantment for the eyes.
As visitors walk around the 600 sqm flower carpet, the garden senses them and shifts around them with flowers opening up paths of discovery. Visitors are free to play spontaneously and, through the physicality of their body, open up and explore all the possibilities of the artwork. They are placed at the centre of a reinvented nature, an intriguing and poetic botanical universe. As a new form of “digital Impressionism”, the title and the cosmic sensibility of the work play homage to Monet and his research on light, seasons and nature.
Miguel Chevalier’s immersive environments place visitors at the heart of an intriguing botanical universe, a synthetic but natural environment that is alive and in constant flux and transformation, a place between dreams and reality. His installations surprise us by creating a new poetic relationship between art and vegetation, and recreate the conditions of symbiosis between humankind and this reinvented Nature.
all images courtesy of Miguel Chevalier | video © Claude Mossessian