To Mark the Frieze New York Fair’s Highly Anticipated Return, La Prairie Teamed Up with Artist Carla Chan to Capture the Magic of the Sun’s Golden Hour

Chan’s installation also inaugurates the luxury skincare brand’s partnership with Frieze.

Carla Chan. Photo courtesy La Prairie.
Carla Chan. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

After a year that saw the cancellations of so many noteworthy art-world events, Frieze New York is poised to come back in a big way this week. Indeed, many exhibitors are gearing up to make their splashy returns to the IRL art scene with bold, boundary-pushing artwork.

One such work is an introspective installation conceived by Hong Kong-based artist Carla Chan, which Swiss luxury skincare company La Prairie has brought to life in tandem with the launch of their new Pure Gold Collection—an exciting new line comprised of three innovative products that will debut alongside Chan’s piece. 

Chan’s work, entitled Space Between The Light Glows, is the culmination of a long-term engagement with La Prairie. At the start of the project, Chan spent time at the remarkable Monte Rosa Hut artist residency, located in the heart of the Swiss Alps. While there, Chan was given the opportunity to immerse herself in the residency’s enchanting natural environment and conceive a thoughtful artwork in response.

Photo courtesy La Prairie.

La Prairie’s Gold Collection. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

The experience was deeply generative for Chan, who began to view her surroundings as a collective entity and nature-inspired muse. While exploring the Alps, Chan took a particular interest in the passage of time and the ways in which it is tangibly marked throughout the day by the sun’s light. The juxtaposition of the Monte Rosa Hut structure—whose exterior is made of reflective aluminium walls—against the Alps’ mountain peaks created an experience by which illusion and reality started to blend for the artist. 

The Monte Rosa Hut residency. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

The Monte Rosa Hut residency. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

Speaking of this mesmerizing effect on her work, Chan explained, “Nature was the big inspiration behind this piece. The human encounter with raw nature—the stillness and the beauty it imparts pushed me to reflect on the relationship between nature and humankind and how we cohabit together. It was important for me to create an immersive experience conducive to such contemplation.” 

Space Between The Light Glows reimagines the variation of landscapes captured between the rhythms of nature and the ever-changing movement of light. Using a mix of new media and technology, Chan’s installation manipulates the notion of time and allows viewers to experience palpable change, heightening different stages of emotion to create an experience akin to that which the artist experienced herself while at the Monte Rosa Hut residency.

A consistent throughline of Chan’s practice is a sense of ambiguity that encourages viewers to impart their own beliefs onto her work. Focusing on the specific moments in time when the sunlight changes, Space Between The Light Glows highlights this notion and honors not only Chan’s distinct experience in the nature of the Swiss Alps, but also a universal experience which unites us all. The artist’s time-based installation fully immerses fairgoers in the awe-inspiring embrace of the golden hour of sunlight, which Chan describes as “a moment where you lose the sense of time and space during which emotion, thoughts, and imagination are heightened.”

A still from Carla Chan's "Space Between The Light Glows." Photo courtesy La Prairie.

A still from Carla Chan’s “Space Between The Light Glows.” Photo courtesy La Prairie.

As the foremost name in luxury skincare, La Prairie has established a long-held artistic vision which, from the start of their collaboration, organically aligned with that of Chan’s. Since its inception, the house has broken industry norms to create meaningful, if not surprising, products. With a bold spirit similar to that of an artist, La Prairie inhabits a forward-thinking, adventurous mentality. Additionally, as an eco-conscious, scientifically driven company, time has always played a role in the ethos of the La Prairie brand. 

While La Prairie has lent their patronage to the art world in the past, beginning with the 2017 edition of Art Basel and West Bund Art & Design art fairs, Chan’s installation inaugurates the brand’s exciting new partnership with Frieze New York.  

Photo courtesy La Prairie.

Photo courtesy La Prairie.

“With this new partnership, La Prairie is thrilled to show and expand its long-term commitment to the world of art and culture, a universe that has inspired the house since its inception. This engagement is founded on the notion of sharing art with the world, pursuing a mission to elevate culture as a whole for present and future generations,” said Greg Prodromides, chief marketing officer of La Prairie. 

La Prairie's Gold Collection. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

La Prairie’s Gold Collection. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

Complementing Chan’s artwork, La Prairie’s Pure Gold Collection boasts a range of products that seek to imbue the same radiance of the golden hour in the Alps onto the skin. The collection’s three products—the Pure Gold Radiance Concentrate, the Pure Gold Radiance Eye Cream, and the Pure Gold Radiance Cream—offer immediate radiance and long-term skin reconstruction benefits. The products are elevated even further by their exquisite packaging, which nods to art history through replenishable golden vessels inspired by the minimal lines of the Bauhaus tradition. 

Following its premiere at Frieze New York, May 5–9, 2021, Chan’s installation will travel to Art Basel Hong Kong where it will be exhibited May 19–21, 2021.


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