Commissioned by La Prairie for Art Basel Hong Kong, “Light as Air” is a light odyssey to bring clean and pure Swiss air to Hong Kong, aims to raise awareness of the air pollution in the city through the comparison to Switzerland’s pure air.
To me, the representation of air is the fluid, floaty and light shape.
The “light”-ness of air can have 2 interpretations.
It can either be the lightweight of air, or being the light source with neon light as my medium.
“The neon light is as light as the air in Montreux.”
Considering an average of 1mm delicate cream layer of the La Prairie White Caviar spreading on your skin, the total weight of neon tubes (62.135kg) has the same thickness of air all over the total surface of Montreux (33.4km2), where La Prairie originated in Switzerland.
03 LIGHT MOVEMENT
AIR QUALITY INDEX
The movement of the light is also reacting to the daily air quality at Montreux through weather API. If the movement is slow and soothing, it means that the quality is good. If it’s running quickly and alarming, it means the quality is poor.
There are also upcycled neon tubes where broken glass from the neon-making process and production waste from La Prairie’s White Caviar collection has been injected with Krypton gas to create a special lighting effect to be seen in Hong Kong for the first time.
The interactivity of “Light as Air” was activated when 2 or more viewers press on the pole of each side, and hold hands together. This action will light up the whole installation brighter, symbolising “If we join hands and force together as a community, we can light up a better future.”
Be it the future of air quality, the environment or even the neon community cos we can’t accomplish anything alone!
06 ART BASEL HONG KONG
LA PRAIRIE LOUNGE
At La Prairie Lounge in Art Basel Hong Kong, “Light as Air” is interpreted as a combination of Swiss nature and Hong Kong local cultural heritage.
With a similar form and shape as the Tai Kwun piece, the lines at La Prairie Lounge mimic the peaks and valleys of the Swiss mountain echoed with the beautiful Swiss scenery.
07 H QUEEN 22/F
LA PRAIRIE HOUSE
Situated at La Prairie House, and displaying until the end of June 2023, “Light as Air” is interpreted as an interactive, educational and vertical sculpture.
The piece illustrates the flow of air in different forms when viewers walk around and view it from different angles.
I would also like to transform this piece into an educational piece and encourage the viewers to touch the neon glass – It is not hot or fragile as most people thought! If produced and installed properly, neon is safe!
😮 “Hai wor!” “Oh yea it’s not hot” These are the satisfying reactions to me that beats myths about neon. With more education and exposure to safe neon glass, we can slowly beat the misformation about it, and hopefully we can change the policy one day and revive our neon streetscape!
Check out the behind-the-scene of the creative process here.
Creative technology assistance: Frederic Bussiere
Upcycled neon glass teaching and assistance: 黃順樂老師
Bombarding assistance: Master Wong and 龍哥