La Prairie collaborates with digital artist Carla Chan to preserve the beauty of the Swiss Alps
Upon first look at the latest art collaboration between La Prairie and Carla Chan titled Fading Space of Dawn, viewers are immediately mesmerized by the image of an ethereal light that glows around the Swiss Alps. But as time passes, viewers soon realize that the artwork isn’t simply about a beautiful golden hour. By blending physical and digital materials, Chan created a hybrid and immersive virtual landscape that allows viewers to see the Swiss Alps, from dusk until dawn, in real time.
“I focused on the moment when nature disappears into the darkness and vanishes into the unseen,” Chan shares in our exclusive interview. “Using digital media, I created a space to reflect on nature and its future.” This second artistic partnership also coincides with the re-imagining of the brand’s Pure Gold Radiance Nocturnal Balm—a moisturizer that strengthens the energy of devitalized skin and is inspired by how the golden hour reflects across the Swiss lakes—with the theme “The Dawn of Radiance.”
“We share many similarities through our visions, the arts, and our connection to nature,” Chan affirms. The artwork was premiered via augmented reality technology at the Frieze New York, an international contemporary art fair, and exhibited at Hong Kong’s cultural and art center Tai Kwun.
At the beginning of the creative process for the collaboration, La Prairie, which has been highly dedicated to the art community for years, invited the digital artist to spend time at the Monte Rosa Hut artist residency located at the La Becque in Montreux, Switzerland. The landmark is known for championing artists whose works examine the complex relationship between nature and technology. This was fitting for the 33-year old artist since her present approach to art challenges the conventional perception of new media, interfaced with the ever-evolving possibilities for artistic expressions.
While there, Chan witnessed the transformative interplay of light and minerality that occurs with the rising and setting of the sun against the mineral shores of Lac Léman, or Lake Geneva.
“There was this unique moment of ambiguity where the landscape would fade away with the light— almost disappearing in time,” she recounts. “The scale of the landscape really surprised me, and it felt infinite, especially since Monte Rosa was situated right next to a glacier.” This inspired her to translate her artwork in the digital world called “Space Beyond”, the very first NFT (non-fungible token) of La Prairie that uses blockchain technology. It’s composed of 366 editions—one for each day of the year—each unique and evolving as the weather and demographic data of the artwork change continuously. “With today’s technology, if I give you a picture, it can easily be copied. As an artist, that becomes a problem because you don’t feel fulfilled because no matter what you do, it can never be unique. I also believe that the power of art is about capturing a moment that can’t be repeated. So with the introduction of the NFT, it kind of draws the line that this is the only and real artwork even in the digital world,” Chan says, explaining further the importance of NFT as it establishes proof of ownership.
With “Space Beyond,” she explains that it is generated by a digital landscape that is constantly altered by concurrent meteorological data to highlight the imminent danger that the glaciers are in: “Maybe in 10 years, there won’t be snow anymore. As an artist, I was able to capture something that can never be repeated, and that to me is very romantic. It gives my art a certain longevity that can evolve beyond my life.”
But above all, Chan shares that the collaboration gave her art meaning. Part of the proceeds from the NFT’s sale will be donated to ETH Zurich’s Department of Glaciology, the house’s long-term partner in fighting against climate change.
“It feels great to have a second chance to work with La Prairie, not only in creating something new or an interesting show, but we actually did something with depth and impact,” she says.
A meditative reverie and a fierce call to action, this second collaboration is evidence that the luxury brand upholds its sense of responsibility for the future that goes beyond skincare: “It’s not easy for a brand to commit to sustainability, but La Prairie is helping spread its message and it shows that they are also up to date on what they can do. They are combining all means—beauty, science, art, and culture—to push the message of sustainability further.”
Visit La Prairie at Rustan’s Mall in Shangri-La Plaza or Rustan’s official website.