LONDON — The Florentine luxury e-tailer LuisaViaRoma is welcoming the Lunar New Year with immersive bamboo installations in collaboration with the Chinese artist and set designer Sean Wu at its Via Roma flagship.
Running from until Feb. 21, through the festive period that celebrates the arrival of the Year of the Dragon on Saturday, the store is filled with illuminating bamboo sculptures made from recycled materials. Also on display is an arch screen detailing the making of the artwork.
For a more direct reference to the year of the dragon, Wu also crafted two abstract green dragons with bamboo sticks for window displays.
Explaining the making of the pieces, Wu said while both installations represent bamboo, they are constructed using two distinct types of materials.
“The exterior dragon installation utilizes organic bamboo. The flexibility of these thin bamboo strips allows me to bend them and recreate the dragon form. The lighting display is a project I have been exploring for a while. They are made of recycled green and transparent glass, creating a visual effect that mimics the shape of bamboo,” he added.
A symbol of toughness, grace and harmony, the Shanghai-based artist believes that the use of bamboo aligns perfectly with people’s hope for prosperity in the New Year, especially for the Year of the Dragon, the only mythical animal in the 12 Chinese zodiac signs.
“Bamboo is a powerful symbol for overcoming challenges and embracing positive change. The choice of bamboo as the core element in my installation at LuisaViaRoma resonates with these cultural connotations. The malleability of bamboo as a material allows me to skillfully shape it, recreating undulating, waving dragon forms,” added Wu, who used to study architecture at the Politecnico di Torino.
He also pointed out that there has been a resurgence in the use of bamboo in fashion, noting Gucci’s signature bamboo handle bag, and Feng Chen Wang’s more contemporary iterations.
“My installation, utilizing bamboo as both a material and a symbol, is deeply rooted in the belief that it signifies a harmonious fusion of heritage and innovation. Traditional materials, such as bamboo, bring forth cultural richness and profound symbolism. When incorporated into contemporary designs, these materials not only contribute to sustainable practices but also foster a connection between the past and the present,” he added.
On top of artisan creations, Wu also runs Wild Creative, a production agency that serves clients such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Audemars Piguet, Aesop and New Balance in China.
“Paying tribute to the Chinese culture is extremely important for us,” said Stefanie Yi, senior marketing and PR manager of Asia at LuisaViaRoma. It’s understood that more than 15 percent of the retailer’s sales come from Chinese shoppers around the world.
“We strive to keep up with the trends and the shopping preferences within this market, aiming to offer dedicated initiatives and special activities. Immersive experiences, events, and celebrations of the most important festivities of Chinese culture all contribute to reinforcing the connection existing between LuisaViaRoma and China, as well as spreading its culture globally,” she added.