In 2018, Kwong collaborated with Visionaire, a multidisciplinary fashion-focused agency that partners with artists to bring imaginative and radical art and design to life, on a breathtaking large-scale landscape installation at lower Manhattan’s Cadillac House titled ‘Summer in Winter.’
The 1,000-square-foot botanical oasis merged species and typologies from 37 countries and 7 continents including ferns from Australia, flowering plants from the tropical Americas, rainforest trees considered sacred by Buddhists, succulents native to Southern Africa, and cycads known as living fossils. The planting palette was a celebration of diversity, equatorial beauty and rich environmental and cultural histories.
The exhibit offered its guests an opportunity to reconnect with nature in its purest form and to explore the complexities of climate change as they walked among centuries-old species, conjuring the impossible within the dense urban reality of concrete and commerce.
Kwong worked with other artists and nonprofits to program the space, partnering with composer Gary Gunn on an original composition to play throughout and assembling a panel of urban designers and creative thinkers. She also hosted an afternoon with Apex for Youth, an organization offering educational resources to underserved Asian and immigrant youth.
As the show came to a close, visitors had the opportunity to deconstruct ‘Summer in Winter’ as a community and take a piece of its magic home with them.
"Not only is 'Summer in Winter' a destination for a sensory experience, but it is also a learning experience through the filter of Lily. I thought of this idea of 'Summer in Winter' as a reaction to climate change. NYC winters seem harder and harder and a respite seemed necessary. At the same time, we're creating a paradise that is unfathomable in the natural world."
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