From 19 November 2021, set designer, multidisciplinary artist and world-builder Lydia Chan will be transforming NOW Gallery into a provocative and futuristic fantasy world. Through an alternative lens, Lydia has reinterpreted nature as a foreign planet and bridged the gap between our new-found digital lifestyle and our renewed experience of the natural world. Guests will be invited to view nature through the goggles of the artificial, exploring the idea that through isolation in our homes, the natural world becomes more foreign to us.
Your Ship Has Landed will explore the bubbly fantastical qualities of science fiction at a time where science is filled with doom and gloom. Chan has collaborated with digital artists Songyee Kim and Thibaut Evrard to create an AR experience. Install the filter, hold up your phone and you will be transported to another world.
Originally from Canada, Chan trained as an interior designer before studying Fashion Communication and Promotion at Central St Martin. Her love of monsters, cartoons and designer toys informs her bold, maximalist and often surreal aesthetic. Her inimitable style has established her as one of the most exciting young set designers working in the industry today, with clients including Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Vogue China, Gucci. She has also recently worked with the likes of Jorja Smith, Griff, slowthai and more.
Lydia Chan says, “We are all a collection of cells like little dots coming together to make a whole person. We try to detach science from our daily lives – but we are bound by the properties of the physical world. Having the opportunity to design a large-scale immersive installation at NOW Gallery is so amazing. As a set designer I spend most of my time making 3D objects that get experienced through 2D images. This exhibition is the first time I get to create work that a large audience can experience in a 3D context.”
Your Ship Has Landed is designed to plant a seed of science fiction and fantasy in our subconscious; open up conversations about reinterpreting science as fun; and bring out our inner children. It is a visceral exhibition for all to enjoy. There is no grand concept, rather Chan is excited for people to experience the installation for its own sake: as a fabulous environment.
NOW Gallery Curator Jemima Burrill says, “Lydia Chan’s ‘Your Ship Has Landed’ is going to give us the energetic exhibition we all need. For our winter months we are going to be enticing people into a world with both her comic aesthetic and her colourful ethos. Fun is needed. Our objective is to have an environment where people are able to come and perform, dance, pose, whilst also absorbing Lydia’s perpetual curiosity in how the world works.”