A leading downtown Winnipeg office complex was looking to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a classy and elegant display. 2019 marked the year of the “pig” and this has special meaning in the Chinese culture that our client wanted to showcase in the building lobby. As part of the celebration other elements of the Chinese culture such as Feng Shui were incorporated into the displays to bring an additional layer of meaning and respect to the Chinese culture.
Our client had a desire to celebrate the 2019 Chinese New Year (Year of the Pig) throughout their main floor lobby. The theme being the observance and commemoration of the 2019 Chinese New Year during the month of February as well as showcasing other interesting parts of the Chinese culture. A gallery style display was custom designed and built for the space. Aspects of Feng Shui were incorporated into the design as well as a specific type of plant and colour of orchids. All were specifically selected to help bring the overall client’s vision to life.
The use of imported wooden glass bowls were proposed to the client as something that could be used to create the live sculptures. The bowls are imported from Indonesia. The base is made of teak wood and has a glass blown planter custom blown for each glass/wood bowl. In Feng Shui, the wood element “helps you move your life upward while anchoring you to your roots, the source of your strength.” Each piece is completely different from each other creating “one- off” displays. A total number of 8 of these bowls were used to create the gallery display. The number 8 is considered the luckiest number in the Chinese culture.
The flower chosen as the main feature of the display was a custom grown purple/mauve coloured orchid. The orchids were specially grown in the three months leading up to the project install. This project required a full blooming orchid, and all be at matching heights and lengths for the start of February 2019. Two orchids were installed in each glass bowl. Orchids are the most popular flower for the Chinese New Year. It signifies fertility and abundance, refinement, luxury, and innocence.
To flank the sides of the gallery displays a Money tree plant planted in a red Lechuza Delta planter was used. The Money tree in traditional Feng Shui is a symbol of luck and prosperity. These plants were custom ordered in with a multi braided trunk for additional character and it also symbolises locking in good luck. The colour red in Feng Shui corresponds with the fire element which symbolizes good fortune and joy. 8 of the money trees were installed. We feel the money tree in the red planter is a great symbol of positivity for the new year!
Each base of the money tree had a small sign that gave a quick over view for those who passed by the meaning behind the actual plant itself. The Money tree is a great example of feng shui inspired design. The branches each have 5 leaves representing the 5 feng shui elements, wood, water, fire, earth & metal.
Each custom display bowl was created differently. The inside of each display consisted of red reindeer moss. Along with the red moss, ornamental dried fruit pods, shells, pieces of wood and palm tree husks are examples of the items used to decorate the inside of the displays to create special interest. A small pig was incorporated in the inside of all the display bowls to commemorate the 2019 year of the pig.
Each of the 8 displays were installed on a 40″ tall matte black pedestal and stood around 6′ tall. The use of the pedestals helped create a uniform height and create that “gallery feel”. The pedestals also brought the displays closer to eye level so people could view into the planter bowl to see the designs. 2-sided tape was used to secure the wood base to the pedestal for safety considerations.
A finished look of two gallery pedestal planters with the money trees flanking either side. Included in the orchid arrangement is some preserved ferns to help create additional body to the orchids. All items had to be moved indoor to indoor loading with a heated van due to the installation taking place during a polar vortex. Outside temperatures of -40 Celsius with wind chills below -50 Celsius were taking place outside during the installation!
Another area of the main floor with 2 pedestal displays with the money trees in red planters. The client received a lot of positive feedback for this month-long celebration of the 2019 Chinese New Years. The use of the 8 gallery displays, and the 8 money trees really created a positive environment that people gravitated towards. Many people came to visit and take pictures of the displays during the month-long exhibit. The building management and ownership was very impressed with finished displays and the reception they received from the tenants and visitors to the building. Some of the comments were quite impressive.