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TALKING POINTS

Blooming Beautifully–And Originally

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Floral artisan Kirk Cheng shares the creative vision behind “Seasons in Continuum” Swire Properties 50th Anniversary celebration installation.

When artisan Kirk Cheng was first approached with the idea of creating a botanical celebratory project for Swire Properties 50th Anniversary, his creative reaction was instinctive, and immediate: “I wanted to create something that represented origin, home, cultivation, nurturing. Something that represented the future and the past, and limitless possibilities,” he said.

“I wanted to create something…that represented the future and the past, and limitless possibilities”
Kirk Cheng
“Seasons in Continuum”, Kirk’s vision for a living installation that would reflect the history and dynamism of the company through the years is now open for all to experience and enjoy. It’s an extraordinary, wondrous work that reflects the core elements of the Swire Properties brand and symbolises its transformational journey over the last 50 years, and the next 50 years to come.

The installations have a magical and joyful quality. Spheres crafted from different natural materials in a colourful tapestry of yellows, reds and blues are scattered playfully across the vast lawns of Taikoo Park in an installation called “Spectrum”. Also in Taikoo Park there’s “Ripple”, a circular installation consisting of a centrepiece and 5 rings made from eucalyptus and small yellow flowers which spiral outward from the middle, symbolising the company’s spirit of expansion, change and spreading new and innovative ideas outward to the world.

At One Island East, “Reflections” is a two-metre-high botanical sphere with a cut-out cross section that reveals a multi-coloured floral orb at its core, surrounded by mirrors. The colourful flowers are reflected five times to represent five decades, symbolising the opening of a passageway to the next 50 years of innovation at Swire Properties. And finally, Lincoln Bridge is the site of a gigantic three-metre-high sphere, “Origination". Here, visitors can walk in and out of the immersive environment that contains 50 each of 12 species of seasonal flowers–a total of 600 flowers suspended from above, representing 600 months of Swire Properties history over different seasons.


The floral installation medium is particularly appropriate for this commemoration and for Swire Properties 50th Anniversary celebration, Cheng said. “The environment, and sharing with the community are key values of this exhibition”. The use of natural materials, he said, also aligns with the celebration’s “Original. Always.” theme.
Kirk Cheng has a background as unique as his installations. Originally trained in fashion, he jumped over to the growing field of modern floral design, attending the prestigious London flower school named for the British pioneer of modern flower design, Constance Spry. “I pay attention to lines and curves, texture and volume, colour and pattern; which are the aspects one can find in both fashion and flowers,” Cheng said. “We often forget the flowers and plants that are around us. I like the idea of taking something that is generally overlooked in today’s society or merely regarded as a decoration and spotlighting it for the public, thus changing our perspective of them.”
“We often forget the flowers and plants that are around us. I like the idea of taking something that is generally overlooked in today’s society or merely regarded as a decoration and spotlighting it for the public, thus changing our perspective of them.”
Kirk Cheng
The beauty of Cheng’s floral and landscape environments seems so natural and effortless that it’s easy to overlook the amount of work that has gone into “Seasons in Continuum”. The preparation took over two months, and Cheng was working mainly with living, perishable materials. “That was the biggest challenge. Finding the right material with the right colours that could last through the time of the exhibition.” In the end, Cheng and his team used more than 50 species of botanical materials, from tree branches and foliage, to flowers and mosses. “It took more than 1000 man-hours to build the metal supporting structures and install the flowers,” he said.
“The living landscapes that Kirk Cheng and his team have created for “Seasons in Continuum” are truly a highlight of the season in Taikoo Place–and an exuberant celebration of Swire Properties–as it blooms today, and as it sows the seeds for its next 50 years.  ”

Cheng said that the installations were intentionally designed to be experiential and interactive–and, of course, Instagrammable. He said that he wanted people to be able to immerse themselves in the installation, to become a part of it, and to have a unique experience of discovery every time they walked through it.

“It was intentionally placed in locations around Taikoo Place where people of the community walk by every day. We hope it brings something fresh and beautiful to daily life. It will make me happy to see people taking pictures among the installations, and having picnics nearby on the lawn.” 

The living landscapes that Kirk Cheng and his team have created for “Seasons in Continuum” are truly a highlight of the season in Taikoo Place–and an exuberant celebration of Swire Properties–as it blooms today, and as it sows the seeds for its next 50 years.
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