“Sundew” is a beautiful name for a carnivorous plant. The exotic sundew attracts its insect prey with sweetly scented, seductive secretions and an irresistible glistening shine. British-Chinese designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng, on the other hand, turned her personal attraction to the plant’s macabre beauty into a spectacular kinetic crystal installation.
It was unveiled at the main entrance to the 2016 edition of Art Central, held on 23-26 March at Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront as part of Hong Kong Art Week. The installation combined handcrafted textiles featuring 316 meters of Swarovski Crystal Fabric (that’s a staggering 20 million crystals) with electronics, bio-mimicry and interior design. The result was a mesmerizing, sound-activated, interactive experience. Lucky guests at the First Night on March 21 and the VIP preview the following day were among the first to be lured and “trapped” by her cutting-edge displays of light, fragrance and movement.
This isn’t the first time that Hong Kong-based Elaine’s work has captured the imagination of the art and design world. As founder of bespoke textile consultancy The Fabrick Lab, she was named as one of the “2015 Swarovski Designers of the Future” at Salone del Mobile in Milan. This recognition led to her collaboration with Swarovski, and she went on to debut an early rendition of Sundew at Design Miami/Basel 2015.