Bauhina Hong Kong
Commissioned by leading Hong Kong designer, Antony Chan of Cream for a private client as part of a new renovation of a private residence on The Peak in Hong Kong two tree artworks where created, that form an integral part of the fabric of the main living spaces. Rather than creating conventional freestanding artworks, Based Upon composed the trees to work across 3 walls in 2 separate spaces, running from floor to ceiling, around curved corners and extending the surface along the ventilation covers. This style of integrated artworks has become a large portion of Based Upon’s works, treating every surface and detail as a canvas, continuing artworks and composed surfaces from walls to doors to ceilings.
What originally started out as a decorative tree composition turned in to a representation of the national tree of Hong Kong, the Bauhinia tree. The dining table design concentrated more on the flowers with a combination of overlaid and engrave flower shapes used to disguise the breaks in the table surface.
Based Upon was inspired by Hong Kong’s national tree the Bauhinia and also by the great works depicting cherry blossoms in the Chinese tradition. Studying the Bauhina tree we cast from its roots on Hollywood Road and collected in leaves and blossoms in the Botanic Gardens. Working with a local artist, drawing in the traditional way with a brush and ink, we made sketches of the Bauhinia and its branches. Returning to our studio in London we made moulds of the leaves we had collected and casts of the moulds we had taken from the trunk and roots of the trees while in Hong Kong. These casts became the building blocks for the artwork. The marks and scratches evident within the piece have been made using the casts from the trees and leaves. Each mark has a provenance linking it back to the nature of Hong Kong which was our inspiration.
One of the trees has been finished in tones of platinum and the other in hues of bronze. Each fades from one subtle shade to another casting a soft glow of light across the piece. The bronze work features a resin tree which is inlaid with tiny fragments of bark. The bark is taken from the trees we cast and from an old hand carved Buddha which we found. Many casts were made in different metals and then broken into small fragments so that they could be inlaid into the tree.
Real butterflies are carefully inlaid into the work and set within a resin. They bring delicacy to the metal work and are complemented by pink flowers to represent the Bauhinia blossom.
The bronze tree is symbolic of a wise parent looking down on the sapling of its new born child. The bronze tree leans in to offer guidance and protection, the infant tree reaches for the sun and delights among the butterflies. This scene commemorates the birth of the clients daughter.
A round table we created to accompany the work is also shown.