“A lot of people think of artists leading these crazy lives, but art can be a very lonely job,” says Hong Kong born, Berlin-based digital artist Carla Chan. “It’s something that comes from within you. Nobody can really teach you how to be an artist.”
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Chan’s creative endeavours led her to an isolated corner of the Swiss Alps, where she took up an artist residency with La Prairie at the Monte Rosa Hut, an ultramodern base typically used by hikers and mountaineers overlooking the Matterhorn.
Chan’s time at the Monte Rosa Hut culminated in the creation of Space Between the Light Glows, an immersive installation inspired by the golden hour. The piece debuted at Art Basel Hong Kong, marking the La Prairie’s first partnership with a Hong Kong artist.
See also: What Sold at Art Basel Hong Kong 2021
Chan’s experience served to give her a fresh perspective. “I’m not actually a nature lover. I am the opposite,” she says, recalling a reluctance to spend time outdoors in Hong Kong in her youth. “I don’t like it, but I want to know it in a distant way.”
The first few days at the residency were occupied by logistics and planning, she says. “Our first golden hour there was a bit more practical; we were with the crew chasing the light and planning which locations to shoot from. But from the moment we saw how the sun fell, everyone stopped what they were doing and stared,” she says. “I almost felt like I was inside my own rendering; it was surreal. I had a real intimacy with the landscape.”
Chan sought to capture the sheer scale of the mountainous landscape using her drone, though the filming process wasn’t without its setbacks. She recalls breaking her equipment early in the residency, her disappointment still audible. However, in true dedication to the pursuit of perfection, the brand had someone drive six hours across an international border and hike for nine—all unbeknownst to Chan—for the drone to arrive at the breakfast table the next day.