There is perhaps no holiday symbol more recognizable than the Christmas tree. While tradition dictates that trees be strung with twinkle lights and adorned with ornaments, every holiday season, designers and artists alike come up with new creative ways to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.
Artist and designer Liliane Lijn has drawn inspiration for her abstract glowing Christmas tree installation in London’s in King’s Cross from the ancient concept of Temenos. In the times of the Mycaenian civilization (approx. 1750-1050 BC), this magic circle and an inviolable sacred space was believed to foster a protective energy.
Conceived as a result of the artist’s lifelong interest in geometry, and the ways in which it reflects and relates to nature and the chemistry of life, Liliane Lijn’s Tenemos is an open 11.3 metre-tall structure made of 19 neon coloured poles, the highest of them leaning towards the middle of the circle and supporting the whole structure. According to Lijn, such arrangement of the poles can be seen as a metaphor for the dependency that all living beings, from humans to the simplest algae have between each other.
The arrangement of light poles forms a twisted opening along the edge of the sculpture, which doubles as an entry point allowing visitors to walk inside of the festive installation and surround themselves in glowing hues of yellow, orange and red neon light.
Commissioned to create a Christmas tree for the Tokyo Midtown shopping centre in Roppongi, Tokyo, Japanese design studio Nendo turned to the theme of ‘glitter in the air,’ which they believe embodies the very essence of Christmas.
Finished in matte champagne gold, the 7.5-meter-high conical tree with a polyhedral surface consists of numerous flat metal panels that have been bolted together to form a pyramid. The cut-out pieces, which resemble sparkling lights, appear to spiral up the tree, move in random rhythmic patterns or spread out like ripples.
To achieve this effect, a total of 416 compact fans are installed behind each piece, individually controlled to blow air in coordination. The pieces not only sway and move with the wind but can also stop swinging in the air catching the wind at the programmed timing.
Matching cutouts in the same colour were hung from the ceiling elsewhere in the shopping centre, including the galleria, garden terrace, and other atrium areas, adding a sense of unity and glamour to the event.
Christmas tree created by Japanese contemporary artist Kengo Kito for the Sou Fujimoto-designed Shiroiya hotel in Maebashi, Japan, is a part of a larger festive installation developed to celebrate a year since the opening of the hotel.
The bold artwork created using 2,500 hula hoops in seven highly vivid colors spirals through a 38m passage way of exposed concrete. Contrasting the pared down surroundings, the light sculpture appears from within the hotel’s entrance to decorate the four meter-tall Christmas tree outside.
The resulting installation brightens the hearts of onlookers as a wonderful winter attraction awakening the much-needed Christmas spirit.