Ten’s to See: Lydia Chan’s ‘Your Ship Has Landed’ at NOW Gallery

The world of fantasy art is a wild one and Lydia Chan sure knows how to take the reigns and make it her own. The Canadian multidisciplinary artist and set designer has been making waves since she graduated from Central Saint Martins a few years back. Originally trained as an interior designer before transitioning to fashion communication and promotion at CSM, her artistic evolution has caught the eyes of many, including the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and Gucci. Her time at Central Saint Martins opened her eyes up to the great possibilities that London has to offer, all whilst challenging her as a creative. “Central Saint Martins was a nice stepping stone to get into London and dive headfirst into the creative energy and scene of the city. It was a place that challenged everything about my self-worth and identity,” the artist says.

Now she unveils her latest exhibition set at the NOW Gallery in South East London. Since opening its doors in 2014, the gallery has introduced cutting-edge installations from the most exciting and innovative names in fashion, design and art. The space has previously hosted the likes of Nicholas Daley, Molly Goddard and Mowalola. Now it’s time for Chan to step into NOW and transform it into something that reflects her own unique artistic style and personality.

Titled Your Ship Has Landed, the exhibition transforms the curving structure of the gallery into a compelling futuristic fantasy world, covered in vivid colours, AR technology and alienesque characters that will keep you smiling from ear to ear. “Your Ship Has Landed, started as an extension of these large-scale beaded jewellery pieces I started making in 2016,” says Chan. “I have always been obsessed with aliens, monsters, cartoons, and sea creatures. I wanted to take those pieces that I have been hiding away and use this opportunity to make it into an immersive performance space. I wanted to create a universe where people can escape their regular lives and have a fantastical experience.”

The exhibition introduces a fun-filled foreign planet where you can submerge yourself in all things Lydia Chan. Bridging the gap between digital and natural worlds, the exhibition invites its guests to view nature through an artificial lens. Covered in monsters, colours and so much more, Chan’s work is as fun as it gets. To make the experience that much better, the artist has collaborated with digital artists Songyee Kim and Thibaut Evrard to create a transformative AR experience activated by a simple tap on your phone.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity that I have to showcase some of my ideas at the exhibition and I hope that it can bring people joy and pleasure in a time when they need it,” says Chan. “I hope that they can see science as something less cold and rigid and see fantasy and imaginative opportunities of the unknown.”

Photography by Charles Emerson. ‘Your Ship Has Landed’ is open until February 13 at NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0SQ.