Last week, during Art Basel Hong Kong, Loro Piana introduced a crowd of art-lovers to one of its excellences: The Gift of Kings®. On the 18th floor of the H Queens Building (home to galleries like David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, Pace, Tang Contemporary, and Pearl Lam) was an immersive installation that floated against a view of downtown Hong Kong’s soaring skyscrapers.
Upon entering the exhibition, visitors first encountered a cream-colored, cloud-like form, made from large, thick felt sheets that came together to form three rooms. Able to enter on all sides, visitors experienced the transformation of the finest Merino wool from raw material to woven fabric.
The Gift of Kings® makes up just three thousand of the 500 million kilograms of Merino wool produced each year. 500 percent finer than human hair, it is softer than cashmere and as light as Vicuña. Loro Piana sources the rare wool through a select group of breeders in Australia and New Zealand.
The first womb-like room was entitled “Woollen Rain,” playing off the fluidity and pliable nature of the raw fleece. Light-as-air tufts of wool dangled from above, like tiny rain clouds or swirls of cotton candy. A journey for the senses, guests were invited to touch the precious, naturally white fibers.
Behind a curtain of felt was the next room, “Woollen Waterfall,” where washed and combed wool cascaded from three suspended platforms. At Loro Piana’s factory in Gheme, raw fibers are cleaned, detangled, and combed into thick twists of superfine yarn that can stretch to 130 kilometers in length.
In the final alcove, “Woolen Waves,” the resulting exquisite fabric is revealed. Incredibly supple to the touch, The Gift of Kings® is both malleable and resilient. Its inherent strength shields from the cold while releasing excess heat. Draped from above to mimic the ebb and flow of waves, the final product presented came straight from the loom, showcasing the natural beauty of the wool.
Exiting the installation, a surprise awaited—wool swings that let visitors experience their own form of lightness, seemingly floating on air.
“We are honored to celebrate The Gift of Kings® in Hong Kong with an installation pathway that celebrates Loro Piana’s visionary determination and creativity,” said Fabio d’Angelantonio, Loro Piana’s CEO. “The Gift of Kings® is an ongoing search for excellence for Loro Piana. Above all, The Gift of Kings® is an expression of our in-depth respect for the world and the beauty that comes from it.”
To celebrate the experiential installation, demonstrating Loro Piana’s longstanding commitment to finding excellence in nature, a cocktail party was held on March 28 with guests like Kelly Chen, Raymond Lam, Michelle Ong-Cheung, Adrian Cheng, Kevin and Reina Chau, Yen Kuok, Victoria Tang-Owen, Edward Tang, Veronica Chou, Andrew Yuen, Gilbert Yeung, Yijia Tiong, Brandon Chau, Qiqi, Janet Ma, Cara G, Amanda S, Kirk Yip, Ruby Lam, and more.
The installation was open to the public March 30—31 coinciding with the final days of Art Basel Hong Kong.