While a White Christmas is unfortunately not on the cards for those of us living in the tropics, these unique Christmas trees add that bit of holiday magic we could use right now
It’s that time of the year again when streets – now aglow with lights, baubles, festive décor and more – start to feel that bit more magical. While the pandemic means that celebrations are a slightly muted affair this year, various cities across Asia have not been deterred from putting up truly unique, one-of-a-kind Christmas displays to mark the holidays and end the year on a high. From Hong Kong’s AI-powered LED butterfly displays to Pavilion KL’s spectacular Dior Christmas Tree, read on for our list of incredible – but unconventional – Christmas trees and light displays across Asia.
1. A “Doodle Tree”
Where: The Upper House hotel, Hong Kong
This Christmas, Hong Kong’s design hotel The Upper House is welcoming guests with a festive Christmas tree inspired by the metropolis’ iconic street signs. The hotel has collaborated with architectural studio COLLECTIVE and cultural advocate group Streetsign HK for the tree, which will eventually be auctioned off for charity. Christened the “Doodle Tree”, the team expertly reimagined the neon tubes through various experimentations and traditional glass bending techniques, resulting in a larger-than-life 3-D doodly tree that’s now the festive piece de resistance of the hotel.
2. A Christmas tree made from recycled bamboo
Where: The Temple House, Chengdu
Chengdu’s The Temple House has unveiled its new seven-metre gold Christmas tree that’s partially constructed from recycled bamboo. This continues in the hotel’s tradition of commissioning unique trees made from recycled materials for the past four years. This year’s unconventional Christmas tree is made from bamboo recycled from Chengdu’s very own giant panda breeding research center and is decked with hundreds of gold ornaments. Following the festivities, the bamboo will then be reused to house the hotel’s herb garden during the chilly winter months.
3. A Dior Christmas tree
Where: Pavilion KL, Kuala Lumpur
In Malaysia, the dazzling Dior Christmas Tree – the only one in Southeast Asia – is illuminating the façade of Pavilion KL’s Dior boutique. This whimsical golden Christmas tree is decorated with illuminated turtle doves and ribbons. Part of an installation of seasonal décor that adorns the windows and facades of selected Dior boutiques around the world, you can find also find the Dior Christmas tree in the likes of Paris, Taipei and Tokyo. Be sure to have your smartphones ready – this one’s perfect for the ‘gram.
4. AI-powered LED butterflies
Where: Lee Tung Avenue, Hong Kong
Every year, Hong Kong’s luxury retail destination Lee Tung Avenue spares no effort with its Christmas lights and this year’s proves no different. “Butterflies of Hope” is the world’s first AI butterfly illuminating interactive art, created by award-winning Hong Kong visual effects director Victor Wong. In the day, the glass butterflies will reflect and refract natural light to the surroundings, creating the illusion of a colourful and dazzling avenue; by night, the AI-powered butterflies will move to the beat of the music playing, resulting in a one-of-a-kind musical and light display for the audience. The Christmas tree leverages on interactive technology and a special shadow projection effect to project butterflies on visitors.
5. An interactive spherical “tree”
In Odaiba, shopping mall Venus Fort is once again hosting teamLab’s interactive Christmas tree, the “Tree of Resonating Colours”. This 8-metre high sculpture features the Japanese art collective’s distinctive interactive light spheres. When a visitor touches on of the spheres, it will change colour, rippling across the rest of the “tree”, creating continuously resonating colours.
6. A virtual Christmas tree display
Where: Makati City
Ask any Manila resident and they’ll tell you that watching the annual Ayala Avenue light-up has become somewhat of a holiday ritual. Since 2017, the Festival of Lights at the Ayala Triangle Gardens promises plenty of holly jolly, with the dancing, ever-changing Christmas lights and all-round festive cheer. Give the current movement restriction, they’ve now made the festival available virtually on its official Facebook page. Instead of catching the dazzling lights in person, guests can now witness the magic through the immersive and interactive 360-video, designed to make the viewer feel like he or she is standing right in the middle of the park. Watch it on Ayala Land’s Facebook.