London’s first Chinese Lantern Festival opened to the public on Wednesday at Chiswick House and Gardens in west London, to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Magical Lantern Festival transforms the historic gardens into an outdoor light festival with over 50 hand-sculpted, enormous flashing lanterns made by a hundred artisans in China. It took three years and a total of 58,000 light bulbs to create the whole installation that travelled 21,347km to illuminate our cold and grey winter nights. A 66-metre long dragon stretching out across a lake with its scales glittering in the water, is one of the breath-taking centrepieces during the five week festival. Alongside a 10-metre tall recreation of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven unbelievably made of silk and an 8-metre porcelain Imperial Pal
The exhibition Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse will be showed in London at the end of January. Monet once said he owed his painting “to flowers”. The Royal Academy of Arts' new blockbuster exhibition Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse examines the role gardens played in the evolution of art. The gardens has inspired the impressionist, post-impressionist and avant-garde artists in the end of the 19th century to early 20th century, when the the world of gardening has traditionally been denigrated as suspiciously anti-intellectual, decorative and feminine. Yet even more than this, in the era of rapid industrialisation and, eventually, war, the subject matter of gardens reflected a need, a direction, for man to remain connected to nature, to the Earth.