Visionaire Presents Daniel Arsham Lunar Garden

Visionaire Presents Daniel Arsham Lunar Garden


September 5 – November 5, 2017

Daniel Arsham re-imagines The Gallery at Cadillac House as a “Lunar Garden” combining sculpture, sound, and an immersive environment that offers visitors a re-interpretation of a traditional Japanese rock garden with a unique colored gradient.  At one end of the space is a 9 foot diameter light orb which resembles the moon.  The design in the sand garden is further enhanced by the single light source. In Arsham’s version of the traditional garden, rocks have been replaced by a petrified tree and lantern.  Arsham’s use of gradient pink is a significant departure from his earlier work, which relies on a palette of black, white and gray tones. Arsham is colorblind but has recently been able to see a broader, more vibrant spectrum of color by using special glasses. This vibrancy has translated into his work and marks an important new visual language in this exhibition. “We’re excited to share Daniel Arsham’s vision with a new audience,” says Cecilia Dean, curator of The Gallery at Cadillac House along with her Visionaire partner James Kaliardos who adds, “And we hope it will offer a moment of calm and contemplation.”

“After spending many years traveling to Japan I became fascinated with the dry gardens in Kyoto—specifically the way in which the gardens are permanent yet completely ephemeral and remade every day. I was also intrigued by the way light catches the patterns that are raked in the gardens. With the introduction of color into my work in 2016 I began to experiment with color gradients across these gardens. All of my work has the tendency to float in time. The gardens, the position of the rocks, and the raking of the sand has occurred for hundreds of years, unchanged, every single day. These spaces, although they feel like they are in the present moment for us, essentially cross time. The use of color in these landscapes creates a sense that the gardens are simultaneously familiar and surreal.”

—Daniel Arsham

DANIEL ARSHAM was born in 1980 in Cleveland, OH and grew up in Miami, FL. After receiving a scholarship in 1999 from the National YoungArts Foundation, he attended Cooper Union in New York City. In 2004, Arsham began producing scenography for ballets, symphony orchestras, and operas, working with composers and choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Pharrell Williams, and Jonah Bokaer. In 2007, Arsham founded the design and architectural firm Snarkitecture with Alex Mustonen. His work has been presented at MoMA PS1, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, the Athens Biennale, the New Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, the High Museum, and other renowned institutions around the world. Arsham lives and works in New York City. 

CADILLAC HOUSE is Cadillac’s first-ever brand experience center—a public space that brings Cadillac’s design sensibility and passion points to life through a range of dynamic, curated programming and events across the arts, fashion, entertainment, and hospitality. Located in downtown New York City, Cadillac House represents the brand’s commitment to its new home and as a result, offers diverse experiences including a gallery, retail space, café and exhibition area for the brand’s vehicles—resulting in a venue with an ever-evolving point of view on subjects beyond the automotive industry. The GALLERY is a blank space where Cadillac and Visionaire partner to curate non-traditional, interactive exhibitions with no boundaries, free and open to the public.




Visionaire presents a performance directed by Matthew Placek by renowned Butoh dancer Vangeline in Daniel Arsham’s Lunar Garden at the Gallery at Cadillac House on October 26, 2017

Butoh, a style of dance also known as ankoku butoh (“the dance of utter darkness”), originated in Japan when founders Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno searched for a visual and physical medium they’d never experienced before. Vangeline has mastered the technique and will be moving across the raked, moonlit garden.

VANGELINE, PERFORMER is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in the Japanese postwar avant-garde movement form Butoh. She is the Artistic Director of the Vangeline Theater (New York), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese Butoh while carrying it into the 21st century, and the founder of the New York Butoh Institute. Vangeline’s work has been heralded in publications such as the New York Times (“captivating”), Los Angeles Times, (“moves with the clockwork deliberation of a practiced Japanese Butoh artist”) and LA Weekly to name a few. More recently her BUTOH BEEETHOVEN: Eclipse received critical acclaim in New York and was dubbed:‘incredibly moving and powerful. It is clear that Vangeline is an artist who knows the darkness of Butoh well, and has the incredible skill to make that darkness dance...Vangeline has the control and poise of a true master of Butoh.”

MATTHEW PLACEK, DIRECTOR has a diverse practice, which includes photography, video and digital art. Placek makes “visible the uncertainty and doubt that we all carry in an age of instant replays and digital capture. What does remembering mean and how does the body remember?” Placek’s fascination with this subject derives from watching his grandmother succumb to alzheimer’s. In his last meeting with her, he was struck by her lack of recall, a traumatic experience, which led to Placek’s early forays into photography. Now, Placek engages with immortalizing his relationships and experiences through various forms of documentation.

CAROLINE HU is a New York based womenswear designer. Born in Shenzhen China, she earned her BFA from Central Saint Martins College in London and went onto graduate from the MFA Fashion Design & Society program at Parsons School of Design in New York in 2017. She was invited to exhibit her work in the exhibition, WAVELENGTH which was presented during New York Fashion Week in September 2016. Her MFA collection was sponsored by French lace company, Sophie Hallette. “We focus on our busy lives and forget everyone, but ourselves. I want my designs to give people a reason to turn around, take a breath, pause a moment, look closer and consider the moments of beauty and poetry around us in what, at times, seems a complex and dangerous world.”

Soundscape SABISHA


Visionaire Presents Daniel Arsham Lunar Garden
September 5 – November 5, 2017