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Golden Tree for Laurent-Perrier_Tuileries Garden, Paris (France), 2009

exhibition garden
dimensions: area 2.000 sq.ft. x height 20 ft.

In early 2009, we were commissioned by the prestigious champagne house Laurent-Perrier to create the “Aerial Garden”, and installation for the Paris spring garden festival “Jardin, Jardin” at the Tuileries Garden. With champagne bubbles very much in mind, we proposed a large tree made of steel and hung with 20,000 champagne-colored Mother of Pearl leaves. The shimmering and airy silver tree was surrounded with clouds planted with undulating waves of frothy Stipa grasses and delicate flowers. The garden won the Grand Prize Award, presented by Henri Loyrette, President and Director of the Louvre Museum.

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Bai Yun_Cornerstone Gardens, Sonoma (California), 2011

installation for garden festival
dimensions: 2.000 sq.ft. / 185 sq.m.


Bai Yun (White Cloud) is a sculpted cumulus cloud hovering over an undulating landscape of crushed granite, oyster shell and recycled glass. Evolved from Cao Perrot Studio’s former installation “Lullaby Garden”, Bai Yun is crafted with swirls of wire mesh supported by a series of slender posts. The Cloud’s shimmering presence is enhanced by thousands of clear cut crystals catching the light from morning to moonlight.

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Red Lantern_Cornerstone Gardens, Sonoma (California), 2011

installation for garden festival
dimensions: 2.200 sq.ft.


“Red Lantern” specifically references the Chinese immigrants who built California’s railroads, and whose descendants created what is now San Francisco’s Chinatown, just forty-five minutes to the south. The eggshell-lacquered lantern, custom made for this installation, and the train tracks that descend into the pond remind one of the history these workers left behind and headdresses with the adornment of red crystal droplets. The oversized chopstick are carved from railroad ties and inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

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Lullaby Garden_Cornerstone Gardens, Sonoma (California), 2004

installation for garden festival
dimensions: 2.000 sq.ft.


Two hundred 1m x 1m colored nylon carpet sections were hand knitted in Vietnam by 60 villagers, then sewn together and stretched over a 1300 sq. ft. rolling landform. The installation also included oversize zippers and polished coconut shells. A veil of clear fishing line was wrapped around the perimeter to create an “invisible fence”, which would sometimes disappear, and at other times, catch the light and form a shimmering wall around the garden. Vietnamese lullabies by contemporary Paris-based musicians Huong Thanh and Nguyen Lź, completed the soothing environment.

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Jardin des Hespérides_Metis Garden Festival, Métis-sur-Mer (Quebec), 2006

installation for garden festival
dimensions: 4.300 sq.ft


This garden draws on the sounds, scents and materials of Vietnam, while simultaneously evoking the landscape environment of the St. Lawrence river, site of Metis Garden Festival. Paths of stark white seashells wind through a carpet of locally collected green algae, vetiver grasses dotted with wild irises and Himalayan blue poppies. In the centre of the garden, a saffron-colored lantern looms oversized and weightless in a reflecting pond, where an orange grove mysteriously rises. The lantern, fabricated according to traditional Vietnamese construction techniques, is made from lining fabric, hand dyed with Iranian Sargol Saffron. Upon entering the lantern, visitors discover a unique fragrance inspired by scents of the sea, zest of seaweed crushed underfoot, and incense in a temple.

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Desert Sea_Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival (France), 2001

installation for garden festival
dimensions: 2,600 sq.ft / 240 sq.m.


In 2001, the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival, France, selected Cao’s “Desert Sea” for the Festival’s Mosaiculture theme. The rope walled theatrical installation was inspired by multi-cultural influences from Vietnamese water puppets to African dress.











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