Pryzgoda Lighting Design for Cloud II Chandelier Illuminates Malibu

Homeowners and business owners are not the only ones who may benefit from some lighting advice.

When I met Vietnamese-born landscape artist Andy Cao at a social event , I immediately felt a connection. He was describing his garden installation in Malibu and…

…actually, he was telling the story of his cloud II chandelier project. Andy, who co-founded Cao-Perrot Studio, with offices in Los Angeles and Paris, connects everything to story and has a natural way of personalizing his work. I loved his energy and knew that he would benefit from some professional lighting advice. He agreed and we began a creative dialogue.

Our lighting collaboration explored three different lighting plans for his Cloud II, which is a sculpture of stainless steel wire mesh and 5,000 cut crystals, suspended above a grass and tempered glass panel area. Initially, Andy had a lighting approach for the chandelier, I however, thought another approach might enhance his sculpture better. So rather than debate theory, we did a “mock up” of each design.

A “mock up” means we set up lights in the installation space, a garden in this case, so that we could actually see the lighting effects. I’m always open to trying and learning new things. But In the end, in my experience, the best way to determine what’s working is to do a mock up.

Soon Andy agreed with my plan: to light from the sides. Not that I always get my way. Notice the exterior lights set low on the walls of the garden? I wish they were not there. But as lighting designers, we need to adapt to the situation and not worry about elements we can’t control.

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