Have you ever heard of a garden made of glass fragments? Interesting, right?! This garden exists and was created by Andy Cao. Continue the reading to find out more about this fascinating individual.
Who’s Andy Cao?
Andy Cao moved from Vietnam to the United States in 1979. Whilst he was studying Landscape Architecture at the Polytech of Pomona, he went to help his friend sculptor, Stephen Jerrom, to prepare an art installation made up of glass.
I bet you have already understood that it was there that Andy Cao started to work, play and experiment the use of glass within landscaping – a very original concept.
Andy Cao’s first glass garden
In 1998, he started his first glass garden in the courtyard of his Los Angeles home, he utilized 45 tons of recycled glass. He was inspired by Vietnam and childhood memories.
A path of brown glass fragments runs through the side of the house, it forms a large curve between the yellow and green glass hills and proceeds along a partition wall made of concrete blocks. Also the concrete wall, however, is a mosaic with blue-green and brown-green glass tiles.
Another iconic part of the garden is the pond, where white mountains made of glass emerge from the water, these resemble mountains of salt that young Cao may have seen back to his home country. The edges of the pool are made of concrete and black glass and recall the dark mud of a pond.
This is not a traditional garden and not because of the use glass and plants not being the main character but because in this garden there are plenty of visual symbols and metaphors related to childhood memories.
One of the most fantastical and surreal examples is the representation of a rice field. This perception is given by needle grasses planted in blue glass, which creates a water effect. In the middle of this imaginative field, a statue made of scrap metals, similar to abandoned artillery from the devastating Vietnamese war.
Plants too required a lot of planning to adjust to the irregularities and colours of glass. Most of them are succulents with their firm shapes and their ability to survive in the less favorable conditions. Flowers create a dramatic effect when next to the glass, for example, the yellow flowers against the blue glass.
Despite being creaky, glass is certainly a fascinating material which produces a sensual landscape. The overall scene appears soft and luxuriant because the glass fragments have been well incorporated, Andy Cao was like a painter able to mix his colours on the palette like a master.