A Controlled Wild : Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao

Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao are a collaborative duo whose work explores play and craft across a range of media. They have been collaborating since 2011. Together the pair also operate a small design studio called CHIAOZZA and a guest room called A Cabin in a Loft.


Text © Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao | Photographs © Colin Douglas Gray

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Our collaborative practice explores intersections of the natural and imagined worlds across a range of media. We question the familiar and the strange, inspired by cultural phenomena such as the cultivation of plants, the production and use of objects, and the creation of domestic space. We use Play as both a collaborative tool and a way to alter our perception of such instinctive human activities into a realm that brings to light the wondrous, the magical, and the humorous in the everyday. Our projects originate from a desire to continually re-look at our world. Invented papier-mâché plant forms, geometric wall sculptures, and hut-like structures build a primitive, optimistic landscape of fiction and reality. We approach the work with an elemental directness; always slowly searching for a glimpse of an alternate perspective to the things we think we know. With an acceptance of the ugly, and a meticulous engagement with form, we hope to conjure a casual magic; following the hunch that our work is constantly building its own mythology.

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This installation was completed as part of the Wave Hill Sunroom Project Space in The Bronx, NY, in 2013 and explores the tension between nature and artifice embedded in the concept of “A Controlled Wild,” transforming the Sun Porch at Wave Hill into a constructed natural environment created largely through artificial means. Responding to the Sun Porch’s alternating role of winter conservatory and summer art space, we built a small, pyramidal greenhouse in the center of the gallery, populated by a lush assortment of handmade, paper plants dispersed among living plants curated from local nurseries. Viewers are invited to enter the greenhouse sculpture and inspect the plants up close while immersed in a fantastical landscape of fiction and reality.


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