Minnie Wang
Apr 6, 2022

Duty-free shop becomes a 'Surreal Island' digital experience

Hybrid product creatures—such as a tote-bag tiger—cavort across giant screens in a Macau retail installation by Superunion for China Duty Free International.

Collaborating with Superunion and artists from Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Italy, London and Peru, China Duty Free International has made its flagship store in Macau into a 'Surreal Island' with nine LED screens full of immersive animations.

The installation includes a 20-meter ceiling display and wall panels three times as tall as the average person, which display “a whimsical combination of retail products and magical creatures” created by Peru-based surrealist illustrator Paolo Torres. Visitors will encounter a tote made of tigers, a Venus statue built of lipstick, a serpent watch, and swan perfume. 

“This immersive and dreamlike space speaks to the vibrancy of experiences and culture in Macau, setting up the flagship as a true destination for luxury shopping,” said Louisa Luk, senior designer at Superunion.

Added Miuling Lau, senior marketing manager at China Duty Free International, “Our hope is that we are able to transport our guests to another world as soon as they step into our store and that this project marks the beginning of an otherwise expansive brand world for Surreal Island, where we can break out of the original retail context into other platforms and experiences.”

The store, inside Grand Lisboa Palace, has 7,500 square feet of retail space. 

As China's borders remain locked due to the pandemic, sales of duty-free products have become one of the largest engines for the travel industry and luxury brands. For example, an increase in the duty-free allowance for Chinese shoppers helped the island province of Hainan record a 73% increase in shoppers and an 84% increase in sales in 2021, versus 2020. 

CREDITS

Tim Brown – Creative Director
Jessica Tan – Creative Digital Director
Connor Reddy – Digital Designer
Gianluca Crudele – Design Director
Louisa Luk – Senior Designer
Claudia Li – Client Director
Eugenia Chui – Client Manager 

Paolo Torres – Illustrator
Kenny Addeh – Animator
Kim Ho – Animator
Jerrell Ko – Animator
Erin Lo – Animator
Clare Ang – Animator
Kaleb Lai – Animator
Moon Chan – Animator

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