Artist Miya Ando is of half-Japanese and half-Russian heritage and is a descendent of Bizen sword maker Ando Yoshiro Masakatsu. Her 2012 art installation Obon – named after the Japanese Obon Festival that commemorates the spirit of the dead and is said to guide ancestral spirits home with floating lanterns – consisted of a thousand ficus leaves coated in a non-toxic bioluminescent resin, floating in a small pond in Puerto Rico. During the day, the coating absorbed energy from the sun and when night arrived, each leaf would emit a soft blue and purple hued light.
Anya Gallaccio‘s ‘Red on Green’ (first exhibited at the ICA in 1992) consists of 10,000 red tea rose heads placed on a bed of green stalks and thorns. The blooms are left to decay during the exhibition.
“I pull the heads off the long stems. I make a bed of the green, and then the heads of the roses are really tightly packed. So for a couple of days anyway there is this really fantastic surface which is velvety, really seductive and tactile. Because they’re slightly raised off the floor by the layer underneath, they dry into perfect rosebuds.”
Milky Ways is a series of figurative sculptures in which artist Mihoko Ogaki explores life and death. Dying figures are made of black plastic and contain LEDs, which – when the room is dark – shine through little holes, illuminating the surrounding walls into a Milky Way display.
Dutch artist and designer Roeland Otten‘s Transformatie Huisje (2009) aims to bring back the lost view in this historical part of Rotterdam, that was taken by a concrete electricity substation by covering unattractive areas with high-resolution photographs that blend seamlessly into the surroundings.
“Yayoi Kusama’s interactive Obliteration Room begins as an entirely white space, furnished as a monochrome living room, which people are then invited to ‘obliterate’ with multi-coloured stickers. After a few weeks the room is transformed from a blank canvas into an explosion of colour, with thousands of spots stuck over every available surface. TateShots have produced the below timelapse video of The Obliteration Room covering the first few weeks of its presentation at Tate Modern. It was conceived as a project for children, and was first staged at the Queensland Art Gallery in 2002.
Rain Room is a 100 square metre field of falling water that responds to human sound and movement created by rAndom International. Using a high-tech system of cameras and sensors, the “rain” moves so you stay dry but it falls around you. It means that as you walk through the Curve, you may find yourself “performing” to orchestrate your very own weather pattern.
You can still visit Rain Room at the Barbican Centre in London until 3 March 2013. Entry is free.
For project “Nimbus” Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde created clouds in indoor spaces by carefully regulating the temperature and humidity of the space and then spraying a short burst from a fog machine to create a cottony cloud suspended in the middle of the room for just an instant before it collapses.
“The idea I had was going to be an ephemeral work that would only exist as a photo. I thought this would work very well with the idea of probe, as the exhibitions only exist in the form of documentation. I didn’t realise there is in fact a very physical aspect about probe’s presentation. the 9 different perspectives of documentation make it possible for the spectator to wander around the space and create the opportunity of visiting the exhibition. Therefore with every shoot we had to make a new cloud and keep in account approximately the same lighting and position to create the illusion of physically walking through the space.”
Beili Liu is a multidisciplinary artist whose time and process based installations explores subjects of cultural specificity and overlaps, transient or persistent energy, and conflicting and confluent forces. Thread, paper, incense, wood, salt, water, these simple materials and compounds are the vehicles by which Beili Liu hand crafts microcosms of fragility and poignancy. By working on these everyday materials, Liu manipulates their intrinsic and bare qualities to extrapolate much more complex cultural narratives.
Her “Lure” installation series relate to the ancient Chinese legend of the red thread, which tells that when children are born, invisible red threads connect them to the ones whom they are fated to be with. Over the years of their lives they come closer and eventually find each other, overcoming the distance between, and cultural and social divides.
The installations make use of thousands of hand spiraled coils of red thread suspended from the ceiling. A disk may be connected to another, as a pair, and a pair of disks is made from a single thread. Every coil is pierced in the center by a sewing needle, which then threaded and enables the suspension of the disks. Subtle air currents set the red disks swaying and turning slowly as the loose strands of thread on the floor drift and become entangled.