Commission for the UK Pavilion World Expo Shanghai,
300 fixtures, optical components, LEDs, Custom build controls
60 (L) x 3.5 m (W)
Watching small drops of light falling from the canopy down onto the concrete floor, the visitor is immersed in what appears to be rain of light, each droplet being encircled by a vibrant halo of rainbow colours. In chorus, the ear can make out subtle humming sounds of mechanisms, fusing sight and sound into one total impression.
The source of both, the sound and the droplets of light, are small engines suspended from the ceiling above - each carrying a simple lens, a motor and a LED that is moved rhythmically closer to and further away from the lens, hence projecting a drop of light down onto the floor that rhythmically grows and radiates outwards reminiscent of a rain drop hitting the ground.
Newton was first to discover the phenomenon of the rainbow while watching sunlight striking through a million drops of moisture creating a spectrum in the sky, arrousing the English poet Keats to comment that science had robbed nature and the rainbow of its grandeur by reducing it to its prismatic colours.
Challenging his believes, Light Rain is nothing short of magic and awe, once the visitor has stepped into this evanescent and sensual setting in which the mechanism that creates the optical phenomena and the sensation become one.
Light Rain was first commissioned by the Foreign Commonwealth Office for the UK Pavilion (designed by Heatherwick Studio), Shanghai Expo, 2010.
Shoreditch, London, UK
May - Sep 2012
Shanghai Expo 2010
1 May - 31 Oct, 2010