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9 April 2010

olafur eliasson and ma yansong: feelings are facts


image © designboom

designboom was in beijing at the exhibition opening of 'feelings are facts', the result of a first time collaboration between danish-icelandic artist olafur eliasson and chinese architect ma yansong / MAD, which challenges our everyday patterns of spatial orientation. vision functions as our primary default sense for navigation, but within this installation, insecurity is induced on visitors initially, reducing visibility, suggesting the need to invent new models for perception.


image © designboom

this site-specific project, located within the big hall of ullens center for contemporary art (UCCA),beijing is based on a series of previous experiments by eliasson, which deal with atmospheric density.here, eliasson introduces condensed banks of artificially produced fog into the gallery,shimmering with an artificial light spectrum, created using arrays of red, green and blue fluorescent lamps.this illusion in light is not something we find in nature, however, as one walks through the space, the sights and sensations experience become real.



dimensions are further altered by the substantial lowering of the ceiling along with a nearly 60 meter long curving, inclined wooden floor space which ma yansong has created within
the installation room. the sloping floor challenges visitors to readjust their balance, forcing them to constantly shift their weight and body posture to counterbalance the inclination. this emphasizes the important role of the moving body in the perception of our surroundings. the further visitors venture into the space, the steeper the floors get, reaching the point in which it becomes a wave-like curved wall. since the ceiling imitates this construction, a seemingly boundless space is discerned above.


image © designboom

dense fog being emitted into the gallery space
image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

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