10 Light Installations That Will Boggle Your Senses

Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Cylinder II at Light Show exhibitThe Hayward Museum in London has curated a new exhibit dedicated to 50 years of beauty and light. Light Show, which opened at the museum on January 30th, features light art installations developed by 22 artists from the 1960s to the present day. The exhibit is a phenomenal exploration of the different aspects of light, from color and intensity to light art as architecture. Here are our top ten favorite installations guaranteed to boggle your senses and delight your mind.

Inspired by Fast Company’s “11 Pieces of Light Art That Boggle Your Senses

Carlos Cruz Diez’s Chromosaturation  Chromosaturation at Light Show

Chromosaturation is an exploration of color and light. As visitors make their way through the installation, they are saturated in chambers of red, blue, and green light. The immersion of color plays tricks on the retina, and viewers experience the color as its own physical entity.

Leo Vittral’s Cylinder IICylinder II at Light ShowAs viewers enter the gallery housing Cylinder II, they are immersed in ethereal white light provided by over 19,600 LEDs. The lights shift and change, bringing the installation alive as visitors move through the exhibit.

Jim Campbell’s Exploding View

Exploded View at Light Show

You may find that your eyes are playing tricks on you as you look upon Campbell’s Exploding View. As you make your way around the installation, a picture begins to appear out of the lighted chaos.

Brigitte Kowanz’s Light Steps
Lighted Steps at Light Show

Light Steps utilizes light to create the illusion of a staircase that extends up through the ceiling of the gallery space. The way Kowanz uses light to create an architectural element provides a unique experience for the viewer.

Anthony McCall’s You and I Horizontal
You and I Horizontal at Light Show

As you make your way through You and I Horizontal, you get the notion that you are actually walking through solid bars of light. This installation plays with the viewer’s perception of light by making it appear as a physical entity within the space.

Conrad Shawcross’s Slow Arc Inside a Cube IV

Slow Arc Inside a Cube at Light Show

Conrad Shawcross’s installation seems to fill up the room with an array of geometric shapes. The piece uses light to project cubes and rectangles throughout the space, paying homage to mathematical functions.

Ivan Navarro’s Burden
Burden at Light Show

Through the use of neon light, Burden provides viewers with the unique experience of gazing up into the interior of a 1000-foot skyscraper. Navarro’s installation is meant to mimic the design of the Lotte World Tower in Busan, South Korea.

Olafur Eliasson’s Model for a Timeless Garden
Model for a Timeless Garden at Light Show

This installation uses light and water to create a unique effect for the viewer. The strobe lights used by Eliasson seem to capture the motion of the water, tricking your eyes into believing that the bubbling fountains are frozen in time.

Ann Veronica Janssens’ Rose
Rose at Light Show

Janssens uses fog and light in her contribution to Light Show. The Rose installation gives the illusion of a star floating in the middle of the gallery space, playing with the viewer’s perception of light.

Cerith Wyn Evans’s S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E
 S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E at Light Show

S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E seems to come alive as viewers enter the space. The columns of light intermittently illuminate and fade, creating the illusion that they are actually living entities interacting with visitors based on their movements.

The loosely curated and free-flowing Light Show will certainly change your notions of light as art. The exhibit is on display at the Hayward Museum through April 28th. We highly recommend a visit to this unusual and engaging exploration of the possibilities of art, nature, and our senses.

Image sources: fastcompany.com, newscientist.com

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