Stainless Steel and Dichroic Glass Installation
Commissioned and in permanent collection by Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China
4.5m x 5m x 15cm
Photo credit: Siwen Chen
This work was inspired by traditional moon gate, a circular opening in classical Chinese gardens that acts both as a passageway and a distinctive Chinese architectural element. These gates imitate the shape of the full moon, so it is called the moon gate. It is an important symbol and sign of traditional Chinese culture and architecture. The work uses dichroic glass as material. The glass was invented by the NASA to prevent solar radiation. Later architects and artists found it creates fascinating visual effect and thus it has been used widely in architecture and artwork. The glass is both reflective and transparent, colors vary endlessly and delicately with changing of perspective and light. In the work, each small glass piece is connected by steel cable, and there is only one fixed point in the centre, so all small glasses rotate with wind, and light and colors also change with every slight movement of glasses. These small glass squares frame the cityscape in the environment and transform it with its own fleeting and changing light and color. Real and unreal, ethereal and concrete come together. I use borrowing-scenes strategy of classical Chinese garden to create scene-within-scene visual and aesthetic effect, and provide viewers with moving images when they gaze at the work, as if they are touring around a space. Moreover, as I take the moon gate away from the context of traditional Chinese garden and put it into an urban space where people, movements, activities are busy and constantly change, thus brings a dialogue between the past and the present, the socialized and the reclusive, the practical and the meditative together. It complicates communal space with a spiritual and cultural intervention, or suspension, and creates new public life experience that is rooted in intimate relationship with tradition and contemporary life.